The weeks leading up to camp are a busy and exciting time for families. Kids are finishing school, – busy with sports and activities. As camp gets closer, your children will start thinking more about camp, especially as they start the fun task of packing! Whether it’s your child’s 1st year or 7th year, it is perfectly normal for kids to get the camp butterflies about leaving home.
Below are some helpful hints that may help you and your child to get ready for camp!
The Camp Taconic website is filled with valuable resources! You and your child can view the videos, do the “Virtual tour” to get comfortable with the location of the buildings. You can review the daily routine with them, and see examples of the fun variety of activities they will be doing!
Pick some small items they can bring to camp – a favorite stuffed animal or doll (Boys, too!). Pictures of family and pets can also be included in their duffle. Also, make letter writing fun and easy – choose fun stationery and pens/pencils and provide labels with addresses so your camper doesn’t have to address envelopes. Make communicating easy!
If your child is feeling worried or anxious, you can discuss what their concerns are and come up with solutions in advance. You may also want to give your child hypothetical situations that may come up.
You can role pay with your child and say – What do you think will happen if you wake up before your counselors or bunkmates? What will you do if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the bathroom? Who can you talk to if you are missing home?
Let them know that their bunk counselors are there to help them, and they are trained and experienced on how to talk to and support kids that may be missing home! Remind your children, that no matter where they are, some days are better than others, and camp is no exception!
One of the most important things not to tell your child is that if they feel homesick they can come home. Campers need to know that they will feel sad at some point and that counselors are there to help them. One of the most important parts of the summer camp experience is building independence and you want to let your kids know that you have the confidence in them that they will have a fun and rewarding summer at camp even if there are obstacles along the way.
If you as a parent are feeling nervous or sad about them leaving, it’s normal! Please try and restrain yourself from sharing your feelings with your kids, as they will look to you on how to act!! When writing letters, try not to focus on how much you miss them, or even all the fun things that you are doing at home without them! Don’t be surprised if you don’t get much information back from your campers, as they often are too busy having fun!!
As always, we at Camp Taconic are here to support your children and you. If you have any questions, or would like to chat with a Director, please do not hesitate to contact us! There is never a question too silly!!!