Sending your child to summer camp for the first time is a big deal.
To make things easier we’ve compiled some tips to prepare and empower your child for his or her first experience at Foley. In addition, one of the Assistant Directors or Directors at Foley will be in contact with you once registered to set up a time to meet! The purpose being intentionality as we want to connect, answer questions, welcome and build upon the relationship to give your camper the best experience at camp.
- If your child isn’t the strongest swimmer, try practicing before camp. Learn more about the Swim Check that campers do on the first day.
- Talk through a time with your camper where they may have spent a night away from home in the past. What things did they need to do in order to be more independent while staying away from their family?
- Tell your child the skills they already have that will be helpful at camp. Such as doing well on overnights, helping with chores or making new friends.
- Have your child practice independence like making the bed, brushing teeth and trying new foods.
- Have your child practice Flashlight Time/Rest Period. Both are times of the day that campers spend time quietly on their own bed reading, writing letters or listening to music.
- Involve your child as you prepare for camp. Go over the Packing List with your camper.
- Have them pack a favorite item to bring to camp. This can help him feel more “at home” at camp.
- Have your child practice writing letters. Make a letter writing kit with your camper that includes pre-addressed and stamped envelopes or postcards, pencils and pens, paper, etc.
- Work with your child on making new friends. A smile and good listening skills go far!
- Explain to your child how to deal with concerns they may have. Counselors, Assistant Directors and Directors are at camp to help the campers whenever they need it.
- Be clear with your child about your expectations. Do you expect your child to participate in cabin cleanup, eat their vegetables and be respectful to their peers? Tell your child that.
Other things to talk to your child about as you prepare to send them to camp.
- Meals: Learn more about meals in Health & Safety.
- Bathrooms and Showers: The “Washos” are central bathroom facilities on the boys’ and girls’ ends. Showers are off the main bathroom with individual curtained stalls. Campers wrap in a big towel in their cabin, walk to the nearby washo, shower, wrap back in their towel and return to the cabin to dress.
Talk with your child about all the fun things he or she will get to do at camp! But be intentional in communicating with your camper about all aspects of the camp experience. Your phrasing can make a big difference in how your child perceives camp. "Coping with First Time Camp Experiences" is a quick read to help guide you in making sure your camper is as prepared as possible.