I remember the first time I sent my oldest son off to camp (nearly 12 years ago…yikes). I was excited and nervous for him all at the same time. I knew how much I had enjoyed summer camp as a kid, and I wanted him to have an equally positive experience. The week he was away went quickly because I filled it with painting projects and household repairs I needed to do, and when pick-up day finally arrived, I drove all day back to the camp to find one very dirty and very happy little boy. He had the time of his life, and I got to hear all about it in the six hour drive home. It was bliss, and I was happy to do it for him again the following year.
Next month, my next two children will get their first experience going off to camp. They are heading to the same camp that I attended, and that their brother went to, only at a different location. Avery is very excited. She thinks it all sounds wonderful and I don’t think she has felt the slightest bit nervous about it. She is looking forward to swimming and horseback riding, and I think most of all she’s anxious for a little independence!
Kellen is not quite as sure about it all. When I first told him that I was sending them to camp, I could see the fear in his eyes. He immediately decided he did not want to go. I reassured him by showing him the camp website and letting him see all of the pictures of the previous campers and the activities they did. He wasn’t convinced until we came across a picture of a girl doing archery. His eyes lit up and he asked if he would get to try archery. I told him he would, and that was the deciding factor… if he could try archery, he was going to camp. He has still been a little nervous and we have spent a lot of time talking about camp lately. I taught him and Avery the camp song that is sang when you have your elbows on the table, so they aren’t blindsided during a meal (this is valuable information people!), and Kellen learned that Capture the Flag is not just a computer game. Yes, he definitely needs to go to camp.
How do you calm your child’s nerves about going to camp for the first time?
Visit the Our Kids website to see their ebook “Preparing for Camp” for other great tips to get you and your child ready for camp.