Preparing Your Middle School Child For Camp
We are confident your child’s experience at the Great Books Summer Program will be a fun and rewarding one. You can be assured that your child will have a wonderful time, make really good friends, and gain confidence in expressing their ideas. Great Books Summer Program is quite different from your day-to-day life and it may take some adjustment to get the most out of this time away from home.
Let your child know how excited you are about what will happen at Great Books.
Look over the website and Facebook page together and talk about which activities seem interesting and the kinds of kids that are likely to be there. Look over the daily schedule so that your child has a better idea of what lies ahead and visit the college website to become more familiar with the campus and its amenities.
If your child hasn’t had much experience sleeping away from home, you may want to organize an overnight at a friend or relative’s home.
If your child is nervous about coming to camp, reassure him/her that you know that they will be fine and that there will be other kids that feel the same way.
Encourage your child to be friendly and open to trying what camp has to offer. Visiting our Facebook page to see other kids who have been before and perhaps make a connection with other kids who will be at camp during the same session is a great way to ease anxiety. Facebook is a great tool to learn about what the campers will be like.
Set your child up for the best possible experience by creating an expectation that camp will be fun for both of you.
Avoid comments like “You will have fun, but I am going to miss you so much.” You want camp to be exciting and for your child to be fully engaged with all it has to offer, instead of worrying about home and how much the family misses him/her.
Listen to and talk about any concerns.
As the first day of camp nears, some children understandably experience some uneasiness about going off to camp. Rather than acting on what you believe the feelings are, ask questions such as: “We’ve been busy packing and getting ready for camp. How are you feeling about heading off in a few days?” Communicate your confidence in his/her ability to handle being away from home.
Have realistic expectations.
Not every moment will necessarily be filled with wonder and excitement. Encourage your child to have a reasonable and realistic view of camp. Discuss both the ups and downs your child may experience on the first few days away from home.