Tina M. (last name withheld) is sending her two sons to the perfect overnight camp this summer. “It’s not pretentious but my kids will fit in there. The other boys come from…Brooklyn Heights and neighborhoods and schools like ours. And they live in cabins with no electricity and will learn what to do in nature or if some awful disaster happens.” She is looking forward to spending more time with her hard-working, Private Equity principal husband whom she hasn’t remembered seeing alone “since the second one was born.”
The problem? The lengthy packing checklist. Hers includes 46 items of clothing and 22 “Other Necessities” that run the gamut of sunglasses with neck cords to stationery and stamps. “My children have never even written proper letters. I have to show them where to put the address, stamp, everything, and they don’t understand why it will take several days each way. I told them to go to Wikipedia and look up the US Postal Service.”
When she clicked on the first of nine online forms that had to be filled out (one of which was already 45 days overdue), Tina quickly realized this was a project best given to her part-time assistant. “I got Jake in stat and told him to buy everything online. And also to buy a trunk. When he suggested army duffel bags instead, I knew I was in the right hands.” Her Lambent hourly assistant also knew where to get bandanas, which Tina hadn’t seen anyone wearing since 1985.
Even the most primitive lifestyles, such as overnight camp, take time to set up. Jake used four 4-hour sessions, spaced out once a week, to get both of Tina’s sons ready. Aside from making their travel arrangements, finding a place for Tina and her husband to stay during Parents Weekend (the best of several badly decorated Maine inns), dealing with the under-supplied exclusive camp uniform provider, and figuring out what “rain pants” were, Jake exchanged one round of letters with each of the two boys so they were prepared for old-fashioned mail. “The camp will take care of the boys, and Jake took care of me,” Tina concluded. “He got me out of what was looking like a temporary part-time job.”
Getting your children ready for overnight camp with a dedicated Lambent assistant costs $500 - $1000, depending on the number and length of the associated checklists. And children.