Lakeland summer camps hold a lot of potential for children of all ages. It gives them the opportunity to become more confident, to experience new things, and to make new friends. Whether the camp that you’re sending your child to is a day or a overnight camp, the experiences that your child will encounter there will stay with them for their entire lives. However, for first time campers, the weeks leading up to the first day of camp can be filled with nerves and trepidation. Here is a guide for first time campers and parents to help prepare your child for their first camp experience.
Make a checklist of things your child will need
This helps you child imagine the activities that they’ll be experiencing while away at camp. Make an itemized list of things that your child will need. Bug spray, a new flashlight, these are all items that conjure up images of the fun that they will be facing while away. Also, make sure you clarify with the camp on what care packages can be sent to your child while they’re away, and have them help pick out what they want you to send them while they’re at camp.
Plan a sleepover if your child is nervous about overnight camp
One of the main concerns that first-time campers face is the fear of sleeping away from home for the very first time. To help with this, it is recommended to give them the opportunity to sleep over at a friend’s house, in order to help them get used to the idea of sleeping away from home.
Don’t make your child be too dependent on you while they’re away at camp
Do not promise your child that you’ll cut their time at camp short and pick them up as soon as possible if they don’t like it there. This makes the child not want to give camp their full effort of trying to like it because they have the mentality that their parents will come in and take them away from the unfamiliar environment if they don’t like it. Don’t encourage constant, daily communication with your child, because this will make them even more homesick than they already are.
Prepare them for what they should expect
To get kids to warm up to the idea of camp, some parents make the mistake of telling them that the entire experience is going to filled with fun and that they’re definitely going to love it. While camp certainly is fun, you need to be upfront with your child about getting used to sleeping away from home, or getting used to spending the day with other children that they may not be familiar with. Setting their expectations early on guarantees that there is no culture shock when they get to camp.