New to Camp

First time at camp? No worries, we’ve got you!

Sending your child to camp for the first time can be nerve-wracking both for new campers and their families. We’ve provided some information here to help make this new experience a great one!

Preparing your child for camp

Camp can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a challenge for first time campers.  As you are preparing to share your child with us for an amazing camp experience, we’d like to offer a few suggestions to help combat one of the biggest obstacles of a camp experience: Homesickness.

Prepare your child for the experience.  Show or read any available information about Camp One Step with your child.  This will allow your child to visualize the experience and ask questions about camp.

Validate their feelings. The feeling of missing home can be a lot for a child to process.  This is a normal feeling.  Should your child begin to show anxiety or worry, it can be an effective tool to let your child know that many children – and counselors too – miss aspects of home and have found ways to deal with this feeling.

Bring a keepsake from home.  Encourage your child to bring something from home that will help cope with any unease.  These may be pictures of your family or friends, a stuffed animal, or a blanket.

Prepare your child for contacting home.  To help prevent continued homesickness and promote an independent growing experience, we do not allow children to call or email home.  However, we do encourage campers and parents to write letters.  Prepare your child for this form of communication by providing a supply of envelopes and writing material.

Words mean so much.  Letters from home can be a comforting relief to a child or they can further promote a child’s anxiety.  The words you choose can make all the difference between a camper growing in independence during the week or struggling to enjoy the experience.  Avoid communicating how much you miss them.

Encourage a positive attitude.  Build up the camp experience and ensure your child that it may be challenging, but it will be an experience they will never forget.

Avoid making the deal.  The single most important method of promoting a camp experience is to NOT tell your child that you will pick them up if they do not like camp.  Making this deal will ensure that your child will give less effort to invest in the experience.

Prepare them for a structured schedule.  Explain to your child that there will be a structured schedule that must be followed during camp.  Prepare them to follow camp rules.

Living interactions with peers.  Explain to your child that there may be other children sharing the room with them and they must respect the property of other children.

Parent/Camper Handbook. Coming soon!

New to Camp