summer camp guide
How parents can help their child have the
BEST SUMMER possible at
OVERNIGHT CAMP By Jess Michaels
his summer, you are giving your child one of the greatest gifts—the opportunity to go to overnight camp to gain important life skills such as independence, confidence, resilience and grit. In order for your child to have a truly successful camp experience, parents need to take a back seat and let their child thrive in the camp setting. Here are a few tips to help your child have the best summer possible:
Share positive messages – It’s normal for children to start getting nervous right before camp begins. Make sure to share positive messages with your child about camp and to answer any questions your child may have.
Don’t start cabin drama – Some moms will get on a group text with the other moms from their child’s bunk and start gossiping about things going on at camp. This can cause a lot of momma drama. Try to refrain from these texts and just like a summer at camp, take a break from the texting.
Don’t make pick up deals – Before your child leaves for camp, don’t make pick up deals and tell your child you will pick him up if he isn’t happy. By making deals, you are sending the message that you don’t believe your child will be successful at camp.
Respect camp rules –If the camp doesn’t allow things like ipads, iphones & camp packages, please respect the rules and don’t pack or send them. When you break the rules, you are sending a message to your child that rules are ok to be broken.
Pack together – Packing together is a good way for children to start to get ready for camp and they will feel more comfortable knowing what items are going to camp.
Don’t call camp every day – Obviously, call if there is a serious problem but please refrain from calling the camp with every concern you may have. Your child is at camp to navigate his way on his own and the camp staff is there to guide him.
Busing – If the camp offers bussing to camp, let your child take it. Bonding starts on the bus ride to camp and is often where the first camp friendships are formed. Online photos – Many camps post daily photos online, giving parents a glimpse into the day at camp. While these photos can be a lot of fun for parents, they also can get parents anxious. If your child isn’t smiling or is wearing the same shirt as he was the day before, don’t worry. These camp photos capture a moment in time, not the full picture of the camp experience. If something is wrong at camp, you will know about it. There is no need to call the director to ask about every photo your child is in. 24 | June 2018
Opt out of phone calls if necessary – If you know that your child will get upset hearing your voice, you can opt out of the camp phone call during the summer. While you may want to hear your child’s voice, sometimes the call can be a set-back for children who are otherwise having an amazing time at camp. Let the camp directors do their job – Camp professionals work all year long planning out a great summer for your child. Let them do their jobs! Leave the bunk placements and counselor assignments up to them.
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