Preparing Your Child For Camp
Is this your child’s first time attending camp? Are they nervous? Or maybe you’re nervous about having to part with them for an extended period of time. Here are some ways to help you and your child prepare for their time at camp:
- If this is going to be your child’s first experience away from home, try helping them prepare by practicing short stays away such as going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for the weekend or spending the night at a friend’s house. This way, your child will be more comfortable sleeping away from you and the comforts of home.
- Browse the brochure with your child. Talk with them about the opportunities and activities that they will get to try in the different programs, and then pick one together that seems appropriate.
- Talk about what camp will be like with your child. Remind them of the fun activities they will get to try. Ask them what they are excited about. Is there anything they are nervous about? If you attended camp as a child, share your favorite memories and experiences. Get them excited for all the opportunities that await them.
- Help your child pack using the packing list provided by the camp. Make sure they know where to find their extra flashlight batteries, shower supplies, and pajamas. Let them bring a stuffed animal or something familiar from home. Don’t pack candy or food. These items attract animals such as mice and raccoons.
- If you think your child may be homesick, don’t promise things that can’t be followed up on. Don’t tell them that they will be able to call home or that you will come pick them up if they don’t like it. Instead, let your child know that it is natural to miss home when they are away. Encourage them by letting them know that you want them to have fun and enjoy their time at camp even though you will miss them while they are gone. Prepare addressed, stamped envelopes for your child to write home to family and friends so that they can share their experiences with you. Send them letters (maybe even mail a few in advance) to share how proud you are that they are staying at camp and express your hope that they are having fun and enjoying their time away. Trust the camp staff to handle any homesickness your child may experience, and try not to make a big deal of it before they come.
- Pray with your child before they come to camp. Together, ask God to bless their camping experience, to keep them safe, and to allow them to learn and grow during their time away. Be interested in what Bible studies your child will be learning while they are at camp and continue the conversation after they get home.
- When your child does come home from camp, do something special to celebrate their return. Have their favorite meal that night, look at all their pictures, watch the video of all their experiences, and listen to them sing the new songs they learned. Have a welcome home banner hanging above the garage or a small gift to celebrate their return.
The camp experience is so important to your child. Work together to help prepare them and make their time at camp as successful as possible. We look forward to seeing you at Camp Wyoming this summer!