The challenges of registering for camp early and how to talk your child about camp now
The summer is not over yet, school has just started, we’re getting ready for the Jewish holidays, and I already have to make a decision to return to camp! What? Why?
Camp registration is a critical step in the camp lifecycle. It gives camp a starting point to help begin planning for site projects as well as upcoming staffing needs. It also gives you and your child something to look forward to at the end of the school year.
We understand that this can be a challenging decision, especially at this time of year. And, decision making is not always easy for adults and children alike. Sometimes children come back raving about the summer but still worried about committing. The fact that some children struggle with making choices is within the realm of normal childhood development. This presents a great opportunity to talk about decision making. Should you make a list, talk to friends, sleep on it?
If your child is worried about returning or coming to camp for the first time, here are a few tips.
- Ask specific questions: What were your favorite activities? What are you looking forward to trying? Who did you like playing and hanging out with? What are some of your favorite memories? Tell me about a counselor you really liked and why.
- Look at camp photos and ask your child what they were doing in them. Look at the website photos and think about what would be exciting to try.
- Call camp with any specific feedback or questions. We are here to help. Do you need a pen pal before camp? Can we help your camper better organize their belongings when they arrive at camp? Would you like us to change your child to a bottom bunk?
- Remind your child that even at home not everyday is a perfect day. There are going to be ups and downs each day and let your child know they can handle it. Our goal at camp, of course, is to have many more ups than downs.
- Give your child permission to miss you and also have fun at camp.
- If you want your child to return or go to camp, don’t ask if they want to go. If you give them the option, you are then stuck with their decision and/or forcing them to do something they said they didn’t want to do. Sometimes the decision is much easier for them when we parents make it for them.
- Camp is not for every child. Talk to us if you are unsure if your child should return to camp. We may be able to offer insight into whether or not camp is right for your child.