You’ve had the discussion. You went to a camp fair, watched a few videos, and it’s official … your child is going to overnight camp for the very first time! While that’s exciting, it’s safe to say there’s a bit of nervousness all around. It’s possible that your son or daughter has never spent time away from home. It’s even more likely that you’re more nervous than they are.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before sending your child to overnight camp:
It’s ok to be nervous
If your child has never been away from home for more than one or two nights, they’re bound to be nervous. That’s ok. Remind them that they’re going to be making new friends, their counselors are there, and they’re going to have so much fun. Overnight campers also love to get mail from home. Plan on sending that first card or letter before you’ve dropped them off, so it’s there waiting for them when they arrive.
Plan ahead: Build on the excitement
Odds are, going to overnight camp requires a lot of shopping. Let your children be part of the process. Pick out a special sleeping bag, new clothes, or a special supplies that are just for camp. Being part of the planning is both exciting and builds anticipation.
Camp is where it’s at
While your child is at camp, don’t make them feel like they’re missing out on what’s happening at home. The focus should always be on how lucky they are to be at camp and how much fun they must be having. If they feel like there’s more interesting stuff going on at home, they won’t want to be at camp.
It’s about them, not you
We’ve often seen kids that are more prepared for camp than their parents. You’d be surprised how mature your children are. It’s ok to miss your kids while they’re at camp, but never let them feel that attending overnight camp makes you sad. It’s always about their good time!
You’re gonna make friends!
While your son or daughter may not know anyone when they arrive, that’s ok. it’s a guarantee that they’ll be going home with a bunch of new friends. After all, isn’t that part of the reason you’re sending them?