With fewer than three weeks until Aloha, Hive and Lanakila’s opening day on June 26th, 2013 camp parents are busy wrapping up the school year, shopping for the last minute items to pack in their child’s trunk and finalizing camp travel details. For first-time camp parents there is special attention to the details of the packing list to be sure every item is carefully purchased and packed. What can be less easy to check off the list is how to help a child who has summer camp jitters.
A recent study by the American Camp Association shows that kids who spend a summer at a residential summer camp, away from mom and dad, are more willing to try new things, develop social skills, become more independent and confident and gain an increased sense of self-worth. As much as we parents understand the value and fun of camp however, our first-time campers may feel apprehension about opening day. The ACA’s post, Talking About Camp with your First Time Camper offers some great ways to talk to your child before your turn up in Fairlee for Opening Day. One of the most reassuring aspects of pre-camp training at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila is how carefully the counselors and staff prepare for your child’s arrival, and for the (slight) possibility of homesickness. In fact, we’ve written before about how homesickness can be an unexpected opportunity for your child’s growth.
When your child arrives on Opening Day, he or she will be immediately swept up by a counselor who will keep your child close in the first hours and days at camp.The first meals are comforting and familiar, and name tags mean you don’t have to worry about forgetting a new friend’s name. The first fun activities are meant to help your camper meet other children and counselors, and feel at home and welcomed at camp.
While we can’t guarantee that new parents won’t feel a bit kidsick after dropping off their child, we can absolutely guarantee that there is a loving and conscious plan to help integrate every new camper into the wonderful community at Aloha, Hive and Lanakila. Within a few days you will receive a phone call from camp with an update on your child, as well as a letter from your child’s counselor with details on his or her first fun days. With more than a century of experience welcoming children to the shores of Lakes Morey and Fairlee, the directors, counselors and staff of the Aloha camps know a lot about helping children feel right at home. Thank you for trusting us to ensure your child has their best summer ever.
Laura Gillespie is the Director of Communications at The Aloha Foundation, an alumna of Aloha Hive and Aloha Camp, and has been a Horizons and Lanakila parent.