Sleepaway Camp: Is Your Child Ready?

At this time of year, families all over the country are asking a similar question with regards to their summer plans – is it time to try sleepaway camp? Although summer may seem like light-years away, Camp Friendship encourages parents to consider these important questions before making any decisions.

Summer camp in VirginiaReady?
First of all, it’s important to note that it’s not only your child that needs to be ready for sleepaway camp – as parents, you need to feel ready too! Your family’s readiness for sleepaway camp depends heavily on your parenting style, your child’s age and temperament as well as their comfort level at sleeping away from home with friends or relatives. If your child has already mentioned the idea of sleepaway camp or has friends that attend sleepaway camps, this is a good sign that they might be ready.

From a young age, children seek ways to develop their autonomy, and overnight camp is an environment that supports this natural development in a completely organic way.

Co-ed summer camp for kids in VASet (the scene…)
With over 7000 overnight camps to choose from, it’s important to pick the camp that fits your child’s hopes and expectations for their first overnight camp experience. Top tip: Involve your child in the decision making process! Studies on homesickness have found that children handle separation best when they feel in control. Giving your child the opportunity to help pick out a camp will boost confidence, ease anxiety and reduce homesickness. As a family, decide whether you are looking for a one week experience or for something longer. Find out from your camper whether they are hoping to try a wide variety of new activities, or specialize in an activity such as gymnastics or horseback riding. To find the camp that’s right for you, ask fellow parents or check out – a resource provided by the American Camp Association.

overnight camp VAGo!
Contact the camp to take a tour, or take a virtual tour online. With the season of camp fairs upon us, many parents will visit local malls and schools to meet camp directors and find out more about their summer options. Camp Friendship offers shorter Spring Break or weekend camp experiences to give first-time campers a taste of the overnight camp experience. Family Camp is another sure-fire way to get the whole family on board, and day camps are always a popular first step.

sleepaway camp in VirginiaEven if you decide that 2018 is not the summer for your family, rest assured that parents all over the country are unified in their opinions on the benefits of summer camp. Many parents comment specifically on their children’s increased independence and confidence when speaking with teachers and other adults, as well as improvements in their cooperation with siblings and classmates. One parent shared that instead of investing in private school they opt to send their children to Camp Friendship. They haven’t regretted a single summer!

Unfortunately, sometimes as a parent you will only get a definitive answer on readiness when you arrive to pick your camper up from camp. If you find them crying to stay for longer, chances are your family made the right choice!

The Week So Far… Session 8A!

It’s Week 8 and things are going great!

On Sunday we kicked things off with our Opening Campfire where we saw a hilarious depiction of how animals eat their food as well as some funny counselor impersonations, a song about bananas, impressive dance offs and more.

Our week began with a bit of a wet and rainy Monday, but that didn’t dampen our spirits – we still had plenty of time for fun with dodgeball and noodle hockey tournaments in the gym, a special event of Mock Olympics and some bonding time with our cabin mates and counselors. Monday’s evening activity was a cozy movie-watching session in the Dining Hall with all our new friends.

On Tuesday the sun shone brightly and everyone had the chance to try a full day of activities including free swim in the lake or the pool. On Tuesday evening the Seniors enjoyed a very competitive game of Counselor Hunt while the Juniors had a rocking Pool Party! Whatever we do at Camp Friendship, it’s always a good time.

Wednesday was our third day of activities, and the fun just keeps going. We’re all very excited for our very special evening activities tonight – instead of dinner in the Dining Hall we’ll be having a camp-wide cookout, and then we’ll all watch the big soccer match against Triple C, our day camp friends from nearby Charlottesville.

This friendly soccer game is an annual tradition for our counselors, and every year our soccer team is ‘sponsored’ by a different camp celebrity. This year it’s Owner Alina Ackenbom’s turn! Our soccer shirts are tennis-ball green in honor of Alina’s passion for tennis and her successful tennis program that brings campers from all over the world to improve their game. We hope this brings our team luck in the game tonight – be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up-to-date with the score!

Overnight Camp Maryland

Camp Friendship is an overnight summer camp near Maryland! If you and your family live in Maryland, then you are not far at al from our camp location in Palmyra, VA. Camp Friendship is for boys and girls, ages 7-16. Camp Friendship’s overnight summer camp in Virginia offers 6 different summer camp programs such as Junior Village, Senior Village, and even an Equestrian Camp, and activities that make us unique, such as a horseback riding program, color wars, and a ropes course. We also offer traditional summer camp activities such as soccer, volleyball, arts and crafts, and camp fires. We know your child will absolutely love our camp; they’ll have an unforgettable experience, guaranteed! To request more information contact us call 1-800-873-3223.

Overnight Summer Camp in Virginia

Camp Friendship is an overnight summer camp in Virginia. With its close proximity to Washington DC and Baltimore Maryland, Camp Friendship is a great overnight summer camp in Virginia! Camp Friendship is an overnight summer camp in Virginia for campers ages 7-16.

Our Fluvanna County overnight summer camp in Virginia offers 6 different summer camp programs such as Junior Village, Senior Village, and even an Equestrian Camp.

We offer activities that make us unique, such as a horseback riding program, color wars, and a ropes course. We also offer a wide variety of traditional summer camp activities such as soccer, volleyball, arts and crafts, and camp fires.

Come visit us, or request more information on our website. Either way, we hope you’ll register for a session at our Virginia Summer Camp! To Contact us call 1-800-873-3223 or 434-589-8950.

The Best Ways to Cope With Homesickness at Summer Camp

Don’t let homesickness prevent your children from having a Virginia Summer Camp experience they’ll never forget! Camp Friendship in Palmyra, VA takes pride in making it’s campers feel like they are at a home away from home!

As a first year camper, or maybe even returning camper, many children will have to face the difficulties of homesickness. Being homesick is not abnormal, nor is it incurable. In fact, according to author and psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, 97 percent of children experience at least some occasional homesick feelings at camp. So, with this statistic in mind, it is important to understand how to handle your child’s homesickness, and the best ways to help them move forward and enjoy the summer.

Most importantly, try to prevent homesickness at all. The best way to go about doing so is to set up a support network for campers before the summer begins. Introduce your child to old campers or workers that you can rely on and trust. These people will help them to feel a connection with someone within their camp community and will eliminate the “I need Mommy” feelings.

Also, try to send a lot of letters and care packages. Do not over do it by sending one every day, for this will get the child overly attached to you. Send just enough letters and packages so that your child feels your support and is connected to you in a happy way. Remember also that constant updates on the events occurring at home may leave them feeling left out. Try to ask a lot about what fun they are having.

Mobile App for iPhone, iPad, AndroidYou can also use our website, Facebook Page and the Camp Friendship App to your advantage. Print pictures that your child is in and enclose them in the letters. Put fun captions underneath that say things like “This looks great!”, “I’m jealous” or “what fun!” These notes will remind them of the good times they are having when they are not missing home. You can also remind them of this by distracting them from the homesickness. Every time they bring up negative thoughts on camp, change the topic. Only discussing the fun times will help them to realize all they could be participating in. “Camp is like life,” said one camper on an open forum, “The more you get involved, the more you’ll get out of it.”

Handling homesickness is a battle every parent will have to face. By setting your child up for success and ensuring constant engagement in fun activities, you can prevent and eliminate their desires to come home, and kick off their amazing summers! Do not forget to be understanding, but more importantly, show them how wrong they truly are. At Camp Friendship, we’d take camp over home any day!