Summer is here again, and for those of us who are not lucky enough to be off for nine weeks of summer, it may be time to prepare your children for some weeks of summer camp.
Here are eight tips to help get your child ready for summer camp:
- Talk to your child about what to expect each day at camp. Routine is still important for our kids in the summer. We may not know all the activities and games that will take place, but an overview of the day and special activities is helpful, especially if things could look different day to day.
- Make sure they have lots of sun block, a hat, a t-shirt, and water to drink for camps where they are spending most of the time outdoors.
- Consider a program that has more structure and a quieter environment if your child is sensitive to loud noises and extra stimulation. Speak with counsellor to see if there is a way that your child can have a quiet place to go if needed. You may want to pack some comfort toys or books so your child can take a break if they need it.
- Take some time on the first day to meet the counsellors yourself, especially if your child is going to the same camp multiple weeks and counsellors change. This will help your child feel more confident and comfortable starting a new week.
- Talk to your child about ways to seek assistance from counsellors and how to handle other children. Our kids might need reminders and encouragement of how to make new friends and dealing with kids who are not-so-nice.
- Plan for some down time at the end of the day. Camps are fun and high energy all day long, so our children might have a hard time settling down in the evening.
- Talk to your child at the end of the day. Find out what they did and have them share one thing that they really enjoyed.
- Speak with the camp ahead of time if your child requires additional assistance or has special needs, to see if it is possible to arrange for an extra counsellor or volunteer staff in your child’s group.
Just remember that summer camp is also a wonderful opportunity for our children to enjoy the summer and have social interactions with other kids! Some of my fondest memories as a child were of going to camp. So in addition to planning for our childcare needs, it is important to plan to ensure our children have a memorable experience.
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About these guest bloggers:
Rachel Morris and Esther Leung are Behaviour Consultants with Family & Community Behaviour Services at Halton Region. They have supported families and visited children with special needs who have attended summer camps and recreational programs in Halton. Rachel has 2 daughters attending camp this summer and has considered many of these points!
Summer camp is really a great place for our kids during summer. They make the kids more productive, teach them how to socialize, meet more friends and make them responsible. Preparing our kids emotionally and physically is really important especially to those who are first timer. Talking to counselors and advance visit to the will help a lot.
Great comment Lynne. You make some really good points about the benefits of camp and the importance of preparing.
Angela, on behalf of the HaltonParents Team
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