Our Favorite Camp Tips For New Campers

Yay, it’s MAY! One month closer to the best summer EVER. We are here to help guild you and your camper, don’t worry! We created a list of our favorite and most helpful tips we hear from many camp directors year after year for new campers.

1. Stay positive about the separation this summer! Don’t focus on what your camper will be missing (family pets, bed, friends, vacations), but discuss what he or she has to look forward to at camp!

2. Communicate with directors about any and everything. From social concerns to medication issues and any changes that have occurred during the year. The camp/parent partnership can only benefit your camper.

3. Fill out those camp forms as detailed as you can be. Camp directors and counselors study them! Specific needs for your child’s bunk needs, eating, or health center items. If homesickness comes up, normalize it! “It’s ok to miss your favorite things at home. You’re going to have an awesome time! Summer will fly by, you will be having so much fun.”

4. If homesickness comes up, normalize it! “It’s ok to miss your favorite things at home. You’re going to have an awesome time! Summer will fly by, you will be having so much fun.”

5. Camps offer so many different activities and adventures. Make sure to discuss them with your camper. Talk to them about trying something new and keeping an open mind. Many camps offer day trips that are optional and require an additional sign up. Discuss these trips with your camper before camp.

6. If your camp offers a New Camper weekend or a Meet and Greet take advantage of those events. It’s a great way for your camper to meet kids in their bunks, visit camp one more time (if it’s at camp), or meet the staff.

7. Keep all “camp talk” light! From now all the way through the summer.

8. It’s ok to over pack a bit if that will make your camper feel comfortable. Make sure to send your camper’s stuffed animal, a favorite book or two, extra bedding and any other item that makes them feel at home; if there’s something your camper sleeps with every night, please make sure to send it! No camper is too old, security items should be sent with them for the summer.

9. CAMP IS WHERE CHILDREN LEARN INDEPENDENCE! Never promise to PICK UP YOUR CHILD. He or she might ask in the time between now and camp! It’s totally normal to get cold feet at this time of the year. Remind your camper that you’ve made a commitment as a family, that camp is only for a short amount of time, and that you know he or she is in a safe place. Springtime is also a great time to pull out that promo video or visit the camp’s websites to watch their camp videos with your child. Let them visualize the awesome place they will call their “second home”.

Calling All First Time Camp Parents

The first summer you send your kids off to the most amazing adventure they will hold close to their hearts forever will bring many emotions. As much joy as this can bring you and them, it also brings feelings of nervousness and anxiety.

The Boston Globe recently spoke with some camp directors, their insight is spot on. They talk about how camp is a terrific, safe place for kids to try out new things. “Risk taking is what promotes growth, whether in business or in life,” says Bud Copeland, director of membership and engagement at the American Camp Association’s New England chapter.

Read the entire article HERE

Why Summer Camp May Be The Secret To A Longer Life

The American Camp Association is constantly working with camp directors and their staff on improving the quality of their camp. At their latest staff training conference, they discussed friendship skills (one of our favorite topics). Their findings were amazing. The similarities that experts say is the secret to a longer life is what CAMP gives. Just to name a few:

  • Face-to-face connection time.
  • Feeling a sense of acceptance and belonging.
  • Being outside, in nature.
  • Being more mindful, present, in-the-moment.
  • Lots of play: singing, dancing, games.
  • Adequate sleep.
  • Trying and experiencing new things.

Read the entire article HERE

Parents: Prepare for a smoother re-entry home from overnight camp

We share so many articles that help parents and campers get ready for camp, but what about preparing to leave camp? For many campers it’s a huge transition leaving their “Happy Place” and coming home.  “Camp Sick” is real! Our friends at Scary Mommy wrote an article and nailed it!  We couldn’t agree more.

Click here to read the full article.

*photocredit@pineforestcamp

The New Way Kids Unplug

Camp is a magical place kids go to for the summer. They may try new adventures, meet new friends, and explore the outdoors. But the campers also go to “unplug”. Yes, the campers actually look forward to putting their phones down for the week or the entire summer.

Most overnight camps, even the ones that offer STEM or Math programs, do not allow campers to have cell phones. Same rules apply for most counselors, no phones in the bunks or on camp.

We spoke to some campers and they say they don’t even miss their phones and actually look forward to “the phone break”. It’s the parents that have a harder time not being able to communicate with their kids at any time of the day. Allowing our kids to “unplug” forces them to make new friends, enjoy their surroundings, and communicate with each other.

It’s refreshing to hear the campers welcome the “No Phone” rule and look forward to it.  Read more HERE.

We have over 500 ways we can help your child “unplug. Contact The Camp Lady today!

The Camp Education

Several times a year we read articles written by educators and health care professionals about the power of camp.  We found an article that suggests that overnight camps could be better for your kids than SAT prep classes!  Kids that go away to camp are away from the city, technology, and academic pressures.  These kids can grow in creativity, independence and other qualities of successful people. Read the entire article HERE

It’s Time To Say Goodbye

We love to share camp experiences from parents that have once been campers or who are experiencing camp for the first time through their kids.  Whatever their camp story, this time is truly special, you’re saying “goodbye for 7 weeks… hello memories for life”.  We had to share Melissa’s story, from her own camp story to experiencing it as a parent, we couldn’t agree with her thoughts more.  Check it out here. As do our campers, we truly live 10 for 2!

Camp is 4 months away! What to do now…

This is a great time of year to take advantage of the events your camp might be hosting. Most camps offer get-togethers and new camper events throughout the year so campers can get to know each other.  We know everyone has busy schedules but it’s important to make the time and go.  Your child doesn’t have to have a best friend right away, but having a familiar face for the bus ride can really help.

Get in touch with your camp owners and directors, they are the best resource for finding local families with new or existing campers to connect with.  They are more than happy to give you the contact information.  If you have a child that loves to form close relationships with adults, give your camp owner a call and they’ll come to your house.  They can chat, hang out, get to know your family better, show pictures and tell camp stories.  This is what they do best so let them do the work!