Why Camp Is a Multi-Year Experience

As active leaders in the camping industry, we know that Camp Gives Kids a World of Good. We’ve seen the studies and statistics and know that summer camp – regardless of which one you pick – can be a positive and impactful experience for any child. But is one time at summer camp enough?

We believe camp is a multi-year experience. Unlike many other long-running sleepaway camps on the east coast which offer 4 or 7 week options, Camp Friendship offers short 1 and 2-week sessions which can be combined to stay multiple weeks. We know that many first-time parents consider their first summer a ‘trial run’, and we also know how important it is for both campers and parents to feel ready for an overnight camp experience (even though at the end of the week, many first-time campers beg to be allowed to stay longer!).

Here’s 5 reasons we know that camp is best when experienced over multiple years:

1. Strengthen connections. Camp gives kids the chance to connect with others face-to-face. Campers stay friends with each other throughout the year and strengthen those existing connections at camp the following summer. Better yet, they continue to expand their circle of friends each year and, at Camp Friendship, they have the added benefit of being exposed to a global village with people who come from all over the world.

2. Practice emotional intelligence. As they get older, children need to practice the self-management of their emotions. Camp is the ideal setting to practice this as counselors serve as excellent yet subtle role models. Children expect to be told what to do and how to be by their parents… they don’t expect to be shaped by their counselors who can give them friendly advice from the vantage point of a friend who cares.

3. Guaranteed growth and progression. Not only is there the activity progression that follows the notion that ‘practice makes perfect’ in any sport or activity, but multiple years at camp offers social growth and development. It also allows campers to increase their independence from year to year. The first time at an overnight camp makes a big impact in the life of our campers, but each subsequent camp experience adds to and enhances the next.

4. Take a break from technology. We hear it every day – the ever-increasing impact of technology on humanity, and specifically children. Every year, as campers get older and become more dependent on technology, having a time set aside when they can be technology-free is a great way to help them become well-adjusted individuals.

5. Remove outside pressures that increase with age. Camp Friendship is a place to be YOU, allowing campers to join a welcoming community where they don’t need to pretend to be someone they’re not. Every aspect of camp creates a nurturing, inclusive environment where campers are encouraged to be themselves. Everyone is equal, everyone is supported, and everyone matters. The pressures from school, siblings and peers are removed, and, as parents, having these pressures removed for a period of time every year is especially appealing.

Tips for First Time Co-Ed Summer Camp Parents near North Carolina

Teamwork, Positivity, Encouragement for Campers

We are less than a month away until our co-ed summer camp near North Carolina gets underway! With the school year coming to an end, your house must be booming with excitement for a summer of fun at summer camp!! Of course it’s perfectly normal for first time campers (and parents) to experience some anxiety as departure for camp gets closer and closer.

It’s just as normal for a parent to worry about missing their child as it is for a child to worry about missing home. This may be the first time your child will not be home at night and there in the morning when you wake up. But, this is what the sleep away camp experience is all about! It’s a learning and growing experience for children and their parents!

Your children will be in a controlled, worry-free, and safe environment. Just because you aren’t there to watch them, doesn’t mean they will be alone! The great camp staff will be there to make sure your children have the best summer of their lives!

And, this of course is why you decided to send your children to summer camp in the first place! You recognize the value and benefits camp has on children. Camp is a place to grow, learn to be independent, and build long lasting friendships with a new group of children.

Of course, this doesn’t make it any easier on you as a first time camp parent! Here are some tips and ideas to remember as this year’s camp season approaches:

  • As parents, we run into situations where we tell our kids that it’s okay to be nervous. Remind yourself of this very fact! Assure your nervous kids that camp will be a blast, and remember to practice what you preach!
  • Embrace this time away from your children. Focus on a hobby, activity, or project that you’ve been “meaning to get around to”. Maybe there is a class you’ve always wanted to take?
  • Your children will someday go away to college, and this is a perfect opportunity to experience what life will be like!
  • Just think of the joy you will experience when you see that smiling face on your camper when you go pick them up at the end of their time at camp!

Most importantly remember that you don’t have to worry! Your camper is safe and thriving at summer camp. They are learning to make decisions, learning new skills, and gaining confidence in themselves and their abilities!

If you are still concerned, check out our Parent Resources. And remember, camp is only a phone call away, and Visiting Day is just around the corner!

5 Reasons to Send Your Child to Sleepaway Camp in Virginia

Campers at Camp Friendship in VirginiaAre you still on the fence about whether or not to send your child to sleepaway camp? Summer camp is great for so many reasons (and we’ll get to those reasons later in this post).

Let’s start with a little about us. We are conveniently located between Washington DC and Richmond, in Palmyra VA, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and are looking forward to another great summer here at camp! And, the good news, we still have a few spots open for new campers! So, jump the fence and register your children for a session at Camp Friendship!

Here is a quick rundown of 5 reasons to send your child to sleepaway camp!

1. Build Self-Confidence: Camp can seem overwhelming, especially to first time, young, shy campers. But, summer camp is actually the best place for your child to come out of their shell and develop a new self-confidence. We create an encouraging and supportive environment in which your child will feel comfortable trying new activities!

2. To Learn Responsibility: At summer camp, children must learn to make decisions for themselves, such as what activities to participate in. Children also must learn to be responsible for keeping their cabin clean, and following a schedule. This learned responsibility carries over into their daily lives at home and in school as well.

3. Social Interactions: In today’s digital world, children are learning to communicate through a box…text messages, email, chat, etc. At summer camp, technology is removed, and children are able to gain the social skills needed to succeed later in life.

4. Lifelong Friendships: There are no other friends like summer camp friends. Sleep-away camp allows your children to form bonds with children they may have never had a chance to meet. Through shared experiences and adventures, your camp friends become your extended family!

5. Unforgettable Memories: Every summer at Camp Friendship we strive to create the most amazing camp experience for our campers. Camp is a place for experiences, growing, memories, friendships, and most importantly FUN!

If you are still unsure, contact us today and speak with the camp staff. We are here to answer your questions, and address your concerns.