austerity pic (rabble)

(photo courtesy of rabble.ca)

My daughter is away at camp right now for two whole weeks. I received the Tuck Shop Permission Form which stated: The following items are available for your daughter to purchase this summer at the camp tuck shop. If you wish to limit your daughter’s purchases, you must fill out and return this form …”

Limit my daughter’s purchases? Well, I’ve never visited the camp tuck shop but I am just imagining all the dazzling trinkets and delicious treats it must sell. I mean, why else would my daughter’s camp require an additional $450 deposit on her tuck shop account, basically her spending allowance for the next two weeks. $450 for two weeks. Isn’t that roughly equivalent to the GDP of Greece?

As she was packing, I brought to her the camp’s Tuck Shop Permission Form. The conversation went something like this:

“Let’s go over this tuck shop permission form.”

“Sigh. Can we do this later?”

“Later? You’re leaving for camp tomorrow and soon you’ll be spending money at the tuck shop like you won the Loto649 or something.”

“I know, Mom, we went over this last year.”

And she’s right. Every year it’s the same-old-same-old conversation about budgeting because I just don’t think a 14-year old should have to participate in bail-out negotiations. But she and I rarely agree on a spending plan her creditors (ahem) would approve.

People, this is what happens when you limit a girl’s screen time, take her cell phone away and stick her out in nature. She’ll go nuts shopping at the camp tuck shop! Where or where are Angela Merkel and François Hollande when you need them?

It wasn’t like this at the camp my boys went to. Their camp tuck shop deposit was $60 a month – just enough to cover a few chocolate bars and a wooden spear. As my boys tell it, there was quite an efficient underground tuck currency system at their camp. Heavy-handed negotiations took place as part of some pretty sophisticated trades. As he tells it, my son was awarded extra five extra candy “tuck” by a canoe trip mate for his mosquito jacket during one particularly brutally buggy canoe trip (three is the weekly maximum for a camper so it was quite the windfall for my son). So maybe the tuck shop permission form is more harmless than this alternative and entirely covert barter system!

Her first year at camp she brought home various stuffed animals and assorted other souvenir purchases, most of which quickly cast aside and forgotten, until the following camp season when they were all summarily replaced. After ten years as a camper, I think we now possess everything listed on that tuck shop list. Yet our austerity battle continues well into the night.

Anyone need a waterproof notebook and pen with camp crest? Pewter camp necklace? No? Maybe there is an equally sophisticated underground camp tuck shop surplus distribution network. Somehow I doubt it.

She comes home Sunday. I can’t wait to see her – and her tuck shop acquisitions.

2 Responses to Tuck Shop Austerity

  • $450?!? That is kooky!

    Those popsicles and packages of gum must be some fancy.

    I hope you post a follow-up with a balance remaining and/or a photo of all the camp bling. 😉

    • It is a little steep, don’t you think? And I think gum is taboo at camp!! She’s yet to unpack and produce the bling show but i’ll keep you posted! Thanks for stopping by.

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About Astra
Ottawa mom of 3 poking fun at myself, motherhood, and minor hockey! I am steering through life dodging stinky hockey gear and empty wine bottles.
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