By Anna Bilton, Summer Camp Director
Summer is fast approaching and it is time to prepare for camp! Some of this advice may be old hat to returning families, but it’s still worth a read to get camp ready. For new families, these tried and tested tips from Camp Mason recent and returning families will help you and your camper/s get ready for this summer.
Plan a sleepover
Organize a sleepover with a friend or family member you trust and that your camper/s know well. This is especially helpful if campers have never spent the night away from home before. It gives them a taste of being apart from you overnight and builds confidence and independence ahead of the summer.
Spend some time with your camper/s and go through their packed bag. Make sure they know what’s in there and where to find it. It really helps campers and counselors when kids know where to find their toothbrush and what clothes they have to wear. Now, we will always help campers when needed, don’t worry, but it does make kids feel good to be able to find their things themselves. You can find our suggested packing list here.
Take a hike
We spend most of our time outside at camp in our wooded natural environment. It’s a great idea to take a hike or two as a family before you arrive at camp so your camper/s know what to expect and feel comfortable outdoors. Now, this is not to say you need to go far afield, this can be an adventure in your local park or neighborhood. It’s all about getting outside and moving.
Talk about the communication at camp
Parents can send one way emails to their campers (which we deliver within 48 hours) and send physical mail. Campers can write letters to their family and friends. Campers cannot make or receive phone calls while they are at camp and we are phone/tablet/smart watch free camp. It’s beneficial to talk together with your camper/s about how you will communicate while they are at camp. It means you are all on the same page and can picture how it will work.
Attend an in-person or virtual welcome event
We still have one final in-person Open House on Saturday May 13 you are welcome to attend. Contact us to schedule a private tour if this date doesn’t work for you. There is a Virtual Open House Slideshow to watch here. And, due to popular demand we have added one more New Family Welcome Call on June 10 at 11am EST. Returning families are welcome to join this call too if you’d like a refresher on all things camp. You can find the details for that here.
It’s normal for campers to miss home when they are at camp. Many of us miss home a little when we are away, even as adults, so it’s easy to relate to this feeling. We cover how to support campers when they miss home in staff training. Plus, we have a lot of experience within our leadership team to support staff and campers with this throughout the summer.
Talk to your campers and let them know it’s okay to miss home and feeling this way is common at camp when everything is different to their regular day to day. It’s actually a good thing, it means that there are people, pets, places and ways of life that you care about and love. What’s important is that they know that after the first couple of days, most campers settle into camp life. And while they still may miss home a little, they will be so busy having a great time that it’ll fade into the background!
Campers quickly learn they can be independent, take on new challenges and have a blast with new friends at camp.
Get in touch as you prepare for camp
As always, please get in touch with any questions so we can guide you through the process. It’s a big deal to attend camp for the first, second or even tenth time and we are here to support you.
You can only imagine how excited we are to welcome you all to camp very soon. We are doing everything we can to plan, prepare and get ready for our best summer yet!