ARE YOU READY FOR THE BIG DAY?
So many parents and/or families are getting ready to send their camper off to ALC for their summer adventure – are you ready OR are you wondering how to ‘get ready’? Let’s look at some of the ‘typical’ responses to questions or concerns that are asked by families about ‘how do we do this’?
SOME HINTS & TIPS:
- Be excited and enthusiastic about the summer adventure ahead
- Try not to anticipate what will happen in camp
- Talk about being separate from each other; that you will miss her and she will miss you AND you want her to have so much fun and LOVE camp
- Write her a letter that will be waiting for her for her first day of mail. Your letters mean so much, but ‘balance’ is the word for how often you should write so that she can adjust to camp and still be connected to home – how about 2-3 times a week ☺
- Discuss with her that her counselor will be her mom, big sister, friend all rolled into one and that there are many people in camp who can help her if she has a question or needs a quick hug or a voice of support. Teaching our children how to navigate without us, is such an important skill for our children to have.
- If you have a question or concerns, do not hesitate to call us (anytime) as your ‘adjustment’ is just as important as your camper’s. Remember if you have received a ‘slightly off’ letter from your camper, by the time you have received that letter, days have passed and your camper has probably moved on with her camping adventure.
- The gift of her time at ALC is truly that – a gift, a gift of independence with her family as the center of that experience. She will grow and prosper to get ready for future experiences without her family by her side, but always in her heart. Thank you families for being courageous enough to allow this growth to take place – you will be thankful when the ‘big challenges’ come their (and your) way!)
- Loving support, validation and moving on with conversation helps the process of nervousness, anticipation and feeling anxious. Words of confidence, in your child’s ability to be separate from you and still have a good time, will reassure your camper that she is capable of navigating whatever feelings she may have while at camp. Spending time on the excitement and fun of the unknown helps everyone focus on the ‘positive’s’ of the upcoming experience.
- Cultivating a mutual trust between your family and us will be crucial to the success of your camper’s experience. She needs to sense and see that you have confidence in us as her extended family and that we all will be working together to create a loving, nurturing and fun home away from home.
- Remember that each day is different for our campers and we can fit mor adventures in each 24 hour period than we can in a normal 3 days at home! Know that your camper will experience success, hard work, fun, laughs, and will learn that some things come more easily than others. It’s all about becoming resilient. They will learn life skills that come with communicating and living with a group of peers. Herein lies the potential for challenge, closeness, sensitivity and trust, whether it be a silly experience or a difficult one. As parents, our children count on us to allow them to have life’s experience with guidance and love and they (and you) can count on us, their camp family, to do the same.
- If you are driving your camper to camp, stay long enough to connect with us and your camper’s counselor and perhaps long enough to walk around and see camp, but remember ‘timing’ is everything when choosing a departure time. Head toward your car when feelings are high (or busy) and then HUG BIG and be definite about getting into your car when your camper’s counselor or group of friends are nearby and ready to swoop your camper up and off for fun!
- Read over all parent mailings so you feel as organized as possible. We will do our best to walk you through the process of getting ready for camp.
- Parents, know that for any of us, allowing our children to have an experience away from us can be very emotional. Keep your head up when planning with your camper; you may let your eyes glisten when you arrive at camp and then, if you need to, have your “emotional moment(s)” when you have left AND know that you can call us at any time! Remember, you will be talking with us, and we are parents who have fallen apart when we dropped our children off at their camps! If we all stick together and warmly connect, our children will BLOSSOM through this wonderful gift on their way to growing up!