Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yay! Oh, wait - shit!

(I know, right? Two posts in one day! You're welcome, because I know you wait with baited breath for my updates. Also, bats routinely fly out of my ass.)

Good things:
I got asked to be the VP of the school PTA.
Josie got a letter from a prestigious summer camp program saying that her enrichment teacher nominated ten children from the school to go, and she's one of them.

Bad things:
See above.

OK, the whole VP thing strokes my ego tickles my fancy. I mean, considering the whole world domination thing doesn't seem to be working out, I could at least be in line to dominate the school, since the VPs tend to move to the P position when the P leaves. However, this is also one of those positions where no one really wants to do it, and it could potentially be a lot of work mixed with a lot of crap from parents who don't bother to do anything but show up to events and whine that there's no free cookies and punch for Babykins. Do I really want to do this? I don't know, but I probably will do it. I'm a sucker that way. Plus, at least I'll be in control of something, since the house seems to be less under my control every day.

NOW, for the biggiie - camp. It's a sleepaway, week-long camp for high-achieving students that focuses on leadership qualities (that makes it sound like a business school) like problem-solving, presenting ideas and projects, working in a group, etc, and then the kids get to focus on on main 'strand', as they call them (rather snobbily, I think) - they can choose from architecture, medicine and the human body, or CSI Forensics and Deduction. Josie wants to do the CSI one, where they use chemistry and all sorts of other things to crack cases that they're presented with. She knows one girl who went last year because that girl's mom is a lawyer so she's loaded the co-leader of The Great Book Debate club Josie's in, and when I emailed her mom to ask what she thought, she emailed back to say that they liked it, and that Abby would answer any of Josie's questions. Josie has never been to a sleepaway camp before, but I think she'd be fine, especially since it's only a week. The problem here, people, is the cost.

Are you ready for this?

Seriously, swallow anything in your mouth, and make sure your laptop is balanced well on your lap.

I'm not kidding.

It's $2000 for tuition, room and board.

I told you. Even in tiny font, it still looks big.

Can you believe that?! Holy shit! I knew it was going to be bad when I saw the paper the 'invitation' came on. It was heavy cream paper, with embossing and pretty font. I almost didn't tell her about it at all, figuring she had said to me earlier that she didn't want to go to sleepaway camp yet, and seriously, THE COST. Then, though, I felt guilty, because I wanted her to at least know that her teacher thought that much of her to nominate her for something like this. So, before I told her, I looked at the website, and then DH came home and wanted to know what I was looking at, so I told him. He said that we should think about letting her go, and try and do some fundraising or something. So, I talked to Josie, and she understands that we can help some, but if she wants to go, she needs to do a lot of work herself. She'll have to write a letter like I did when I did the Avon 3Day, explaining what she wants to do, and why, and send it to anyone she thinks might help her out. I don't know if our church has a program that might be able to help her, or maybe the local educational store, or if anyone in our family might help out... we'll see. There's a scholarship program at the school, but they said that last year the average income of recipients was $10,000, which I'm thinking means foster kids or something. Anyway, there's no way we'd qualify for that.

Part of me wonders if this is the right thing to do. I mean, is this really worth it? It seems so outrageous. But, on the other hand, if it really is as good as it says it is, it would probably be a great experience. I'm waiting to get an email back from the teacher who nominated her, since I'm hoping she'll be able to give me more info than Abby's mom who is really generally snooty and unfriendly not talkative. I don't want to be one of Those Parents who sends their kids off to uppity programs just because they're there, but I don't want to not let her go if she can raise some money and it would broaden her mind. Plus, she's had such a crappy year, and dealt with so much, that I feel like I want to reward her with something that will make her excited about learning again in time for 5th grade.

Any thoughts on all this? Am I a nut for even considering it?


Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Yay for you times two! I think it is great to have her fundraise and see if she can get a scholarship to go. You'd be surprised- I went to a lot of camps that way. And no camp ever had kids whose parents annual income was $10,000- I was one of the poorer kids at camp and my parents made more than that. And you would be surprised how quickly the money adds up. I used to baby/pet sit, garden, wash cars, cook meals, or get paid to be a helper (to clean out the garage, etc.) of neighbors and friends. Our neighbor kid (11) "babysits" for us now to raise money for choir. She basically watches the monitor while the kids sleep, but we can leave and go someplace nearby knowing her parents are right next door. Just a thought if she isn't old enough to babysit alone completely. Or maybe she could do something musical? Good luck!

LoriD said...

The cost is definitely outrageous, but it sounds like a pretty great opportunity. Maybe look up what regular sleep-away camps cost and see if she can fundraise for the difference.

I think the VP thing would be okay. The whiners only keep whining if you let them get their way!

Kelsey said...

I was older, but I have to say, going through the leadership training program at my summer camp changed my life. Eventually the essay I wrote about it got me a full-tuition college scholarship (the head of the committee told me it was my essay that convinced them to give me the money). I think it is probably a great opportunity.

When I went to summer camp I was a little older, so I was able to babysit to help pay my way (I had to pay half). In addition to the half they paid, my parents added $.50 to every dollar I contributed. So maybe you can do some similar kind of "matching" program for money that Josie raises through work she does. Too bad you aren't down the street - I'd totally help her by hiring her to be a mother's helper!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, that is $2k for a one-week camp? Are you freaking serious? Good grief, I would have had a heart attack! I think Aunt Bea is right - Josie has the time to do all kinds of things to make money and contribute, which is a good lesson in itself. Then she gets to enjoy the fruits of her labor (camp).

VP of the PTA. Next up? QUEEN OF THE WORLD!!!

Chantal said...

Oh man $2000 for a week is a lot.

I am on the executive of our school council and I am good friends with our President. She says that even with all the crap it is still very rewarding work.

d e v a n said...

2k? Wow!! A great opportunity, but that's a LOT of $$$!

creative kerfuffle said...

wow--that's an incredible opportunity for josie, but an unbelievable cost.
and yeah for going for the vp position. you are much braver than i.

Stimey said...

That's a tough decision. I'm just really glad I don't have to make it.