Advice From A Summer Camp Expert
In our quest to learn everything there is to know about summer camps, we came across The Summer Camp Handbook. It is a 270-page paperback that covers important topics like what certificates counselors and instructors should hold; provides checklists for packing; gives tips for visiting day; dos and don’ts on sending care packages; tips on how to handle food allergies; and much more. Author Dr. Chris Thurber answered a few of our burning campfire questions...
After settling a first-time camper in, what is the best exit strategy for a parent? As recommended in The Summer Camp Handbook, families should discuss a goodbye plan in the weeks before opening day drop-off. As a general rule, short and sweet is far easier for children than long and conflictual.
What are a few things a parent can do to prepare a first time camper for the possibility of homesickness? Discuss the normalcy of missing home; have the child spend practice time away from home (without parents), such as a sleep-over at a friend’s house; never make a pick-up deal.
Can you give parents some tips on how to get through missing their child while she/he is away? Enjoy the well-deserved break from full-time parenthood! Oh, and write a few handwritten letters.
Care Package 101: If a child is doing a mini-camp (only 2 or 3 nights) is a care package typically expected? What are some of the best care package goodies? Forget care packages, especially at short camps. Sending your child to camp IS showing how much you care. Boys and girls don’t need presents to enjoy camp.
What are some important questions you should remember to ask the camp counselor on pick up day? What were my child’s strengths and weaknesses? What were the highlights and challenges of the session? Oh, and remember to tip. Even a few dollars helps buy that pizza on the next night off.
Find The Sumer Camp Handbook at everythingsummercamp.com.