Hallie and Hunter made their third visit to BYU sports camp this summer and Bennett made his first appearance at the camp.

Bennett had been looking forward to this camp for so long. He knew Hunter went to camp the summer before his 7th grade year and that is all he has talked about for two years. He hurt his foot two weeks before the camp and struggled to heal. Two nights before the camp we were at our reunion and he couldn’t play without pain. My mom heart (and his heart) was breaking as I contemplated pulling him from the camp. In a last ditch effort just minutes before stores closed for the night we ran to some stores to find a brace that would fit his foot. He tried it out that night and for the first time in weeks he could kick the soccer ball without pain. We were back in business and I couldn’t be more grateful!

For some reason, I was more nervous dropping Bennett off (with two siblings including an older brother playing the same sport) than I ever was dropping Hunter off. It’s funny – a kid seems old and mature until it’s time to drop them off for an overnight camp and then you start questioning every parenting decision and whether or not you’ve taught them well enough to handle a few days without you.

Spoiler alert: He did amazing and he could’ve gone much longer without me! Guess that means we’re doing something right. He attended/roomed with three teammates who all happen to live in our neighborhood so they had the best time. None of the boys in his group had a phone so I would rely on Hunter for information. Hunter didn’t see him a lot, but it was just enough to give me reports of, “I saw him across the cafeteria and he was smiling.” And one night I made Hunter track him down so I could talk to him for minute. Bennett had glowing reviews of his time away and is already talking about going again next year.

Hunter is on his third year at soccer camp and he is more than comfortable with a few nights away. He too went with several teammates and on top of that made even more friends. The first time we talked on the phone, he was so excited to show me his dorm room. He was sitting on the floor and the room was empty aside from a few backpacks. I dropped him off so I know at one point there was a bed in the room that was no longer present. He was beaming as he walked into another room and showed me two sets of bunkbeds. They talked with their counselor and convinced him it was a good idea for four smelly boys to share a room. They took their beds apart and jimmy rigged them together to create some sketchy bunkbeds. I was impressed with their ingenuity and their sales job on their counselor. Hunter was on a bottom bunk and only hit his head twice because the clearance was pretty low. They were so proud of themselves and attribute that to why the camp was so amazing. Four teammates are always better than two teammates.

I was able to go to the last day of the camp and watch both Hunter and Bennett compete in some tournament play – I never tire of watching them play soccer.

Hallie attended her third and final BYU tennis camp with her best friend and doubles partner. It won’t be long before these two are in college and living in the dorms and I think that hit them a little hard as they were at camp this year. There is never a shortage of fun when these two get together.

Hallie rocked it at camp this year. They always evaluate players and put them in groups and she was excited after the second day when she was ranked the top player for her group for boys and girls. (5 groups of 30 players) This is such an awesome accomplishment for her…until they use that ranking to place you for the tournament and she ended up playing the number one players from all the other groups and she was the only girl. She fought so hard and played the best tennis she’s probably ever played. I’m so grateful we have another year of watching her on the court.

Hallie’s aunt and cousin’s family joined us at the tournament this year and I love when I get to share this experience with family.

As we were checking Hallie into her dorm room, I saw a lady walk by our door that was propped open. I knew I recognized her and called out her name as she walked by. Ironically, this woman lived in our church ward back in Milwaukee while her husband was in med school. I hadn’t seen her for 15 years but we’ve stayed connected through social media. As luck would have it, she was also checking in her senior daughter for camp and they were assigned the room across the hallway from Hallie. These girls were so little when we lived by each other, they would never remember each other, but here we are so many years later. They ended up having a great time together.

Sports camp this summer were a total success – everyone walked away happy. (Actually it was more of a limp because they work them pretty hard and everyone was pretty sore!) They grew physically, socially, emotionally and that to me is worth so much. Until next year…