Monday, November 16, 2015

Preschool Kindergarten 2 | Graduation Overnight Camp!

Lil Pumpkin had her first stay-over in school last Friday night. I was surprised when I received the letter a few weeks back as I didn't realise that camping {without ANY parental supervision of sorts} started in preschool! But a few of my friends mentioned that the K2s in their kids' preschool do that too.

Oh well... How times have changed!

This is the itinerary of her Graduation Camp. Doesn't it seem fun??! I guess this will only appeal to the kids who sleep late, which is fine for Lil Pumpkin because she knocks out around 10.30-11.30pm since we're usually home late after work. 

I knew Lil Pumpkin would be really excited to go and honestly, I was excited for her to have this experience too because most likely, she will not be seeing her preschool friends any more once they all go to different Primary schools.

Having attended camps before, I understood how enjoyable it could be and loved the sense of camaraderie and bonding you get from spending a whole night or two together. Unforgettable memories are shared and it will surely build her confidence and independence level.

However, obviously a part of me worried as well if she was too young?? This was the first time in a very long time that I felt so anxious over her well-being. I've gotten used to her being in school and away from me while I'm at work, and it isn't the first time I've been away from her at night but usually she will at least be with the boy, my mum or sis... never alone without any family members.

I wondered if she would be used to not sleeping on her comfy bed, or get scared and cry in the middle of the night, or suddenly wake up looking for us and panic that she ended up in that strange place. Also, would she be able to sleep without her usual night milk or us by her side??

Anyway in the end the boy and I decided to let go of my our parental fears and let her spread her wings a little. We trust her school and teachers, and for the past few years she has attended classes there, they have provided a safe and secure environment for her to grow and develop. Also, Lil Pumpkin herself is a rather careful and disciplined child. She might be a little silly sometimes, but she does listen to her teachers well and I think in our daily lives, she has shown herself to be responsible and emotionally mature enough to spend a night without us {and in the safe hands of her teachers.}

Leading up to the camp, we talked about it often with Lil Pumpkin and reminded her of things that she should do {e.g. eat well, listen to teachers, brush teeth, call us if she doesn't feel well etc.} and should not do {e.g. play hide-and-seek in dark areas, leave the group, go near fire etc.}. That morning before school drop-off, we also encouraged her to have fun and don't be scared {although I seriously think she wasn't!!} and reassured her that if she wants to come home, just ask her teachers to call us.

On Friday night I stayed over at my parents' place since it's much nearer to her preschool and I could be there in a jiffy if the school suddenly called to say that she really couldn't handle staying the whole night. I tossed and turned and kept checking my phone to see if I missed any calls. Reading news about what was happening in other parts of the world that night did not help either #prayforhumanity

But thankfully, nothing eventful occurred at her preschool. Early in the morning, I made my way there to pick her up and chatted with some parents at the gate. Apparently some of them felt anxious too, and it was kind of reassuring that I wasn't the only wuss of a mum who was up worrying last night. Hah!

When the kids finally ran out, there she was grinning ear to ear and proclaiming that "it was the best night ever!!"

Lil Pumpkin had such a fabulous time and was so eager to tell me what they ate and did. Hear what she has to say about the camp in the vlog above or if it's not working, watch it on my YouTube channel here.

Truthfully, I felt a bit silly losing sleep worrying and all the anxiety I felt last night were for nothing. But then again, that's the life of a mother right? She never stops worrying about her children, even when they are all grown-up and have children of their own.

Looking at Lil Pumpkin now I realise, truly, my baby girl is a big girl now. If she can handle one night all by herself without Mummy and Daddy, surely she would have no problem handling the challenge of starting a new life in primary school too, right?

P.S. Check out these 20 tips for kids entering Primary 1 and 20 recommended things to buy for them, from parents for parents!



Theresa Mahoney said...

We don't have overnights in our schools here unless they are on an overnight field trip (usually closer to high school age). I think it's great Little Pumpkin had a good time at her sleepover!

An Apel a Day said...

I bet she had so much fun! We don't have overnights here in school. There's only one kid that seemed interested in having Isaak spend the night. My husband feels a little uneasy about the Dad, so we declined. Boys must not ask boys on overnights much because Mica's never been asked.

They have had overnights back and forth with their cousins. :) They did the lock-in at the library to. That wasn't overnight, but it was a late night.

I think it's great that her school does this!

Stacy said...

To your last question... don't see the connection but fully support hahaha. Wow she had so much fun at the camp!

Ai Sakura said...

Theresa: When I was growing up.. the earliest I remembered having a school camp was when I was around 10 or 11 :P

Alissa: Ah yes Lil Pumpkin does stay over at her cousin's place sometimes too! I think if the camp was outside of school compound, I might not have let her go too.

Stacy: haha I mean since it is such a big challenge to sleep by herself outside without us, I think she can handle the big challenge of Primary school too :P

Adeline said...

I can't believe she went for an overnight camp on her own at just 6 years old! Gosh, the school is really brave to take on so many kids for the night. I think I would be an even bigger wuss than you, and be camping outside the school (if my husband didn't drag me home, that is). Well done, Lil' Pumpkin! You're really all grown up already.

mail4rosey said...

I'm glad she had a good time. That's nice that they did that at the school (and nice that your parents live close by ;) ). ;)

Small Kucing said...

overnight camp? SHe is very brave to go overnight. Some kids will not want to do that

Cascia Talbert said...

That is a late night for such a little one. I bet she had a blast and you must be very proud.

Waiwai Leung said...

Interesting idea of the school to have graduation camp! My boy is going to primary school next year too, so exciting!

May said...

When I read this, my very first camping experience came flooding in. I was excited, nervous, scared, and I missed home! Lil Pumpkin is so brave and so was mommy!

Pooja Kawatra said...

Lil Pumpkin looks so cute and grown up. I have not yet reached that overnight camping stage but soon I too will experience and share here.

Unknown said...

She's so brave! So glad she had a great experience and so much fun! I was so hoping that my son would go for his but he flat refused to go even though it was at the SEA Aquarium. I tried to coax and encourage him to go but couldn't get him to change his mind one bit. It seems most of his classmates also refused to go for the overnight camp haha... O well... Saved myself the worry :) LOL!

~ Audrey @SAys! Happy Mums

SengkangBabies said...

I did not know camping start so early too!
My kids' first outdoor camping was P3 or P2.

But glad Pumpkin loved the experience :)

cheers, andy

Unknown said...

You've raised Lil Pumpkin to be a self-assured, independent and confident little girl so much so that she relished the overnight camping experience!

It'll be our turn next month when Dana goes for her 1st overnight camp (with the Church), away from us so I can totally identify with your 'separation' anxieties ;p

Hello, Mrs Tan said...

Wow it IS indeed early for kids to go for an overnight camp at 6.5 yrs old! I think the worrying part is definitely understandable... I could feel the jitters as I imagine Dylan or Alexis being away from me for the night. :O

Worse is, they have never been away from me for their bedtimes so far! LOL

But looking at Pumpkin's cheerful smiles, I bet she had a super night. But of course, as an overprotective mother, I will wish I was there too HAHAHA

Meiling Wong-Chainani said...

The first time they stayed away from home is always the hardest! My kids had sleepovers at friends' place pretty early on so I wasn't too worried. But the first time my son went on an overseas camp, I could not sleep well either. I had to distract myself with writing, TV and tidying up the place to help me cope. When he came back 3 days later, full of stories to tell, I just want to wrapped my arms around him and hugged him for a long long time... :-) And yes, congratulations, you and Lil Pumpkin are entering a new phase! Welcome to Primary School!!