Day Camp 101: 10 Tips for Preparing Your First Time Camper for Camp
With 83 days left until the first day of Southampton Camp, you want to make sure you prepare your child for the experience before the first day arrives. This will help make a child’s camp experience more successful. Here are some of our tips for getting your first time camper ready AND excited for camp (you may even get excited too!)
- Expectations –Talking about camp in the weeks leading up to the summer will build your child’s enthusiasm about camp. We will provide all of the fun during the summer, and you can help build those expectations prior to arriving. Learn about the camp program and discuss it with your child so he or she knows what to expect.
- Camper get-together – We host a pre-camp event for all campers and parents; our Parent-Camper Orientation on Sunday, June 28. This is a great way for children to meet other children. It also gives campers a chance to get to know the camp director and other staff that they will spend the summer with.
- Successful activities for day-camp – If you are sending your child to day camp, your child probably has had positive experiences away from home with friends, classes and nursery/pre-K/school. If not, make sure you schedule some activities and time away form your child before camp. You want to make sure this time away and separation are successful and that your child is ready to go away to camp for an extended period.
- Bus preparation for day camp – For children heading to day camp for the first time, it may be the first time they take the bus. Talk about what the ride will be like and what your child can expect. We also conduct a ‘dry-run’ on Saturday, June 20th. Our buses, drivers and bus counselors (SRCC staff membes) will do their route and meet every camper. You can even sit in the bus to familiarize yourself!
- Pack for camp with your child – Discuss what items will be needed for camp and pack together. Your child will feel more secure if they know what they are bringing to camp and you can use the time packing together to talk with your child about how much fun camp is going to be. Make sure to look at the camp packing list and respect the items the camp asks you to leave at home such as cell phones and iPads. We will provide a personalized backpack for your child to put all the daily essentials.
- Visit the website & speak to other parents – Visit the camp’s website together and look at the activity list, photos and the camp map to give your child a feel for what camp will be like. You can also request from us family contact details of campers who live in your area or who will be in your child(ren)’s group.
- Don’t make pick up deals – Before camp begins, let your child know you are confident in his or her ability to have a wonderful summer camp experience. Don’t make pick up deals with your child before he or she goes to camp. You are sending your child the message that you don’t feel he or she will be successful at camp – and once you say you will pick them up early, it makes our job a whole lot harder! They WILL have fun at camp, but only if they are AT camp.
- Questions – Ask your child if he or she has any questions about camp. Keeping an open dialogue about what camp will be like will help your child feel comfortable about going to camp for the first time.
- Call the camp director – If you sense your child is nervous about camp, you can always call the camp director and ask for their advice. The camp director has a lot of experience with first time campers and will be able to offer you some ways which you can help your child get over any worries about the first day of camp. Give us a call and ask us ANYTHING you want about camp. This is what we are here for.
- Start a countdown – The last thing to do is to set a countdown to THE BEST SUMMER EVER AT SOUTHAMPTON RACQUET CLUB & CAMP!!
See you all in 83 days!