Preparing for Summer Camp
We recently began asking parents for a small piece of information they would want their child’s counsellor to know before they met at camp. The idea was to give us some insight into what might make the child’s camp session memorable and enjoyable.
Helpful notes included those that described situations where the child has struggled in the past. By disclosing information such as: ’my child can become uncharacteristically defiant and resist following direction when she is hungry,’ allows the counsellors to give extra support and respond accordingly.
Information on situations where a child thrives is also important. ‘Last summer, my child loved archery and is really looking forward to it again,’ or ‘my son finally passed level 5 in swimming and is excited about working on level 6,’ helps us to understand a camper’s expectations for their camp experience.
Adaptation is an important part of a quality camp experience. By taking the time to provide us with a brief note, you’ll play an important role in this process. Thank you for participating in our camp this summer and please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Many parents feel apprehensive about sharing information with us about their child such as their behaviours at school, previous camp experiences, or medications that they take. They are worried that their child will be labeled while at camp and subsequently feel ostracized and be treated differently than the other campers.
The truth is, by having this pertinent information, we are more capable and better equipped to ensure this does not happen. In fact, knowing that your child has a learning disability, ADHD, difficulty making friends or has had an unfavourable previous camp experience helps us to better meet their needs in a supportive environment so that they can simply enjoy camp and be a kid. It also helps us to better prepare our counsellors, gives us time to modify programs if needed, and match group needs with the best suited counsellor. The more we know about your child, the greater likelihood that they will have a fun and successful time at camp!