Sending your child to camp is a very nerve-wracking experience. We thank you for investing your trust in us to assist in guiding your camper through this adventure. Many camps, blogs, and sites will give you tips and tricks to prepare your child for their camp experience (which we do as well) but it's very difficult to find any helpful hints about what you should do to prepare for that experience as a parent. Sometimes parents can be more nervous about the camp experience than their child. So here it is: your prep-for-camp list: parent addition!
1. Don't make any promises to your child.
Promising to pick your camper up if they get homesick is one of the quickest ways to ensure they do. It can also signal to both yourself and your child that they can be home at any moment, which may actually cause homesickness. Our staff are trained to take care of your child and we will step in and contact you if necessary. This also allows you to stop checking your phone every five minutes for a phone call from camp.
2. Prepare a letter
Snail-mail is an awesome service that gets brought back every year when parents and campers want to communicate. Write a letter and put it in the mail a few days before you drop your camper off to ensure it arrives while they are here. Better yet, pre-address and stamp some envelopes so your child can write you letters too. Depending on the length of the overnight camp they may arrive home before the letters but the letter may hold some small details to talk about when they get home. We also offer an e-mail service for parents to send mail to your child while they are at camp, but we do not offer e-mail replies from the campers.
3. Find something fun to do!
Why should the campers have all of the fun? Make plans to see your friends that haven't seen you in years, have a date night, go to a spa... the list goes on. Take this time to take care of yourself so that you're ready to receive your children home when they're covered in the tie-dye, friendship bracelets, and a little bit of mud coming home from camp.
4. Prepare to say Goodbye
The hardest 5 minutes for many campers is the time takes to say goodbye to their parents, siblings, dogs, and anyone else that brought them to the bus or to camp. Prepare for saying goodbye so you can be strong for both of you. Once that bus rounds the corner, although you may still have tears in your eyes, odds are your camper is already singing a song with a new friend.
This is the hardest and maybe most important aspect of preparing for camp. You are asking a camp to take care of one of your most precious treasures, your child. We take that very seriously and aim to provide your camper with a positive, enriching experience. Most camps (including us) will offer Open Houses, have FAQ pages, and have information on how to contact the camp so you can feel prepared to send your child here. Read through the information that's sent out and never hesitate to reach out to the camp by phone or e-mail. Camp staff want the best experience for your child and want to alleviate any concerns you may have, and trust us, there's no question too unreasonable to ask.