Category Archives: parenting

Dear Readers – Day 17 at Camp Lenox – Who Knew The Great Outdoors Were So Lovely?

Outdoor Education...Sleepaway camp is super fun . Today, I had a salad … again. I’m really happiest when there’s feta. I know, who would’ve thought feta could make such a difference? I think it may be the Switzerland of cheese. Well, Swiss cheese is probably the Switzerland of cheese, technically speaking, but it seems like Switzerland in the fact that it’s universally inoffensive.

I see now that there’s a reason people don’t compare cheeses to countries.

Anyhoo, last night was really buggy in the Berkshires, so I sprayed pretty much everything I own with Off, I proactively sprayed my dessert as well, so it wouldn’t attract any mosquitoes. I think it was a smart decision. I was only nauseous for a couple hours and I didn’t get a single bite.

During the day, I went to the Camp Lenox outdoor ed AIC (that’s when you get to choose your activity) and I seriously loved it. It was kind of a fluke that I went there. I was hanging by the bonfire area on the bleachers and a couple of the boys and I developed a game where you try to throw pebbles into a trashcan that’s like 50ft or maybe 50 yards away. I’m really bad with measurement, but it was far. Most of us made none. I made one and another boy made 5. I feel like he’s played trashcan pebbles before, even though he said he hadn’t. He seems like a liar!

A counselor walked up and told us we weren’t allowed to play that game and I quickly pointed to the liar and said it was his idea. “Seriously, I asked them to stop, but no one listens to me.” Then Jake, the outdoor ed guy walked over and asked if I was gracing them with my presence. In order to seem like I was there for a reason other than outdoor pebble throwing, I said “of course” and hoped we’d be doing something tame like throwing pebbles in the trashcan.

“OK guys, let’s vote… Do you want to hike to the waterfall or build a signal fire?” he asked.

Everyone started yelling for fire, except me and the liar– who were pro-waterfall. I’m liking him more. We then had a show of hands and I voted for both. I try to be like Feta cheese in these situations (I take no sides). Then Jake explained that they would not be building the signal fire but simply watching and seeing how high the smoke could rise.

The kids reassessed and then I summed it up for them, “So, it’s basically smoke inhalation verses a beautiful waterfall?” and winked at my new lying friend.

Waterfall it is.

As we started to walk, Jake stopped at every tree and plant to ask what it was and how the kids knew. They were amazing. They knew everything, including, what things are good for. For instance, if you get a cut in the woods you should rub moss on it.

I’ll test you guys why – is it because:

A. Moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone?
B. A rolling stone gathers no moss?
C. Moss has iodine in it, which acts as a natural antiseptic?

If you guessed C you are amazing at the process of elimination. If you guessed A or B you are not very bright, but enjoy good music, take comfort in that if you can.

Plus, I learned that Iodine can also be used to purify water. One child mentioned that we’ll probably never need to use it. I pointed out that it could come in handy. Like when you’re older and walking to work and you come upon some standing water and think, “I’m really thirsty!” you could find some moss and drink that standing water.

“Why couldn’t I just grab a bottle of water?” The child asked.

“I guess you could, if you want to be lazy like everyone else who doesn’t know about moss.”

Then another suggested it would be useful if there were a plane crash.

The same child later found an area and mentioned it would make a good shelter in a plane crash.

I told him, he was getting a bit morbid and tried to steer clear for the rest of the hike as I was pretty sure he was starting to scope me out as potential person to eat in the event of a plane crash.

The hike was beautiful. I mean, really stunning. We picked and ate fresh strawberries… we ate gooseberries … we found Chaga mushrooms and learned that they have the highest concentration of antioxidants of anything on Earth. We also learned that they sell for hundreds of dollars. I took some to make tea, but I’ll probably just sell it on Craig’s list…


We finally made it to the breathtaking falls, where I waited patiently for a van to pick us up and take us back to camp. The van never came. Apparently, when you hike out to somewhere, you are expected to hike back too. I guess it’s been awhile since I hiked at sleepaway camp because I used all my energy on the way out there.IMG_4923

Jake made me some tea at dinner. I had a friend try it first to see if it made him die. He seemed alive a couple minutes later, so I drank it too.

chaga tea
PS – According to Jake – The Chaga mushroom is a parasitic fungus that is commonly found growing on birch trees. Also known as a “gift of God” as a result of its healing and restorative properties. With some of the highest antioxidant levels in the entire world + an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids, it’s an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-inflammatory that boosts the immune system.

I may have warded off colds until 2016… I’ll let you know in two years.


Jenny From the Blog Bunk at Camp Lenox

Read Day 16

Read Day 14-15 

The best way to follow the camp adventure is to go to the  FACEBOOK PAGE  — HOVER OVER THE “LIKED” BUTTON AND PUSH “GET NOTIFICATIONS”  

And please take a sec to like the posts or share this with any friends who’ve been to camp, have kids in camp, or people who like need something to amuse them this summer…




Jenny From the Bunk May Have Gone Insane at Camp – Videos

An freestyle rap battle with campers, a coffee plea, a runaway mom. I thought I’d share a couple of the videos I’ve done at Camp Lenox.

Please ask your friends to follow the camp series… I have a lot coming up in the next week, so it’s not too late.

How I got here …

They won’t write … but I’m trying!

I’m pretty sure I won this round????

The perils of camp …

So many more to come… the lake test, a lesson on Tuberculosis, Why guys like girls who macrame’, Did my coffee come???

Please take a sec to like or share or tweet or pin or smarf and follow on Facebook


Jenny From the Blog Bunk at CAMP LENOX

Dear Readers – Day 16 at Camp – I Forgot How to Be a Kid

Dear Readers — (Day 16 at Camp Lenox)

camp halloween 26

One of the things I’m constantly questioning at camp is my coolness. No, I don’t mean that in a popularity way, I mean it in a, ‘Can I hang with people who are younger?’ specifically those who haven’t had the ability to do stupid things sucked out of them and replaced by worrying about your kids doing stupid things. Have I lost my ability to have fun? Do I currently have a stick up my arse? As a neurotic mom, I often think that I’ve lost my spontaneity, my energy, my spark.

When you’re young you like to tell yourself to never grow up. You say things like, remember, never to be like that parent, that teacher, that authority figure. Remember never to punish your kids for blank. Remember what it feels like to be yelled at to be talked down to … to be made to feel guilty and swear you won’t do that to your own children. Pinky swear. It’s like a note-to-self to never grow up.

The truth is, we all grow up, whether we want to or not. We realize why certain actions need punishing, we lay guilt from time to time, we get frustrated with our children and yes we use phrases we swore we would never say like, “because I said so” and “Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Yesterday, at camp I saw a reflection of myself that was not pretty. It looked like this. Continue reading

Dear Readers – Days 14 and 15 at Sleepover Camp Lenox – I’m Not The High Maintenance One!

Dear Readers – Days 14 – 16 at Sleepover Camp Lenox,

Day 14 at camp - I'm Not the One Who's High Maintenance

Please, make yourself comfortable… I’ll find a corner.

I came back from my time at home, ready to go at camp full force, except for the part where Mark came back with me and I had to both entertain and work. Yes, I know my job is to enjoy camp, but it’s hard to do that, while making sure someone else is happy.

Also, I had to help him get my son J, prepared to leave early and go home to practice for his big baseball tournament in Cooperstown.  Mark insisted I write a list for and that I follow up on it, and perhaps I could shadow the counselor during the packing of the listed items? and maybe I could catalog said items to ensure everything necessary would make its way home?

After confirming all pertinent items were logged, color-coded and organized, I showed Mark the camp, which he thought was stunning — and campy and rustic and pretty incredible… it is. Continue reading

Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs?

Who Says Barbie Needs All Her Limbs and Other Brilliant Thoughts From KidsAs many of you know, I’ve been selected as one of the 8 moms who participate in  The Barbie project, which is insanely awesome. This is one of my absolute favorite stories about Barbie, as it takes the idea of her being a role model and influencing a child to be a better person to a whole new level. About two years ago, one of my daughter’s friends, Ella came over for their first playdate and brought over a bag of Barbies, as Ry had requested.

At my house, Ry usually chooses to be the Barbies that have the most coiffed hair, the cutest outfits and matching shoes or at least two shoes.  So, this was a great way to avoid arguing over who gets to be whom. The first doll Ry grabbed was a soccer player which a pink ball and high socks, “I’m her.” she said. “You know she’s missing a shoe?” Ella questioned.

Ry: “Yeah, I know, but she has both socks and a ball and a trophy.”

Ella: “Cool” (then she pulled out a doll from her back which was donning a bathing suit and surfer shorts) “I’m her. She’s my favorite,” she said, staking her claim.

Ry: “You know she’s missing an arm?” (asked in the same tone as the missing shoe comment, but as if it was clearly a bigger deal.)

Ella: “Duh! She’s Bethany Hamilton from Soul Surfer.”

Ry: “Who?”

Ry hadn’t seen or heard of the movie… but I had. “I didn’t even know they made a Barbie of her. That’s really cool.” I replied, holding my hand out to see her doll.

Ella: “They didn’t, I made her.”

She had just handed me the doll as I noticed an empty socket.

Ella:  “I pulled her arm off.”

Ry: “You can do that?” (Asked, as if it may be a punishable crime. I handed it back and walked away to let them play, as I really didn’t know how to process the creepy armless doll I’d just been handed.)

Part of me was wondering if this was some odd equivalent to pulling wings of a butterfly or burning ants with a magnifying glass or shooting at squirrels with a BB gun — all things I’d seen kids do when I was young and I abhorred. Should I let this playdate continue? Will Ry start decapitating teddy bears when Ella goes home?

I stood behind the door and listened in, which by the way is totally OK if you’re a parent and also if you’re worried your child is playing with a psychopath. Over the next few minutes I heard Ella explain how amazing Bethany is and why she’s her idol. How she overcame this awful accident and learned a new way to rise to the top of her sport. I heard how she almost gave up, but didn’t and how she pulled the arm of a Barbie. She explained that no one should ever tell you that you CAN’T do anything and if they do… you shouldn’t believe them.

It was as if she’d been hired to give a peer lecture. It was amazing and upon hearing it, I was pretty sure she’d never slice a worm in half.  Then I overheard Ry asking if her soccer player could play with one arm. “Duh!” Ella said, which I’m pretty sure from the tone could be translated as, “Did you not hear what I was telling you? Of course she can!”

Then they decided to ask me if they could pull off her arm. I scooted away from the door in a flurry and made it to the edge of the kitchen where I pretended to be looking in a junk drawer for … junk. “I found it,” I declared to throw off any suspicion.

“Mom, mom, you’re probably gonna say no because she’s new and all, and you’re gonna think this is a really weird question, but can I take the arm off the soccer player?” Ry asked and then elaborated as to why it wouldn’t be ruining a doll it would just be giving her more character (I’m paraphrasing as it was a long explanation). I considered expounding on why that was such a great idea, but sometimes nothing needs to be added to a perfect conversation, so I simply went with, “Yep, let me know if you need any help.”

If you enjoyed the piece, be awesome and give it a like or a share! And Find Me On Facebook! XO- Jenny From the Blog

This post is a part of the The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject  — stories thoughts and opinion are mine all mine. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of!  

Camp Phone Calls Could End My Marriage

Who knew the highly anticipated camp phone calls could be such a blow to a relationship? Oh well, when my baby is 1500 miles away from home, and I get a few minutes to talk — It’s every man, ahem mom, for herself!

Camp Phone Calls Could Ruin My Marriage #camp #sleepaway #humor

It’s sleepaway camp time and everyone is getting their calls from the kiddos. I’ve found a pattern, in that I desperately want to strangle my husband after each call. Luckily for me (and not so much my husband), I’m apparently not alone.

Look, us moms are ready. We’ve stayed up until the wee hours waiting for the pictures to download — sometimes hitting “refresh” every minute, (and by minute I mean second) as they download one at a time. We’ve studied them like highly trained CIA agents, analyzing their smiles, their friends, their body language. Continue reading

The First Installment of – Things That Happen in the Middle of Nowhere with Jenny From the Bunk

So, I left camp today to trek out into the Berkshires to pick up a prescription. The Berkshires are absolutely stunning, but everyone drives really slow.

I mean slower than the speed limit, slow… like they aren’t actually driving to a destination. Even Siri was giving me lazy directions, alerting me milliseconds before my turn, one time she was like, “Ooops, you were supposed to turn about a mile back but I was too enamored with the scenery to mention it, my bad.”

“Whatever Siri!”… Continue reading