12 Steps to Prepare your Camper for Camp

Episcopal Diocese of Kansas Youth Ministry wants to partner with parents and campers to provide a safe and meaningful camp experience. Here are some helpful hints to get the most out of your camp experience.

  1. Read the Camp Web Site, FAQ, and Confirmation e-mail completely. These provide important information to prepare for camp and may answer many of your questions.
  1. Talk to your child(ren) about what to expect. Many campers will be nervous about spending a week away from home. Tell them all the exciting things they will get to do. Your positive words will calm their nerves, and get them excited about camp
  1. Be careful not to show high levels of parental anxiety. Avoid statements like, “I am going to miss you so much!” Acknowledge, in a positive way, that you will miss your child. For example, you can say “I am going to miss you, but I know that you will have a good time at camp.”
  1. Make sure your child knows homesickness is normal. In fact, 90% of campers say they experience some degree of homesickness. Realize that talking about homesickness does not make homesickness occur with more frequency or intensity. Encourage your child’s independence throughout the year. Practice separations, such as sleepovers at a friend’s house, can simulate the camp environment.If you get a homesick letter, look at when it was written. Many campers will send home a letter the first day – before they have even started having fun! Talk to the Youth Missioner if you receive more than one homesick letter and you are concerned about your child. We will check in with them to see how they are doing. Trust your instincts. Most incidents of homesickness will pass in a day or two.
  1. If your child is coming to camp without a buddy, reassure them they will make many new friends and there will also be plenty of other campers without buddies.
  1. Questions – Ask your child if he or she has any questions about camp. Keeping an open dialogue about what camp will be like will help your child feel comfortable about going to camp for the first time. While talking about it, you can find out what is worrying them the most, and come up with effective strategies, like, “We’ll make sure to buy a really good flashlight so that you can use it at night to go to the bathhouse.”
  1. Pack for camp with your child – Discuss what items will be needed for camp and pack together. Your child will feel more secure if they know what they are bringing to camp and you can use the time packing together to talk with your child about how much fun camp is going to be. Make sure to look at the camp packing list (in your confirmation e-mail) and respect the items the camp asks you to leave at home. Pack favorites from home that will help campers cope – stuffed animals, pictures, pillows, and blankets do help! If you camper knows what they brought, they are also more likely to come home with the same items!
  1. Don’t make “pick-up deals.” A pick-up deal is when the parent promises to pick up the child if they are homesick. You are sending your child the message that you don’t feel he or she will be successful at camp. Also, camp experts know that children are more likely to call parents for a rescue when there is a pick-up deal in place. Before camp begins, let your child know you are confident in his or her ability to have a wonderful summer camp experience. They WILL have fun at camp, but only if they are AT camp.
  1. Send a letter a day or two before camp starts with lots of positive comments!

Camper’s Name & Session (High School, Junior High or Elementary)
Episcopal Summer Camp
Camp Wood YMCA
1101 Camp Wood Rd.
Elmdale, KS 66850

Please ship or mail items early. It takes a minimum of 3 days for mail to reach camp. Due to the expense, we cannot guarantee that mail which arrives after Friday will be delivered to your child(ren). You may drop off letters and packages for your child at check-in with the day of delivery clearly indicated on the outside of the letter or package.

  1. Arrive at camp on time, as close to the registration start time as possible. (Check-in time is Sunday, June 3, 2:00-3:00 pm.) This will allow you to help your camper get settled and walk around camp to get more comfortable. Arriving on time also ensures that your camper doesn’t miss any orientation information.
  1. Stay connected with what’s happening at camp via the Youth Blog, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We will share as much as we possibly have time for. If it’s not enough, you can call, text, or e-mail the Youth Missioner to get specific information about your camper(s). Please understand that all of our staff are VERY busy during camp, and camp is a BIG place. We will get the information and get back with you as soon as possible.
  1. Pray for your child, the counselors, and other staff.

Karen Schlabach
Youth Missioner
913-708-5927 mobile/text


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