Summer is almost here and your little one is attending a day camp for the first time. You’ve done your research and selected the best camp for you and your child. Yet, as the first day of camp approaches the nerves start kicking in and you start questioning all your decisions. Throughout my years as camp director I’ve received countless emails from first time camper parents and to all I’ve answered the same: we are child care professionals, keeping your child safe and ensuring they have a great time is our number one priority. To you reading this I say: trust in your decisions, read through your child’s camp Parent Guide or any information they have available for you and ask any questions you may have. This will ease your nerves.
I recommend that you prepare your child for the first day of camp. These are my top 3 tips for first time campers.
1. Set expectations ahead of time
In the days leading up to the first day of camp talk to your child about what to expect. If you experienced camp as a child, share some of your experiences. Read over camper rules, remind your child to stay properly hydrated and to speak up when they need something.
2. Prepare for drop-off
Don’t linger too long when dropping your child off. Lingering signals to your child that you are not ok with leaving them at camp or that there is something wrong and can cause your child to react negatively. Instead, be excited for your child, say a quick goodbye and remind them that you will pick them up when the camp day is done.
3. Review the camp schedule
Most camps will send out a schedule prior to day 1. Review this schedule with your child. They will feel prepared and excited about their upcoming time at camp.
Now both you and your first time camper are ready for the first day of camp. Let the countdown begin!