Beginning a summer camp can be an intimidating experience for many children. The variety of new people, unfamiliar environments, and a different schedule can be a lot of pressure for new campers. Some children may stress over whether they will be well liked, lonely, or miserable. Thankfully there are many ways that you can increase your child’s confidence and their friend making ability before they go to summer camp. This will make it much easier for them to adjust to camp.
Get Them Ready For Camp
Encourage your child to start spending time away from you and their comfort zone. Suggest they go to a sleepover or spend the day visiting relatives. When they have practiced spending time away from home the adjustment period is a lot smoother.
Give them an understanding of what to expect. They will be a lot less nervous if they have a good idea of what will happen when they get there. Tell them what they will be able to do and enjoy. Prepare them for any challenges they might face. If possible, introduce them to a few of the staff members so they will be confident of where they can go for help.
Help them recall that even their best friend was once a stranger and they had to spend time getting to know them. They can look forward to making more good friends.
Strengthen Their Ability To Make Friends
Encourage your kids to reach out to others. Remind them that in order to have good friends they should first be a good friend. Suggest some ways that they can be friendly to their fellow campers. They could invite someone to play a sport with them or join them for a craft project. They could give them a compliment about something they are good at. Join them for a welcoming conversation. Support them in an argument. Do something that will bring them a smile or cause them to laugh. Share something of theirs with the other person. Don’t make anyone feel less important. Look for their positive attributes and not the negative ones. Exercising these abilities at camp is good practice for the rest of their life. When they are in the habit of doing these things then adjusting to camp should be much easier.
It can be a challenge for a child to go from the warmth and safety of home to a place away from friends and family. But if they have a good attitude, a smile and a thirst for adventure, they will do just fine.
At Camp Sonshine, we provide a safe, caring environment for your child to grow and enjoy camp. We will help them to adjust to the new experiences, make new friends, and get the most out of each day. Please contact us to learn more!