Looking to make your child’s summer camp experience a success? While much of that fate lies in the hands of the camp staff, there are things parents can do to help their kids transition smoothly.
Do Your Homework
Nothing will influence the success of your child’s camp experience as much as the camp you choose, so it pays to go beyond the brochures and talk to real people. Past campers and their parents can lend valuable insight into the day-to-day camp experience. Attending camp fairs can also give you an opportunity to meet camp reps all in one place and compare routines and amenities. Some camps, particularly wilderness experience programs, hold parent information meetings where you’ll get a better sense of the staff and the program than you will by clicking on Websites. Even if you can’t meet instructors in person, call and ask questions and double-check staff credentials.
Let your child help choose the type of camp. Nowadays camps cater to every interest group — from golfers to rock hounds, engineers to horse lovers. Passion for an activity can help fuel passion for camp.
Bring A Buddy
Nothing makes the transition to a new environment easier than arriving with a pal in tow, and shared camp memories can definitely deepen a friendship. However, even if your child is interested in attending a different camp than her pals, you can help jump-start a camp friendship. Call the camp registration office and ask to be connected with other kids who live in your area and are registered for the same session. Then, set up a pre-camp lunch date with a parent and child. Even one meeting with another child will help break the ice and make stepping into the new social environment easier.
Originally posted on June 18, 2006 @ 9:02 pm