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1. How do I know which camp is best for my child?
2. At what age should I send my child to camp?
3. How do I prepare my child (emotionally) for camp?
4. What should I pack?
5. How can I help my teenager find a camp job?
Q1. How do I know which camp is best for my child?
A1. Do your research. Camps come in every size and specialty. The best thing to do is research camps on the internet until you've narrowed your choices down to half a dozen or so that fit your particular needs for location, activities, price and quality. Then . . . contact the camps by telephone (not email). Speaking to someone on the phone is more personal than email and it will give you an opportunity to gauge each camp's enthusiasm, philosophy and beliefs.
Q2. At what age should I send my child to camp?
A2. Typically children start attending day camps at the age of 5 or 6 and residential camps at around 8 or 9. It really depends on your child. Often, it is more difficult for the parents to see their children go to camp, than for the children themselves. Speaking to your child about this opportunity is a good place to start. They may express a real interest in attending or be a little reluctant. Either way, at least you know how to approach the subject.
Q3. How do I prepare my child (emotionally) for camp?
A3. For many children, attending camp is the highlight of their summer. For others, usually first-timers, preparing for camp can cause a great deal of anxiety. For them, a new environment, meeting new friends, and adjusting to a new counselor are events that may cause discomfort and apprehension. Not to worry. "I won't go" or "I don't want to go" are not unexpected responses. Often, it is more difficult for the parents to see their children go to camp, than for the children themselves. It is important for parents to set their children up for success. With positive words and encouragement about camp, apprehension usually disappears. Some camps host "Open Houses" as a way for first time campers to overcome their anxiety toward camp.
Q4. What should I pack?
A4. Every camp is different. It is always best to speak to each camp independently to ask for their packing list
Q5. How can I help my teenager find a camp job?
A5. This website is a good place to start. Take a look at the job postings on this website and contact the camps independently by email or by telephone. A friendly piece of advice is to have your teen contact the camp directly rather than you (their mom or dad) doing it for them. This is a good first step for your teen in securing a position. Really, camps would rather speak to the teen themselves than to mom or dad.