Summer camp is an exciting way for children to spend their extended vacations from the classroom. Camps cater to various interests, including sports, crafts and even technological hobbies.
Children who attend overnight camps may spend several nights away from home. Some kids take this in stride, while others, possibly away from home for the first time, may experience some homesickness. Staying in touch while the kids are at camp can help alleviate fears and show children their parents care.
Camps now handle communication issues differently than they might have when today’s parents were campers. While it once common for campers to send handwritten letters or short missives home to mom and dad, technology has changed that. Today’s campers may have access to email accounts, or they even may be allowed to bring mobile phones along. This can facilitate communication, but it also may take away from the camping experience.
Parents need to find a balance between what might be too little or too much contact with campers. After all, camp is kids’ chance to grow independent for a few days or weeks.
- Learn camp rules. The camp will likely provide information regarding correspondence. Camps may permit parents to send one-way emails and regular mail, but limit campers to handwritten letters only. Determine if mobile phones are allowed or should be left at home. Knowing the rules can help parents and kids plan accordingly.
- Pack correspondence supplies. Send kids to camp with fun papers, stickers, pens, and other crafty items. This way they’ll be inspired to write home once or twice. Provide brief lessons on how to address an envelope for campers who may not know how.
- Check blogs and texts. Some camps may blog about campers’ progress, post information on social media or send out mass texts. These messages can reassure parents that their youngsters are doing just fine.
- Send a care package. Treat the campers to some supplies from home. Pack camp-approved snacks and other reminders of home. Be sure to include enough for the entire cabin and your son or daughter will be the camp star.
- Expect some silence. If camp is going well and campers’ days are fun-filled, they may be too busy for daily correspondence. Parents may get nervous when they don’t routinely see or hear from their children, but chances are everything is going swimmingly.
The camp experience is often harder on parents than children, as campers have their friends and activities to keep them busy. Brief communication helps campers grow more confident and independent.