How to Prepare Your Child for Camp

by Rib Decker

Whether your camper is excited about coming to SOAR or feeling a little nervous, there are a few things you can do to make the transition smooth and set your camper up for an amazing experience! There are also a few things you can do to help prepare yourself!

Know What to Expect

One of the best ways to ease any anxiety about camp, is to be very clear with your camper about what exactly they will be doing while they’re at SOAR. We highly recommend looking over the course schedule to give you and your camper a better idea of what will be going on each day at camp. As you walk through the course of each day with your camper, they will have the opportunity to voice any worries that they have and feel more comfortable about the adventure ahead.

You can also head over to the Parent Group on Facebook to see pictures from different courses to look through with your camper and get excited about all of the amazing activities!

Course Schedules can be found online or in your CampInTouch Account.

Talk About Any Concerns

Speaking of voicing worries, be sure to address any concerns or worries that your child has beforehand! Here are some typical questions your camper may ask along with answers you can respond with.

What kind of food will I eat?

While on basecamp, the camp cook will make your meals. A typical day on base may include pancakes, bacon, and eggs for breakfast, xxx for lunch, and xxx for dinner. Before heading out on your expedition, you and your group will plan your meals together, and purchase and prepare everything you will need. A typical day in the field may include breakfast burritos, deli sandwiches for lunch, and trail pizzas for dinner! Vegetarian? Gluten Free? No worries. We are happy to accommodate and make whatever substitutions you need.

What if I get homesick?

Being away from home can be tough and everyone at SOAR totally understands. If you get homesick, let someone know so you can talk about it one on one where you feel comfortable! You will also get the opportunity to write home and tell us about how you’re doing, why you’re feeling homesick, and to tell us all of the awesome things you’re doing and how much fun you’re having at camp.

What are the other kids like?

Most of the kids will be just like you! Most campers generally like the outdoors (but might also love computer games) and like being active. Rather than just reading our talking about something, most of the campers at SOAR want to do it and experience it first-hand! You will also meet some kids who hoping to make some friends that they can relate to, so try and get to know the other kids in your group.

Can I bring my Tablet/Phone/Computer/Etc.?

You can’t bring your [insert favorite electronic device] with you to camp, but you are going to be so busy doing different activities and making new friends that you won’t even think about once you get there. You can keep it with you when traveling, drop it off once you get to camp, and pick it up before you leave.

Role Play

If there is a certain situation, activity, or interaction that your camper is feeling nervous about, role play it! It can be as simple as, “How to Introduce Yourself to Other Campers”. Often times when you role play a situation, the fear goes away, and your camper will feel more comfortable and confident.

Create a Countdown

To help build excitement, we recommend adding the first day of camp to your family calendar or creating a calendar just for camp. Cross off each day leading up to camp until the day finally arrives!

Recommended Read: Homesick and Happy

And for camper parents, we recommend picking up a copy of Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow. Author, Michael Thompson, covers most of your concerns about sending your camper away and how the experience will be a positive one for you and your child!