So your daughter is off to summer camp! This is an exciting adventure whether it is the first or fifth time she will be going to camp. Your daughter is going to have an amazing time where she will laugh, run, make friends, challenge herself with activities she has never experienced before and more! Tied up into all this fun and excitement are some goals and objectives we have for all campers that include:
- Promote the physical and mental well being of every girl.
- Promote independence and the ability to care for oneself.
- Develop resourcefulness, initiative, self-reliance and recognition of the worth and dignity of each individual.
- Provide opportunities for practice in democratic living.
- Develop a sense of responsibility, qualities of leadership and an awareness of the capabilities of all people.
- Provide an inner satisfaction, a sense of awe and wonder and deep enjoyment of the out-of-doors.
- Provide a sense of accomplishment.
- Stimulate each girl's awareness of the scope of the natural world.
- Develop the individual's sense of responsibility for conserving the natural world
If you are feeling a little nervous to send your daughter to camp you are not alone! Many parents actually feel more anxiety than their little camper does! We have put together a few tips and resources for you to prepare you and your daughter for a summer camp experience. By taking a little time to read over this information and have a few conversations with your daughter you will find that her camp experience can be a rewarding experience for her and a relaxing experience for you!
These tips are adapted from the American Camp Association parents website and an article by Bruce Muchnick, EdD
We send you information and forms so we can get to know your daughter and her needs and so you can be prepared for her time at camp. By taking the time to fill out the "get to know you form," reading the parent packet and other information you will be on your way to a great camp experience!
Consider camp as a learning experience
This is an opportunity for your child to explore a world bigger than her neighborhood and a chance for you and your child to practice "letting go." Letting go allows children to develop autonomy and a stronger sense of self, make new friends, develop new social skills, learn about teamwork, be creative and more. This time also allows parents an opportunity to take care of themselves so that they will feel refreshed when their child returns home.
Prepare for camp together!
Decisions about camp — like where to go and what to pack — should be a joint venture, keeping in mind your child’s maturity. If your child feels a part of the decision-making process, her chances of having a positive experience will improve. Remember: do not send anything to camp that you would be upset if it got ruined.
Talk about concerns
As the first day of camp nears, some children experience uneasiness about going away. Encourage your child to talk about these feelings rather than acting on what you think her feelings may be. Communicate confidence in your child’s ability to handle being away from home. It’s important to make sure that your suggestions for your daughter are in line with camp rules. An example would be, do not tell your daughter to just give you a call or give her a cell phone just because she is nervous. Build her confidence to be at camp for a week, if you have confidence in her it makes a significant difference!
Have realistic expectations
Camp, like the rest of life, has high and low points. Not every moment will be filled with wonder and excitement. Encourage your child to have a reasonable and realistic view of camp. Discuss both the ups and downs your child may experience. Your child should not feel pressured to succeed at camp, either. The main purposes of camp are to relax and have fun.
Would you like more resources for preparing for your daughters summer camp experience? Check these out!