Some camps stayed open for the summer of 2020 and many camps will learn from them this summer!
Four overnight camps in Maine had no infections, during 6 to 8 weeks of camp, with the following safety measures in place: pre-arrival quarantine; pre- and post-arrival testing and symptom screening; keeping kids in small pods and not mixing with children outside those groups; use of face coverings; physical distancing; and maximal outdoor programming.
After a year of endless canceled activities and online learning, summer camp will be an essential part of getting our kids to feel good again.
Camp is where there are endless adventures and opportunities for kids to be with friends peers. It also provides opportunities for kids to interact with new adults, such as counselors. Camp allows kids to have structured creative playtime and socialize freely (with cohorts).
Camps have always focused on safety for their campers and staff. Since the pandemic, research has really focused on camps and the number of cases there really are. Duke University recently did a study and found very few instances of COVID-19 spreading at camp. Last summer, camps did a fabulous job following guidelines which included moving most activities outdoors, social distancing, and handwashing.
“The researchers said their findings suggest that, when mitigation measures are followed, the benefits of “in-person programming” — such as at camps and schools — may outweigh the risk of transmission.”
And what are the parents and campers saying? Summer 2020, Camp Robin Hood located in Freedom, N.H. opened with a safety bubble plan. After three rounds of testing, including one before camp, and strict enforcement of mask-wearing, director Richard Woodstein called everyone together, turned up the music, and announced the good news: Everyone tested negative. Campers ripped off their masks, hugged each other, and danced.
One parent said they received a letter from his 11-year-old daughter Lila that said “Right now I don’t feel like corona is a thing and I am so happy.”
Kids need CAMP! Researches, experts, directors, and parents agree. So, it’s time to send your campers to their “home away from home” for the summer of 2021.
We know of so many well-known leaders and famous actors who have spent their summers at overnight camp. But when we heard about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Camp Che-Na-Wah, we had to share. Her stories and the love for camp is everything camp represents today. Before she was a pioneer on the bench, an advocate for women’s rights, and a cultural icon she was Kiki, a happy camper. A camper that embraced every aspect CAMP.
Ginsburg spent 7 ½ weeks each summer at Camp Che-Na-Wah and continued to visit during the summers through 2015. Read the full article HERE for an inside look at the legacy she left behind for future campers.
We have a lot of families contacting us during and after the summer asking when is the best time to start looking or thinking about Summer adventures. Not all camps are alike, and not all families are alike either. What we do know that whatever adventure you and your child are planning it’s a huge decision and it deserves the time and consideration it deserves. Whether it’s for next summer or two summers from now, it’s never too early to THINK SUMMER.
Start thinking about the length you want the adventure to be. More and more camps and teen programs are offering different options. For example, 2, 4, 5 or 7 weeks. What kind of adventure of you looking for? Coed or same-sex camp for your first-timer? An educational or community service adventure for your teen? These are the questions you should start to ask yourself and your child.
Most people will tell you to RESEARCH. We we have you covered, we have done more of the hard work for you. Just reach out to us, we are here for you and to help answer all of your questions and concerns for FREE.
We will help you get all the information you need to see the camps in action. Today camps and teen programs do a fantastic job creating amazing videos and virtual tours. You and your child can get a feel of camp or the adventure without leaving your home.
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”.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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