It doesn’t matter if your child is going to camp for one night or fourteen, there are some worries that just won’t go away until they have arrived and made friends. A child’s first time at summer camp is a huge milestone. It is a chance for them to meet many different people and take huge strides in learning how to be sociable.
It is normal for them to be a little apprehensive at the idea, especially if this is there first time away from home on their own. Here are some of the most common concerns that children have during this exciting time. We’ve also included some great tips on how to help your child navigate through these worries.
1. I’m not sure I’m ready
If your child thinks that they are not prepared for their first summer camp then what they’re really worried about is the unknown. A great way to help them to warm to the idea of the summer camp is to make them as familiar as possible with it. You can do this by showing them pictures of the camp from the website. Another great tactic to get your child to be more familiar with the camp is to tell them about some of the activities that they will be doing.
It might also be a good idea to tell your child about some of your summer camp stories so that they can see that it doesn’t have to be so scary.
2. The first day will be scary
Just like the first day of school, your child will naturally have some concerns. And most of those concerns will revolve around worries about making new friends, what they’ll do at camp and who will take care of them while they’re there. To help dismiss some of these concerns you can tell them that everyone will be in the same boat and everyone will be looking to make friends. It will be much easier than they think.
3. What if I hate it?
One of the best responses to this is that, quite simply, they won’t hate it. No matter how worried they are, you need to remind them that they are going to have a great time. After all, summer camp is literally designed for children to have fun. From the moment they wake up to when they go to bed, their day will be filled with non-stop fun.
That being said homesickness can be caused by simply being away from home for too long, especially if they are not used to it. Camp counsellors are very familiar with this and know all sorts of tricks and clever ways to help children overcome this feeling in no time.
4. What if I want to come home?
This is an idea that you should discourage as you don’t want to have to pick them up in the middle of their stay unless there is some sort of emergency. Of course, you can say that you will be able to pick them up if they really do want to. It is important not to open this door too wide though.
5. Can I call home?
Different camps have different rules about phone calls home. Back when you needed to use a landline, these rules were much easier to enforce. Now that a lot of children have smartphones with them this can be a little more challenging. You should contact your camp and ask them about their smartphone policy. It is better if the children are not on their phones a lot during their stay, especially as you have paid to send them to camp.