Whether this is your child’s first time coming to camp or their tenth summer, here are a couple tips when planning for the Summer of Imagination whether it be day camp or overnight camp.
BEFORE THEY GO:
- Include your kid in the decision process: When selecting a camp program, let your kid get involved so they can find their perfect summer camp experience. It is important they get to pick a camp experience that excites them.
- Pack the Essentials/Non-Essentials: One of the easiest ways to make sure your kids feel comfortable is to make sure they have all the necessities. Essentials camp items: a flashlight, bug repellant, warm clothes, and sunscreen (check out our packing list here). Non-essential camp items: favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or a lucky trinket can make a big difference to a child that has never been to camp. Encourage your child to bring one item that will make them feel at “home” while they’re at camp. *Make sure to include your child in the packing process so they know where all their things are.
- Talk Before: It is always a good idea to talk to your kid about what to expect at camp. Tell them it is normal to experience homesickness. All adults and kids get homesick. Talk about how they can stick it out and make the most of their camp experience.
WHILE THEY’RE THERE:
- Encourage participation: While your camper is at camp, encourage them to participate in all the activities and not be afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Ask them questions about how they participated and tell them to try to do one thing new every day at camp.
- Meet new friends: One of the best parts of camp is getting to meet new people. Tell your child that camp is a welcoming place and encourages everyone to get to know each other. Campers will spend time participating in team building games and adventuring with kids they’ve never met. Explain to your child how they can make new friends- introduce themselves, ask questions to the other campers, offer to help a new campers, sit next to new kids during meals- tell them there are lots of ways to make friends at camp.
ONCE THEY’RE HOME:
- Ask: Once your child returns home, ask them about their favorite part? What was the hardest part of camp? What was their favorite food at camp? Do they want to go back to camp next year?
- Reflect: Summer Camp leaves kids with a plethora of emotions and it’s a good idea to have then debrief afterwards. Encourage your kid to write their thoughts down. Ask if they had any break through moments? Did they discover something new that they liked?
FOR THE FUTURE:
- Plan Ahead: After your child returns from camp, use their feedback to pick the perfect summer camp for the next year. Write down what they say, so next year you can pick the camp that they will be most excited about.
- Communicate: Talk to our camp counselors to find a camp for the next year. Tell them the parts your child liked the most and things they didn’t like as much. Our camp staff will be able to recommend a perfect summer camp experience for the upcoming year.
- Register: Camp registration fills up fast, so make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for the KSS Camp Newsletter to register for the upcoming Summer Camp programs.