21 ways to have a great first day away from home at summer campJune 26, 2016
So your child is going away to summer camp for the first time. As you say goodbye there’s a big lump in your throat, and you wonder more than once “how is she going to have a great first day away from home?” “Is he going to make friends?” “Is this summer camp ready to help my child truly be happy and independent for the next 7 weeks?”
For those new to our community I thought I’d take you through exactly how we help our boys and girls have amazing first days at our overnight camp in New Hampshire!
1. Start your trip to New Hampshire by meeting the friendliest camp counselors you’ve ever imagined.
2. Learn from younger and older campers why this camp is their favorite place in the whole world. Feel comfortable to ask them every question you can think of. Feel really welcome.
3. Watch cartoons and relax. We don’t watch TV during the rest of the summer but it’s a nice way to be comfortable on the bus ride.
4. Giggle and laugh throughout the ride.
5. Move seats multiple times so as to make as many new friends as possible.
6. Step off of the bus and enter a human tunnel of smiling, cool counselors who make you instantly feel like you belong.
7. Walk into a beautiful bunk and find that your counselors already unpacked your stuff and made your bed.
8. Get outside and play, instead of unpacking and maybe being sad or homesick.
9. Go on a guided tour of the entire campus, led by the returning campers. Find out that these returning kids are just as friendly as the kids you met at the New Camper Party.
10. Participate in ice breaking games designed to help you feel comfortable in your new summer home, and figure out what you have in common with your new camp friends.
11. Get a clear understanding of how to be successful at overnight camp, and what your responsibilities are.
12. Have an amazing dinner and even better dessert. Rainbow cupcakes!
13. And know if you have a food allergy that your meal is safe AND tasty.
14. Watch your counselors put on a show where they act as ridiculous as possible because it reminds you that they will do anything to help you feel comfortable here.
15. Settle in for a good night’s sleep with all of these new friends you’ve made on your first day.
16. Be up early the first morning, playing games and hanging with your new buddies.
17. Get outside and play. Participate in some fabulous sports clinics. Start creating new art projects. Go on a canoe trip. Jam out on the electric guitar.
18. Take some time after lunch and work with your bunkmates and counselors to come up with a list of how you are going to treat each other this summer. Sign it like a contract and hang it proudly on the cabin wall.
19. Eat delicious milk and cookies.
20. Get back out there and play more. Learn new skills. Laugh.
21. Be amazed that 24 hours went that fast, and that you are already so happy and comfortable in your new summer camp home!