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When it comes to fondest childhood memories, what would be yours? Would it be going to adventure camp? This is honestly one of the biggest memories that adults have of their childhood, particularly when it’s in the summertime. It’s when friends are made, the first kiss, learn to swim and get over some major fears. It’s all vital to childhood development in a way. With that said one thing that’s certain is that kids can be scared of camp. There’s the idea that it’s sleeping in humid cabins, gruel for food every day, and getting bit by mosquitos. But as a parent, it’s important to hype up your child for this amazing experience, and here’s how you can do it!
Start By Talking About It
Any new experience can bring up feelings of anxiety or nervousness. It’s important to help your child understand those emotions and that they are normal. It’s also a good idea to talk about things they might be a little worried about, like sleeping in a tent or getting along with their camp counselors. Ask them how they handled similar experiences in the past, such as a sleepover at a friend’s house or their first day of school. This can help them feel comfortable about the transition and give them reassurance that it will be okay.
See if There’s an Open House
If possible, try to attend any open houses or orientation activities the camp offers. This will give you an opportunity to meet your child’s camp counselors and other parents. This can make them feel more at ease, knowing they’ll be supported and cared for by familiar faces. It can also be helpful to discuss your child’s medical history with the staff, particularly if they have any allergies or asthma. Generally speaking, this gives both you and your child information on the camp, which can help both of you feel more settled with the idea. You do not want it to be like that song Camp Granada.
Ask Them if They’re Ready to Go
Before you can prepare for group travel for your own holiday, you need to make sure your child is fully prepared and willing to go to camp. It’s important to be empathetic and understanding of your child’s feelings leading up to camp. They may be excited, but many children will also feel nervous or even anxious. Reassure them that these feelings are completely normal, and remind them that they’ve likely experienced similar emotions before starting a new school, joining a sports team, or even something else like a club.
Tell Them They’re Not Alone
It’s true; there are other kids there who will be in the exact same situation as them. Whether they’re going to sleepaway camp or day camp, your kids will be away from home for the first time. It’s a great way for them to learn independence and self-reliance, so they’ll want to be able to take care of things like brushing their teeth, showering, and making their bed without being reminded. It’s also important to teach them that it’s okay to miss home and that homesickness is normal.
If possible, let your child talk to other campers who have attended the same camp. This will help them feel less alone and can give them confidence that they’ll be able to handle whatever comes their way at camp. Borrow your own confidence in them; show them that you believe they can do this and that you’re excited for them. It’s scary, but in the end, they’re going to love this!