The Helicopter Mom by Joy Hughes

Hovering. Micromanaging. Not wanting to let go. These are all aspects of “helicoptering” children. Thankfully, as Christian Scientists, we are awakened to the true definition of motherhood and fatherhood as God, the one and only real Parent. What a relief it is to let go of that false sense of responsibility without lessening our love for our children at all.

Last January, my daughter, Annie and I attended a Leelanau-Kohahna road show. We were invited by a friend who is a former camper. My daughter, who usually isn’t a joiner, was right in the thick of things, answering Clark and Katie’s questions about camp like she was a Kohahna girl from way back when. Camp certainly was not in my radar, but apparently, it was in Annie’s. As we were driving home from the camp presentation, Annie said to me, “Mom, how do I get on that blue bus?” I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about and then it dawned on me that she thought the camp’s blue buses venture around the country picking up campers!

After perusing through the camp literature, I noticed that the sessions were longer than I anticipated. Three weeks away from home. Wow. My daughter, who is ten-years-old, basically has never been away from her parents with the exception of one night sleep-overs with friends or a weekend with grandparents. A special friend who is a Christian Scientist remarked to me once, “Isn’t it wonderful to think about the angel messages that Annie receives?” That comment was a wake-up call for me. Through my prayers, I realized that God is communicating to Annie His plan for her. As her mother, I felt impelled to explore Kohahna, knowing that everything would “work together for good.” Long story short…I became a cleaning mom and Annie became a four-week camper.

What I have witnessed at Kohahna is quite remarkable; albeit, that my observations are all from the sidelines. I see quite clearly why a three-week session is the minimal amount of time for a camp experience. This camp is about goals and growth Spiritward, and it takes a certain length of time for counselors to know campers well enough to help them along this path of growth to make a difference. The camper report is thoughtfully executed; it is not just a “cheerleading” review of the week, even though strengths are recorded. I couldn’t be more grateful that my daughter is working on life skills here at camp. The counselors offer excellent leadership and are true mentors of what it is to be women of substance.