Helpful Tips For Parents

Sleep Away Camp for Kids and Teens

Sending your child to a sleep away camp for the first time is very exciting for both parents and campers. Children learn independence, an appreciation for nature and the outdoors, confidence, and many new skills and talents that they wouldn’t at home. Parents learn to let their child grow. Long Bay Camp is an ideal sleep away camp for kids and teens because it is small in size and has a wonderful family atmosphere.

While camp can be a positive experience for everyone, your camper (and maybe even you) may be a bit apprehensive about the adventure on which they are about to embark. This section contains some helpful hints about how you can help prevent homesickness and ensure your child has the best camp experience possible.

  • Go over the camp schedule (Typical Day) and the information package (that will be sent to all registered campers) with your child. If your child knows ahead of time what activities (art? dance? drama? music?) they are going to participate in and what a typical day will be like, it will help them better adjust to their time at camp. As well, if they know you know what time their show is, what day they are being picked up, and what kinds of fun things they are going to do, it may calm a lot of anxieties that they may have.
  • Send a letter. Campers love receiving mail because it lets them know you are thinking about them. It is important to include positive statements like “I look forward to learning about all of the fun things you did”, “I’m excited to watch your show”, or “I’m excited to hear about all of the new friends you’ve made”, and to avoid negative ones like “I miss you so much and can’t wait for you to come home”. This helps the camper focus on their positive experiences at camp and look forward to sharing them with you. You may want to send the letter in advance of them leaving for camp, or give it to their counsellor to deliver later when they arrive to ensure that it arrives on time.
  • Have the camper help pack. This helps them to recognize their belongings, know what they brought, and makes them feel prepared for their adventure.
  • Talk about homesickness. Talk to you child about how homesickness is normal, and maybe a time when you were homesick too. Explain what homesickness feels like, how it may be sadness, or a sore tummy. Also, come up with a homesickness plan, what your child can do if they feel homesick. This may include writing a letter home, talking to a counsellor, singing part of a favourite song or reading a favourite book. It may also help to bring a stuffed animal or blanket to camp that comforts them. It is quite normal to bring stuffed animals; many (if not most) children do, and even some of our counsellors as well!
  • Come to the open house. This gives your camper a chance to meet the people who will be taking care of them at camp. It gives them the chance to ask their questions, see the camp environment, and get a taste of what camp is really like. It also lets the parents do these things too.

These are just a few helpful hints you could try. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to read the following free, on-line resources:  “The Summer Camp Handbook”, written by Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinkowski .
“Camp, The Best Time of a Childs Life” written by Catherine Ross.
We feel these books are great tools for parents and campers to learn more about overnight summer camps, especially for first-time campers.


Long Bay Camp Sleep Away Camp for Kids and Teens


Summer Art Sleep Away Camp for Kids and Teens 2017

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