YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

Sending your child away to Camp Classen can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for parents and children alike. At any age, short-term separation from caregivers and learning independence are crucial steps in a child’s growth. To help ease the transition and ensure a positive experience for your child, consider these helpful tips:

Introduce Them to Their Counselor: Before camp begins, talk to your child about whom they can turn to for help. Encourage them to approach their counselor with any concerns or needs. Counselors are trained to provide support and guidance to campers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Discuss Camp Hygiene: Hygiene routines may differ at camp compared to home. Take the time to explain these differences to your child and practice any necessary routines together. The camp emphasizes the importance of personal hygiene and provides facilities and guidance to ensure campers stay clean and healthy throughout their stay.

Model Confidence: Show confidence in your child’s ability to adapt and thrive at camp. Camp offers a supportive environment where children can explore new activities and make lasting memories. Knowing that you believe in them will boost their confidence and ease any anxiety they may feel.

Focus on the Positives: Remind your child of the exciting adventures that await them at camp. There’s a wide range of activities, from hiking and swimming to arts and crafts, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Reviewing the camp schedule together can help build anticipation and excitement.

Address Anxiety with Resilience: It’s natural for children to feel anxious about being away from home. Share stories of your own resilience and coping strategies to reassure them that they can overcome any challenges they may encounter. The camp encourages campers to support one another and offers a nurturing environment where friendships can flourish.

Tips for Preventing Homesickness:

Pack Together: Involve your child in the packing process to help them feel more comfortable and prepared. Campers are encouraged to bring items that remind them of home, such as photos or favorite stuffed animals, to ease any feelings of homesickness.

Connect with Experienced Campers: Reach out to camp staff or past campers for advice and insights on how to address homesickness. Their expertise and understanding can provide valuable support during this transition.

Encourage Letter Writing: Instead of phone calls, send encouraging letters to your child during their time at camp. Opportunities for campers to receive mail and packages help them feel connected to their loved ones back home.

Tips for Making New Friendships:

Be Open and Approachable: Encourage your child to be friendly and open to meeting new people. The camp fosters a welcoming and inclusive environment where campers can form meaningful connections with their peers.

Practice Active Listening: Teach your child to listen attentively and show genuine interest in others. By practicing empathy and understanding, they can build strong and lasting friendships at camp.

Be Inclusive: Encourage your child to include others in activities and games. The camp values diversity and encourages campers to embrace differences and celebrate each other’s unique strengths.

By following these tips and utilizing the resources available at camp, you can help prepare your child for a memorable and enriching experience at overnight camp. Encourage them to embrace new opportunities, make lasting friendships, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

To learn more about Camp Classen, please visit campclassen.org

Written by Y-USA Staff, www.ymca.org/ystories

All YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City locations will be closed on Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. 24/7 access will continue to be available at locations where the service is offered. Work out with us anytime with YMCA360.