2022 is Here! Camp Wekeela’s Success Kit for a Great Summer!
Camp is almost here!!! And we cannot wait! If this is your first summer, you may be a little nervous amidst your excitement and that is totally normal.
You are giving your child the gift of a lifetime! We are a supportive and loving community of people who love children and love camp, and the opportunities that await your child are amazing. It is an adjustment for the entire family, and that is the truth. They will gain independence in the safest and most nurturing place. This makes our children grow into wonderful teens and adults. Even if your child has a struggle at first, that in itself is a great learning experience, when they get over that initial bump. Make sure to tell your child to find connections – to their counselors, friends, administrators. Everyone is here to help them in every way.
Before camp your child may be nervous, they might be weepy, they might have trouble sleeping, they may start feeling like they made a mistake by choosing to go to camp, or they may start saying they will miss you too much – all totally normal.
Parents also may become anxious before camp. Tell your child you will miss them, but you are so excited for their new adventure at camp. Tell them they are going to have the best summer ever. Tell them you chose Wekeela out of all the camps because it is the safest and best place for a fun summer. Tell them you cannot wait to hear about their new friends, their new counselors and their activities.
If the bus or plane is causing the children to be anxious – this is also normal. Our chaperones have the names and ages of all of our campers. They will help campers find kids their age to sit with and help them start to make friends. No one will sit alone.
Homesickness for campers, especially when kids are not at their busy activities is common, especially in the first few days of camp. Our staff are aware of these down times and are ready with conversation, games, attention, and distraction from thinking about missing home. Campers should bring books, craft supplies, stationery and stamped envelopes, for rest hour and during flashlight time.
Campers should bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to camp! Anything that makes them feel happy. Homesickness typically only lasts the first few days of camp at the most and soon your child will have lots of friends, fun counselors, and awesome activities. DO NOT MAKE DEALS with your child before camp – never tell them you will come pick them up if they are unhappy – or be prepared to pick them up. If your child is having any problems at camp, we will help through it and contact you if need be. If your child thinks they can get picked up whenever they have a challenge, they will not learn the important skill of problem solving.
You may get sad or homesick emails – you may even get pleas to come get them immediately. Save these notes forever. The words will be very dramatic and you may be very upset – but it is so normal and we see it every summer. These emails are often written during rest hour when campers are thinking about missing you. Their emails are a snippet of a day filled with amazing fun. You are not seeing the entire picture. By the time you read the email or letter, their words are old news and they have usually moved on. If you feel the need to reach out, please do – the office and the directors are always here to help you.
We post hundreds of photos each day, these are again a snapshot of a small moment in time. Do not freak out if you do not see your child in the photos, some children are camera shy, and some might not get into pictures being taken. Do not tell them to give you a signal – that just is not beneficial to either of you. If your child is not standing with a particular friend, that does not mean anything – they are going to make many friends over the summer. Photos do not tell the whole picture of camp – please do not read into the photos or make assumptions. We cannot capture every second on film. If you are ever concerned about anything, again, please call us. We will call you back as soon as we are available. Before we call you back we will make sure to do a check in with the counselors so that we can give you the feedback you are looking for.
Most children absolutely love their families, their rooms, their friends and their home life. Camp is another home, a second home and children have the amazing ability to make new friends, and add new experiences to their lives. Remind them that you will miss them but you want them to go and have a great time. Avoid telling them what they will miss while they are away, it is ok to fib and tell them they are going to miss nothing but hot and sticky days. Make sure they know you chose Camp Wekeela for them because you are sure they are going to have the time of their lives. They will feel more secure when you share your confidence in us with them. Let your children fly – this is a gift. Talk to them about how to cope with missing you. Please do not micromanage the camp experience from afar. Do not make deals with your child. Ask them if they really need the parent phone call or see if they may want to try a summer without one. They can write emails/letters frequently! And lastly, enjoy yourselves, you are getting a chance to have fun while entrusting your camper to us. This is a great time to travel, reconnect, and not follow a rigorous schedule. It’s awesome to have some ME and WE time.
We are your new camp family – your friends and your advocates for happiness, safety, and success of your camper. We are here for you during the summer and after the summer.
Here’s to a fabulous 2022, our 100th year of our magnificent haven on the shores of Little Bear Pond.