The countdown to camp is on. Now that camp is just a few weeks to go, now is a good time to start talking about camp with your child.  While there is probably a lot of excitement surrounding the camp experience, there may also be some nervousness about trying something new which is completely normal for your child to feel.  The American Camp Association, NY & NJ offers the following tips to share with your first time camper. 

  1. You won’t miss your phone – Leaving your phone at home might sound like the worst thing possible, but a few days into camp, you won’t miss it at all.   You will be living in the moment, surrounded by friends and everyone you need to connect with will be right there with you at camp.  Don’t worry—your phone will be waiting for you when you return. 
  2. Everyday won’t be perfect and that’s ok – Whether you are at school, on vacation or at camp, no day is perfect.   You will have the greatest time at camp but there may be a day that it rains and you can’t go swimming or you might get in a disagreement with a friend, but that is ok.  Camp mirrors life and not every day will be “the best day”.  
  3. Keep the amount of time away from home in perspective – Now that camp is approaching, a few weeks at camp can sound like an eternity, but trust me, once you are there, the time will just fly.  Your days will be busy with singing, camp fires, sports, arts & crafts.  By the end of your time at camp, you will be crying because you don’t want to leave. 
  4. You will make the best of friends – You probably have been going to school with the same children for a number of years so you already know everyone.  Camp is the chance to make new friends and to start fresh.  This might seem daunting but just keep in mind that there are a lot of other kids going to camp for the first time and eager to make new friends.   Before long, you won’t even remember a time that your camp friends weren’t around!
  5. It’s ok to be nervous – Like with every new experience, it’s common to be a little nervous and have butterflies in your stomach about camp.  But just like the first day of any new activity, your nerves will go out the window once you are talking to new friends and having fun. 

Looking for a summer camp? The American Camp Association, NY & NJ offers families free, one-on-one advice in finding the right camp for their child.  Call 212.391.5208 to find your child’s summer home. 

By Jess Michaels 
Director of Communications
American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey