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campThis morning my husband and I dropped our little girl off at summer camp for the first time.  After we checked-in, she walked into the “pavillion” with her giant backpack to wait for camp to start.

She was nervous.  We found a seat, and surveyed the room.  There were hundreds of kids, running, playing, and having a good time, and she didn’t know a single one.

Instantly, my husband and I looked at each other wondering if we made the right choice by pulling her out of the small, “safe” school where she knows everyone.

But we waited.

I encouraged her to talk to a little girl who also looked lost and alone.  “I think she’s in your camp.  You should introduce yourself.”

My daughter got up from her seat, walked over and said “Hi!  Are you a Minnow too?”

The other little girl stared at her then ran away.  My daughter walked back to her seat with a confused, unhappy look.

Not a promising start.

We waited some more.  She got whiny.  She started to squirm in her seat.  She worried that we forgot something.

And then something happened.  She noticed a friend’s mother waiting in the check-in line.  She ran over.  “It’s Matt.  It’s Matt!”  There were smiles and hugs.

Matt introduced her to his friends in Guppy camp.  They all ran off to play.

Suddenly, at 9am, the music came on.  As Miley Cyrus blaired throughout the camp, all the kids grabbed their backpacks and made mad dashes to find their groups.

Our daughter ran over to us.  After hugs and kisses, we wished her luck.

Then with her giant backpack, she confidently walked over to the Minnow’s sign, and sat with the other girls (including the little girl who ran away) ready to have fun.

It’s amazing what finding one friend in a crowded room can do for your confidence.