Keeping Up with Friends From Camp

by Andrea Wackerle

One of the most memorable parts of camp are the friendships formed between campers. Many campers arrive at SOAR feeling anxious about not knowing anyone but leave with a bittersweet sadness as friends go their separate ways and return home. For some campers, social skills come easy. They are outgoing, make friends in any group, and have a high level of social intelligence. More often than not, this is not the case, which is why camp is such a precious time when it comes to friendships.

For campers who typically struggle to make friends, two weeks at camp is like a whole school year back at home! Campers are immersed into a new environment, with new people, and WITHOUT distractions, especially electronic devices. They are also surrounded by counselors who understand and who can help guide them through social interactions and how to form positive relationships. They are working together as a team, experiencing new adventures, conquering fears, and reaching goals! To put it simply, making friends at camp is usually easier for most kids. Our goal for each camper is that the friends they’ve made at camp will be a part of their life long after camp is over.

Here are a few things you can do to help your child keep up with friends they made at camp.

Encourage Your Camper to Reach Out

Your camper’s End of Course Packet includes contact information for all of the campers in their course. Hopefully your child has introduced you or told you about some of the friends they’ve made. If not, take some time to go over the contact sheet with them. This will likely spark memories of camp and help your child initiate reaching out to some of their friends.

Plan To Meet Up

You might be surprised to find that some of your child’s camp friends live within driving distance! Contact their parents and set up a time to meet. This is one of the best ways to maintain relationships during the school year and helps to keep campers looking forward to coming back to camp, this time with their friend!

Join Our Parent Group

Our Summer Camp Parent Group on Facebook consists of current and former parents of SOAR campers! While most campers have their own social accounts and will likely find one another after camp, parents can also connect to help initiate meet ups or to simply encourage their campers to reach out. If you haven’t already joined, you can do so here. It is a private group.