Thinking of Overnight Camp?Here are the Dos and Don’ts
These camp Dos and Don’ts will help your child and your family have a successful summer at overnight camp.
DO your camp research to make sure you are finding the right camp for your child. There are so many excellent camp choices, however, it’s important to make sure you are choosing a program that is the right fit for your child and family.
DO try and tour the camp before you register. Seeing the camp will allow your child to picture themselves there and feel more comfortable as the first day approaches.
DO get to know the camp director and leadership team before your child goes to camp. Having a relationship with them will make you feel more comfortable and there will be an established relationship when you need to ask them a question or discuss something with them.
DO trust the camp director and leadership team to make the right decisions for their camp. You chose this camp because you trust them. Do your best to step back and let them do their jobs.
DO be honest with the camp director and leadership team about your child. If your child has trouble sleeping or has a special consideration, knowing these things ahead of time will allow the camp to best be able to help your child.
DO talk about camp in a positive way in the months leading up to the summer. Let your child know that camp is going to be great and that you know they will have a wonderful summer.
DO let your child know it is ok to miss home AND still have fun when they are at camp.
DON’T make pick up deals and say to your child that if they are unhappy at any point, you will pick them up. By saying this, you are telling your child you don’t think they will be successful.
DON’T spend all day analyzing online camp pictures when your child is at camp. A photo is a snapshot in time and if your child isn’t smiling, it doesn’t mean they are unhappy. It could just mean your child is focused on the activity they are participating in.
DON’T call the office every day to ask how your child is doing. If there is a problem at camp, you will hear from the camp. No news is good news.
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DON’T pack things that the camp asks you to leave at home like a phone. By doing so, you are sending the message to your child and the camp that rules don’t apply to you.
DO write your child a positive letter to arrive in the first few days of camp. This will let them know you are thinking of them.
DON’T write about all the things they are missing while at camp or how much you can’t wait for them to be home. This can make them feel homesick.
DO participate in any new camper get-togethers the camp schedules. These events can help your child feel more comfortable by meeting some other new campers and seeing the camp before they begin.
DON’T overpack. There is only so much shelf and cubby space at camp and campers end up wearing the same things all the time. Use the packing list as a guide and adhere as closely to it as possible.
DON’T bring too much stuff on Visiting Day. Camp is the gift you are giving them. They don’t need a ton of extras and most camps will throw away any food that the camper can’t finish that day.
DO try and enjoy summer while your child is away at camp, knowing they are participating in fun activities daily and making new friends.