Talking With Your Camper

Talking With Your Child About Camp

It is always good to talk with your child about going to camp. We suggest you sit down and talk to your child for several small sessions before going to camp. Maybe also talk to your child when you normally would bring up topics, like at dinner, when riding in the car, or shopping together.

Talk with your child about the activities at camp, all the things they are going to be able to do and try. Camp Courage is not a place where they are forced to do anything. It is a challenge by choice camp, so we encourage, but we never force. They will never be forced to do something they would rather not do, but encouraged to try something new.

Making friends and meeting new people is a big part of camp. One of Camp Courage's goals for our campers is to meet new peers that they can relate to. However, we also know that not every child relates to each other. So, it is ok if your child does not make 20 new friends, but maybe one or two. It is also ok if they are not everyone else's friends. We only ask that campers listen to one another and respect one another, and these are two wonderful qualities of a friend.

Talk to your camper about being part of camp, which means a really big family. We view our camp as our home, and everyone in it family. So, we take care of our home by cleaning it up, picking up after each other at times, and respecting the camp and the people in it. So, campers are asked to help out and to help make sure our home and those around it are there for next year and the year after.

Camp Courage has a ZERO TOLERANCE for bullying or harassment, so we want campers to let their counselors or camp director know if someone is being negative and affecting them in a negative way. Campers who bully are playing on another person's emotions without permission. We do not allow this, and will take immediate action to make sure it does not continue. However, if it does continue after action is taken, the camper will be removed from the camp by his/her parents.

Be positive with your camper! Help them focus on all the fun and excitement of camp. Also help them identify all the wonderful traits that they will be bringing with them to camp. For example, how compassionate they are, how much they like to help, or how loyal of a friend they can be.

Talk with your camper about being homesick, because it is normal!!!! Most campers miss something about home. Campers miss different things like; parents, home cooking, a pet, or just the comfort of their bed, but all these feelings are normal and actually a great sign that they love their home.

Here are some strategies that you can do before hand!

  1. Practice time being away form home before camp
  2. Be positive with your child, and don't let them see your anxiety
  3. NEVER make a pick-up deal.

So, if you get a call about your child being homesick, please don't panic!!!

YOU MAY HEAR TEARS AND BEGGING, BUT THEY REALLY ARE OK!

We will always call and prepare you before your child calls, but nothing can prepare you for your child's voice on the other line crying or asking to come home. PLEASE be strong and here are a few do's and don'ts when talking with a homesick child.

  1. DO remind them of all the positive and fun things they have to look forward to
  2. DON'T remind them of all the things they are missing or people that miss them.
  3. DO ask them to tell you about things they have already done and what their favorite thing has been,
  4. DON'T tell them about all the things you have been doing without them
  5. DO be positive about how much they have accomplished and the time they have made it at camp.
  6. DON'T express too that you miss them, but you love them
  7. DO make a contract to stay, and something they will be able to do after camp
  8. DON'T make a pick-up deal

REMEMBER: Your child will gain so much from overcoming their homesickness. However, if their homesickness is too overwhelming or disruptive to other campers, we will ask you to come get them. We NEVER, EVER want camp to be a place they never want to return to. They can always go home and come back the next day, or return the next year with more knowledge under their belt.

For Younger Campers

If your child is between the ages of 5-7, here are a few things that can help them when going to camp.

  1. Practice taking a shower before coming to camp.
  2. Send a blanket, stuffed animal, parents' favorite t-shirt, or nightlight
  3. Talk with them about camp and practice being away from home
  4. Let staff know traditional nighttime routines

If you child has any issues that they are uncomfortable with or nervous about, please tell us. We can take care of many issues that children often get embarrassed about that are out of their control, without anyone ever knowing. However, we do rely on parents to communicate such issues.

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