During the last Newsletter in Part I of this article, part of preparing for summer camp was involving your child in the decision making process of where they will be attending camp. Now that you and your child have chosen a camp, why don’t you set up a time to go visit, which will further help alleviate any anxieties of attending camp. Many camps have “Open Houses” during the spring. This allows families to see first hand where they are going and most importantly meet the Camp Directors and staff who will be providing the care and support of your most “precious gift” for a period of time without you!
If you are unable to attend the Open House, Camp Friendship invites you to contact camp to arrange a tour of our facilities at a more convenient time for you. Whether it be an Open house or an individual camp tour, now is your time to ask questions or discuss concerns! Children are usually “sold” on the physical aspects of the camp visit – “What does my bunk/cabin look like?”; “How big is the pool?”; “I can Zipline into the lake? – (Cool!)” – where as parents are often swayed by the attention to detail of the Camp Director and its staff – “Will the bunk/cabin be kept this clean throughout the summer?”; “Do you have Lifeguards for the pool?”; “They (the campers) can zipline into the lake? – Is that safe?”. Make sure that when you leave camp that you have asked ALL of your questions, no matter how small the question, make sure you are satisfied with the answer, as half of preparing your child for the summer camp experience is also preparing yourself!
“How many pairs of socks do I pack?”; “Can I visit my child while they’re at camp?”; “Can I email my child?”; “What happens if my child gets homesick (or I miss my child)?”
These questions are very common for parents sending their children to summer camp! A huge part of preparation is also reading all the information provided by the camp or knowing where to access that information.
The best starting point is always the website! Camp Friendship’s website www.campfriendship.com holds everything you will need to know (and then some). “CF’s” Parent Handbook can be found on the website and is definitely a great way to prepare you and your camper with its many forms, lists and general information.
The Parent handbook is specifically designed to answer frequently asked questions pertaining to camp preparation, such as: packing and laundry, access codes for sending emails and viewing photos of campers, and it even contains phone numbers for your child’s Village Director (the person who oversees the cabins where your child lives while at camp) so that you can personally contact them during the summer to check on your child’s progress.
Now that you know what the facilities look like, who is going to be overseeing your child’s summer experience and what you can/can’t bring to camp (per the Parent Handbook) now it’s time to get as many of those forms/waivers signed and sent back to camp as early as possible. It may seem like a lot, but every piece of information (especially transportation details for interstate and internationals) is vital to us as a camp, to ensure that your camper receives the best possible camp experience. You are the experts on your children, so any information you can share about them helps camp provide positive experiences which translate into lifelong memories.
1. Paint 2. Grass Stains 3. Mud
That’s right… IT’S CAMP!! At camp it’s messy and dirty… that’s ‘cause it’s FUN! Please don’t send your campers with new clothes or clothes that you would usually consider “good” or “nice” clothes ‘cause it’s highly unlikely that they will return in the same condition. ALSO, please don’t allow your campers to bring things to camp that are usually considered “contraband” (please see a full list in the Parent Handbook)! Last but not least, help your campers pack their own bags, DON’T DO IT FOR THEM! That way they will know basically what’s in their bags, and it’s also another time you can take to positively talk to your camper about the exciting adventure that they are about embark on.
You now have the resources for preparing your camper for summer camp, we are only a phone call away, and we honestly will do anything we can to help prepare you and your camper for a positive summer experience…
After all… “Enter Here To Be and Find A Friend”!
*Original Article found on our Spring 2009 Newsletter