Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘camp’

Summer is in full swing! Children are home from school and parents may be on the hunt to keep them engaged and involved this summer. A popular choice that many parents have selected is summer camps. There can be a variety of summer camps to choose from. Some opportunities may be day camps; while others are a week away from mom and dad and full of new adventures to enjoy. There are many benefits to youth attending summer camps. These benefits include meeting new friends, trying new activities, physical activity, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Studies show camps offering structured programs and physical activity may prevent weight gain in youth and help maintain physical fitness over the summer.

Along with the many memories made, summer camps also teach independence. During the week, participants get themselves up, get dressed, and brush their teeth all before the bell sounds to start breakfast and to begin the day. Summer camps also encourage well-being. Youth get to attend camp, see their friends, meet new ones, and come home with so many stories to share. Camps provide opportunities for practicing self-advocacy and other social skills. Youth may also have opportunities to increase self-esteem in these programs. Campers get to try activities and have experiences they can bring home for the rest of the family to enjoy. Various summer camps offer different activities for all to enjoy; there is something for everyone. I know when I was young, summer camps kept me busy and entertained all summer. My favorite memories as a kid came from the various camps I attended. I also made some of my very best friends at summer camp. I encourage parents to provide an opportunity for their youth to attend a summer camp of some variation. It will get children into the great outdoors and there the opportunities are endless. 

Written by: Kearsten Kirby, Student Intern, Ohio State University Extension Miami County kirby.305@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Miami County barton.345@osu.edu

Sources:

15 benefits of summer camp for your kids. GWRYMCA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://gwrymca.org/blog/15-benefits-summer-camp-your-kids

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Committee on Summertime Experiences and Child and Adolescent Education, Health, and Safety; Hutton R, Sepúlveda MJ, editors.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2019 Sep 26.

Read Full Post »

It can be stressful for a parent to get a tearful phone call from a child at camp. For children who are away from home, it is very common for them to experience homesickness. Ninety percent of all children report experiencing feelings of sadness when separated from their home environment. Most children are able to function at camp and learn to work through homesickness. And it’s worth the struggle when kids return stronger and more independent. Some preparation ahead of time may help lessen homesickness at camp.

camp

Have your child help pack. If your child is picking out his clothes and making sure they he has all that he needs, this will help him start to think about time at camp and taking care of himself.

Be positive when you talk with your child about camp. Remind him how much fun he will have with new activities and making new friends.

Address any concerns your child may have about being away from home. You can create some coping strategies together, or better yet, have him come up with suggestions of what he might do in certain situations. For example, when he feels homesick, or lonely he could write a letter home, find a friend, talk with camp staff, or get busy with an activity.

Back up Plans. Do NOT make a back up plan with your child in case he wants to come home. If a child and a parent have an easy ‘out’ it will likely be taken. Camp staff are usually prepared to help a homesick child. You might, however, talk with camp staff to make sure your child is working through it and still having a positive camp experience. You can encourage your child to stick it out. If the homesickness is severe and your child is not functioning well, decide ahead of time what you will do.

Pack notes in your child’s bag with encouraging words, affirmations, and even some funny jokes or camp mad libs for him to complete.  If you mail letters to camp, be positive and encourage your child that he can do it! Telling your child how much you miss him may not be helpful. Consider sending stamped envelopes and paper so your child can write you back. It will help him feel connected with you, and it’s neat to read the notes even after camp.

Prepare yourself to be apart from your child for the week. Have a friend you can talk with and that can give you positive and encouraging reminders. Click here for more tips for parents to manage their own worries about summer camp.

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Kathy Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Clark County

Sources:

American Psychological Association. “Summer camp blues: Planning ahead to lessen homesickness at camp.” 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/camp.aspx

American Psychological Association. “Sending your child to camp: Manage your own worries.” 2017. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/camp-worry.aspx

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

CampingEvery year around this time my daughter and I start looking at camps that she wants to attend over the summer. Sending your child to camp can be overwhelming for the first time. When picking a camp think about your child’s interests. You may also want to consider your family finances. How much can you afford to spend on the camp? Are there special items you need to purchase for the camp?

To have a successful camp experience, remember to include your child in the decision making process. Check out the camp website – you should be able to see pictures of the area and activities which will help your child get excited about going to camp. If there are reviews by campers, take time to read them.

American Camp Association suggests you consider these things before enrolling your child:
• What locale do we want to consider? (mountains, ocean, distance from home)
• Do we want a traditional camp that gives my child a wide variety of experiences or do we want a specialty camp that focuses on a particular activity or set of skills?
• What size enrollment will make my child feel comfortable?
• How rustic do we want the camp to be?
• How structured do we want the program to be?
• Does my child want lots of choice in the activity schedule?
• Is my child ready to sleep away from home for an extended stay? This will help you to select either a resident or day camp setting.
• What session length will appeal to my child and to our family plans for the summer? (One week? Two weeks? Eight weeks?)
• How can we stay in touch with my child during camp? Does the camp allow mail, phone calls, texting or e-mail? Does the camp have parent visitation days?
• How will the camp meet my child’s special dietary or physical needs?
• What is my budget for camp tuition? Remember, many camps offer financial aid.

There are many things to consider when selecting a camp. Think about your family, your child and their needs and interests before registering. Make the camping experience a positive way for your child to gain independence, learn new skills, and make new friends.

Happy Camping!last day of camp

Source:
American Camp Association
http://www.acacamps.org/

Writer: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County, sandman-stover.1@osu.edu

Reveiwer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Read Full Post »