My littlest, Alida, came home from school today with a fever. All she wanted all afternoon was to be held “Mama hold you, Dada hold you” she kept saying through her fever eyes and snotty face.
It got me thinking about camp this summer and a question many parents might have, “Who will hold and take care of my child while they are at camp?” For our return parents and campers–you know the answer, but for our first-time camper parents, I know you must be wondering…who will it be? What will happen?
This question got my head spinning in many directions. As the camp director, I want to assure you that we have many capable and loving arms (nurses, counselors, mentors, moms, me the director) that will hold your child if they feel sick, need a hug, scrape a knee, or just need someone to talk to for a moment.
As a parent, however, I want to share more. I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who wants to know as much information as possible before entering a situation. I like to know the ins and outs, the what ifs, the potential outcomes–all of it. As a parent sending my child away for the first time to summer camp, this process is no different.
At this point if you have signed your child up for camp, you have probably read about our traditions, mission, culture, philosophy, who the staff are, what the meals are like, and more. We try and be as transparent as possible, so we can prepare you and you can help prepare your child. It’s an easy pathway to your child’s success at camp.
At GRP, we think of ourselves as partners in your child’s camp experience and we want the best for them. That means we value the year-round education that encompasses his or her time at camp and we do not take the responsibility lightly. We understand you are entrusting us in their development and care and the time they spend with us will have an impact on their lives for months and years to come.
So…all that being said…we want to help you prepare more for your child’s first time away at camp. We want the transition for both you (the parents) and your child to be confident, easy, and positive. We want you to feel success in your decision to support your child’s development in this camp experience. We want you to feel at ease knowing our community is safe, loving, and a brave space to experience new things.
Below you will find links to books, websites, and articles to help support your family in making this transition. A lot of my off-season time is spent educating myself on everything from child brain development to conflict resolution skills to how to develop grit and resiliency in your child. So many of those resources have been helpful to me as a parent and are critical to my development and leadership as a camp director.
I invite you to dive into these resources and provide any feedback or additional resources you have found. Remember this journey is a partnership with us, and we want the best for your child and their success at GRP.
Nature and Mental Health
Social Emotional Learning at Camp
The Benefits of Summer Camp
Thanks for making it this far. I also want to let you know that very soon we will begin our new parent video series. This is an opportunity for us to share more resources and for you to ask questions. You can search old videos on our youtube channel. Here is a highlight from last year, Meet the Directors.
Seek the Joy,