The Best Way to Show Your Child That Camp Is Fun

Sleepaway summer camp is an exciting adventure, full of songs by the campfire, crazy cabin pranks, color wars, funky craft projects and making amazing memories with camp friends. However, if this is your child’s first summer of heading off to camp, she may be more nervous than excited as the big day approaches. The Following are a few ideas to ease your child’s worries and ramping up the happy anticipation of a summer of fun.Visit CampsOne of the best ways to assure your youngster that summer camp is indeed fun is to set off on a little road trip highlighting summer camp visits. Many overnight summer camps host organized open houses to introduce kids and parents to camp facilities and staff, giving potential campers a view of where they’d be playing, sleeping, swimming and boating. It’s especially good if you can visit while camp is in session so you and your youngster can get a feel for the vibe of the camp, how the kids interact, what kind of camper/counselor ratio seems evident and whether most campers seem happy and engaged. If your child gets to talk to some current campers, it’s even better!Share MemoriesMaybe you were a camper yourself as a child. Share stories of your camp adventures, achievements and friends; this will make the upcoming camp experience seem more familiar, and kids love to imagine their parents as youngsters. If you were a little apprehensive at first and then ended up loving the experience, share this with your child, letting him know it’s perfectly normal to be nervous about the unknown.Explore On-LineThe Internet can be a great boon to parents trying to ease their kids’ overnight camp jitters. Blogs, Facebook pages and websites related to your child’s future camp cover pretty much everything they – or you – could want to know about upcoming summer adventures, along with plenty of photos. Kids can read posts from kids at their potential camps and get a feel for how they’ll fit into the summer’s adventures.Line Up Some BooksThere are a lot of great kids’ and pre-teen books out there that take place at overnight summer camp. After all, where else can you have amazing adventures away from the watchful eyes of your parents (yet in a safe, snug environment just the same)?Phone a FriendIf your child has a friend or acquaintance who has attended camp, it may be helpful to talk to them about their summer experiences. Even knowing there will be a familiar face or two in the gaga ball pit can make a big difference in how your youngster feels about a summer away from home. Even if your child doesn’t want to make the call, you can call the camper’s mom or dad and get the lowdown on camp and pass information along to your child.Take the Family CampingYoungsters who haven’t had much experience in the wilderness, particularly city kids, may be a little nervous about spending weeks out in the woods. Consider taking the family on a camping trip prior to the start of camp. This will let your future summer camper can see how fun it is to sing silly songs around the camp fire, throw a fishing line in the lake and listen to a chorus of tree frogs as you go to sleep. Practicality matters; such as how to use a flashlight to get around at night and identifying various nocturnal sounds can also go a long way toward easing wilderness jitters.