How to Prepare your Child for their First Summer Camp Experience

A child’s first summer at camp is a new adventure not only for the camper, but for parents and guardians as well. It is important for everyone involved to remember that it is absolutely normal to feel nervous or anxious! It is common amongst all first time camp families, even returning families. Campers feel nervous about being away from home for the first time, living in a cabin with other kids, trying new activities, and more. Parents feel nervous about separating from their children and their safety. All of the above is on camp management’s radar and we work hard during staff training weeks to ensure all our counsellors, guides, CITs and program staff are fully equipped with the correct tools. Our staff know how to handle homesickness, cabin conflicts and everything safety related.

There are many things you can do to help prepare your child from their first summer camp experience! Below are 3 tips that we recommend when starting this process:

1. Discuss the differences between camp and home – sit down with your camper before the summer and start explaining what they can expect from summer camp. Keep it positive but also be realistic. If this is your first summer camp experience as well, give the camp a call and ask away! We are here to help :).

2. Go through our social media pages – with your camper, scroll through our Facebook and Instagram pages in addition to the website. This will help to familiarize the camp for both you and your child. On these pages you will find photos and videos which show what the camp looks like, a few of the staff members and other campers in action

3. Go shopping with your child – let your camper help you pick out what you purchase for camp. By giving your child a say in what they bring, they feel more comfortable when being away from home. They’ll know what will be in their duffel bag before arriving to camp which can ease any anxiety revolving around comfort. For the younger ones (and even the older ones), a small stuffed animal or something to remind them of home helps them feel more at ease in their new cabin! Not sure where to start? Try MEC (or REI in the USA), SAIL, Europe Bound, Camp Connection, or Walmart. Need more info? Contact Racquel!

Camp Ahmek and Camp Wapomeo will become a home away from home for your child and anything you can do to prepare them for their first stay on Canoe Lake will help get them to that point. Being comfortable in a new place takes time, effort and preparation. If your child feels both emotionally and physically prepared for camp, they will be able to jump right in once they get there!

Only 57 days to go!!!