Did you know 1 in 6 children between 2 and 8 years has a developmental, mental, or behavioral disorder?
Kids live in a challenging world, no doubt. Summer camps can help kids acquire the skills they need to cope with and even overcome life’s challenges.
These camps provide a nice escape from normality. It’s a time away from technology, surrounded by fun activities and new friends to make. Millions of kids head there every year to have an unforgettable experience.
It’s the parents who can sometimes struggle most with it!
Indeed, camp may be the first time a child spends a night away from home.
Dropping them there and saying goodbye can be a genuine cause of concern. It’s natural! Leaving a child under the protection of total strangers is rarely an easy thing to do.
If anxiety around camp is a problem, then consider visiting the summer camp beforehand. It can be an effective way to ease your mind. Want to know why?
Keep reading to learn 7 ways a visit ahead of time can solve parental anxiety.
1. You Can Ask Questions
Your child may never have been to camp before.
Heck, they may never have spent a night away from home!
For their entire lives, you’ve been able to keep a watchful eye over them, protecting and ensuring their well-being. The thought of them being away from you can be a genuine challenge.
Part of the problem is often the uncertainty around the experience. You probably have a mass of questions that the internet hasn’t answered.
Visiting the camp provides the opportunity to speak with camp leaders and directors. You can ask them any questions you have and settle your nerves in the process. Indeed, sometimes, simply voicing your concerns and having someone address them can be helpful in itself!
2. You Can See the Facilities
There can be a big difference between marketing brochures and reality!
Any pamphlets and online content will portray the camp in the best light possible. The equipment, accommodation and catering facilities will inevitably come across as top-notch.
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter can sometimes tell a different story. Equipment might be old and outdated, accommodation may be dirty, and so on.
Going along to the camp beforehand allows you to scope out the territory. You can ask for a tour of the premises. You see for yourself the state of the camp. As such, you can decide if it meets the standards you have for your children.
Likewise, you’ll also be able to picture your children at camp if they go. You can imagine them engaged in the activities. You can think about them in their bunk beds, and eating at the dining table.
This can be reassuring for any parent missing their kids!
3. You Can See the Activities
Here’s a tip:
Visit the camp on a busy day when everything is in full swing.
That way you’ll actually see the activities your kids will be doing. You’ll be able to identify the number of staff available, get an impression of the safety standards, and more.
Many parents wonder and worry about the particular mix of activities on offer. It’s important to get a mix of physical, creative and team-building tasks. After all, you want to know there will be something your child will enjoy.
There can be no better way of guaranteeing this than seeing what happens.
4. You Get to Understand the Ethos & Values
The right camp will match a family’s principles and values.
You don’t want to send your child somewhere espousing views and values at odds with your own. For example, you might want a camp based on strong religious foundations. Equally, you might not.
Whatever your particular ethos, it’s always important to find a camp to match.
Visiting beforehand provides the best insight into a camp’s particular values. You may see or hear things that call into question its fitness for purpose. Likewise, you may see all the things you want to!
5. You Meet the People in Charge
It’s always strange leaving your kids in the hands of strangers.
You don’t know these people. You’ve never met them and never had the chance to judge their character. And you’re expected to entrust them with your children!
The concept can be challenging for some parents. One way to rectify this is to go along and meet the camp leaders and directors.
Check with them who would be in charge at the time your child is there. Ask them about how they choose their staff. What do they look for in the people they employ? What experience do they have with children? And so on.
This will help settle your nerves about whether your kids will be in good hands.
6. You Witness the Kids’ Reactions
Remember how we recommended visiting camp on a busy day?
Well, another advantage of doing that is the ability to see other kids in action there.
You’ll be able to see from their reactions whether they’re enjoying the experience. Ultimately, the best test of a camp’s quality is how the children respond to it.
It’s normal to see a few unhappy faces. After all, 97% of children experience homesickness. However, overall, you’d hope to see lots of smiling, laughing, happy kids! If you do, then this is a clear sign your child would probably have a good time too.
7. You Can Speak with Other Parents
Finally, head to camp and you might meet other parents in the process.
You can see whether the kids are happy there. Next, you can speak with the parents about their thoughts as well. What have their children been saying about their experience? Is this the first time they’ve been? Or have they been more than once?
This is another great means of assessing the quality of the camp. Hopefully, you’ll settle your nerves in the process!
Time to Resolve Your Parental Anxiety
There you have it: 7 reasons a visit to camp ahead of time can help reduce parental anxiety.
Summer camp offers children a host of amazing benefits. However, the thought of sending them there can be a challenge for some parents!
Thankfully, there are ways to settle the nerves. Visiting the camp beforehand is a great way to do just that. Hopefully, this piece has demonstrated exactly how it can help.
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