DD (4 1/2) is at a nature based summer camp this week. It is run through a local conservancy group. The camp is held at someone's home who is also raising a few farm animals. Think homesteading, not a farm. We are having a few problems, and I am not sure how to handle it. The age group is 4-7 year olds.
On Monday, DD came home with a tick. This didn't bother me. Kids are outside, they get ticks. If this was the only thing that happened this week, I wouldn't have given it a second thought.
Today, however, has my red flags going off. The camp theme of the week is fairies, and today's activity was going down to the creek. My concern right now is not enough supervision. This is what has happened to make me feel this way (with my biggest concerns in bold):
- At least two of the children (one was my DD) did not drink any water during the 3 1/2 hour camp. Both the other mother and I noticed it at pick-up, when our daughter's water bottles were both completely full. At her last camp (at a nearby nature center), they gave reminders to the children to take a drink of water.
- They were not given a snack today. A mid-morning snack was mentioned in the camp description as provided by the camp, and this is an expensive camp. I expected a snack to be provided. I saw the camp organizer get out a bag of grapes and offer it to the kids as the cars pulled in for pick-up at the end. DD also did not eat anything out of her lunchbox today. I don't know if they were given a chance to eat lunch or if she just wasn't feeling well. But when I asked if they offered her a snack, she said "No, and I was hungry too!"
- She had a meltdown in the car on the way home because she said she asked the 'teacher' three times if she could go to the bathroom, and no one took her. My daughter is a very quiet child; I asked her if the teacher was looking at her when she asked, and she said no. I'm thinking the counselor did not hear her ask (multiple times?). But should there have been scheduled bathroom breaks for this age?
- An hour after DD came home she had diarrhea. So far, it has happened twice. Maybe it's gastroenteritis. Maybe she drank the water in the creek. Maybe she has early signs of something related to the tick bite. Right now, I have no idea, and neither does hubby (who is a doctor).
- We were asked to bring along a change of clothes for after water play. When I picked her up, both sets of clothes, backpack, and lunchbox were covered in mud. Again, if this was the only thing that happened, I wouldn't care. DD said she changed in the middle of play because she 'wanted to wear her other outfit'.
So, what should I do? I plan on emailing the person organizing the camp. She is an older woman, and always acts extremely flustered at drop off and pick up. I feel like she might not be able to handle this age. She is not a friend, but I do see her frequently. She runs the kid's table at our local farmer's market, so I don't really want to jump down her throat. And I don't want to be a helicopter mom. :-)
Are my concerns valid? I'm somewhat tempted to take her out the rest of the week (and I will definitely keep her out tomorrow if the diarrhea continues). This camp cost twice as much as the one that we went to at the nature center (and these are my only two weeks during the summer that I can try and get a decent amount of work done). I'm really frustrated right now, but don't want to contact the camp organizer until I cool down and am less likely to stick my foot in my mouth.