Director Jud's Blog

10 Tips on How to Prepare Your Child for SMA Tween Summer Camp

Posted by Jud Millar on Fri, Mar 25, 2016

10 Tips on How to Prepare (You and) Your Child for SMA Tween Summer Camp – My Kid is Signed Up for Stone Mountain Adventures, Now What? Overnight-Teen-Summer-Camp.jpg

  1. opefully committing to SMA Sleep Away Summer Camp wasn’t traumatic for your tween or you. Have your child look over the camp’s website and/or catalogue. Does your child know what to expect? Which activities is your child excited about experiencing? Are there any activities that concern you or your child? Be sure to talk about this at home and, if necessary, with the camp’s personnel.
  2. Read the camp’s packing list. Read it again. SMA Overnight Teen Summer Camp is place to get dirty. Don’t bring your favorite jeans or new clothes/equipment unless absolutely necessary. Follow the camp’s packing list. Don’t over pack. Layers are important especially if your child’s camp is susceptible to colder days and/or nights.Sleep-Away-Summer-Camp.jpg
  3. Ask your teen open ended questions about what he or she hopes to gain from camp. It might be as simple as “having fun.” What does that entail? What skills does a person need to have fun?
  4. If it’s your child’s first year at a camp, ask camp personnel if there is a veteran camper who could reach out to your child. Social media is ripe with opportunities for children to connect without ever talking face-to-face. Better yet, see if your child can connect with a returning counselor.
  5. As a parent, ask to speak or email with a veteran camper’s mom or dad. What did that parent glean from their child’s camp experience?
  6. If your child seems hesitant about camp, talk about it. Don’t just say, “Oh, you’ll love it once you’re there” or “I went to camp. I know exactly how you feel.” Ask your child, specifically, what he or she is nervous about. New experiences CAN be stressful. Eustress is real and okay!tween-summer-camp-sma-1.jpg
  7. Depending on how long your child’s camp experience will be, find out ahead of time what kind of communication is allowed. Are cell phones okay to bring to camp? Can your child make/receive phone calls? Hopefully your child’s camp encourages letter writing. If your child’s camp is only one week in length, plan to leave a few letters (maybe one every other day) with the camp (or mail ahead of time to ensure delivery). A small care package that can be shared with your child’s cabin mates is fun, too. Be sure to ask what is acceptable (food/candy – some camps have strict policies due to allergies), small toys or games like MadLibs, water squirters. Remember: no news is good news!
  8. Whenever possible, plan to deliver and pick up your child at camp.
  9. Is all of your camper’s paperwork turned in to camp? Emergency contact info? Medical forms?
  10. If YOU’RE nervous about your child going off to camp, don’t tell your child or go crazy on social media. YOU’RE the parent, not the best friend. Showing your child that new experiences with new people is a part of life that will teach your child resilience and help him or her navigate the world. Camp can be a huge part of that growth for a young person.

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About Director Jud's Blog

This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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