Sending your children to sleepaway camp, especially for the first time, is hard enough, but not being able to call or text? How will you make it through the summer? It’s true that most camps, including day camps, ban cell phones. It is listed among the items NOT to bring. Your fears and concerns are understandable, but you will still be able to connect with your kids.
We are so used to being able to call or text anyone in seconds that the thought of not being able to do that with your kids over the summer can be truly frightening. How many times have you texted your child and then start to panic when they don’t respond right away? We all need to know that our children are safe and being cared for. Well, you can do it without a cell phone. Here are a few tips and reminders that will hopefully ease your concerns:
- You will be able to talk to your kids – Day campers will tell you all about it as soon as they get home. You will also have access to their schedule so you know what activities are planned. If they are away, you can call the camp. You can speak with their counselor or the camp director if you need to. Your children will also be able to call you if they want to get in touch.
- Check the camp’s website for photos – Many camps post pictures daily on their website. When choosing a camp, add this to the list of questions you ask.
- Write letters to each other – Sleepaway camps encourage campers to write home. They will tell you about what they have been up to and the friends they have made. You can also write letters to tell them that you love and miss them. If you are worried that they may be homesick, tell them it will be okay, have fun!
- Speaking of fun, that’s why they are at camp – It’s important to remind yourself why you wanted them to go to camp in the first place. You want them to have fun! You want them to make new friends and have the experience of a lifetime. You are fortunate to have the ability to this for your children. Help them take advantage of this opportunity by letting them play outside and interact with other kids without a screen in front of them. They will improve their social skills and increase their self-confidence.
- Do your homework – Deciding which camp to send your children to can be overwhelming. There are thousands to choose from. Take the time to figure out what you want for your kids in a summer camp before you start searching. As you begin to narrow it down and look at different camps, write down any concerns and questions that need to be answered. Camp directors and owners are happy to talk to you and tell you how they will address your concerns. They have heard it all and should already have plans and procedures in place.
- It’s me, not them – Do your kids want to talk or text with you all day? You probably need it more than they do. Let them be kids. Let them unwind and unplug. Summer is for escaping the demands of school and peer pressure. Camp allows them to be in a place dedicated to helping kids feel good about themselves.