First-Time Camp Families
The weather is slowly starting to warm up here in the Northeast, and we couldn’t be more excited. The change in seasons is a sure sign that camp is just around the corner. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back for Summer 2022. The IS Crew has been working around the clock on staffing, programming, and facilities so that we can ensure the best summer ever. And we know that camp families are just as busy preparing for summer 2022!
Preparing for overnight camp is exciting but can also feel overwhelming. There is a lot of information to review, forms to complete, and a packing list that can look quite intimidating. Being a first-time camp family presents an even greater challenge because the process is unfamiliar. But don’t worry, we are here to help every step of the way. We understand that the transition to overnight camp comes with mixed emotions, and we are committed to making the process as easy as possible. We encourage first-time camp families to reach out so that we can answer your questions and concerns as you prepare your child for summer 2022. It’s as easy as calling the office or scheduling a time to talk with me directly. I will help walk you through the process of getting ready for the overnight camp experience.
Speaking with families who are getting ready for their camper’s first summer at Iroquois Springs is one of my favorite times of the year. Working in the camp office and having raised three children at camp, I fully understand the feelings and concerns that accompany this new journey in your child’s life. No matter what the question or concern, it’s important to get answers and a clear understanding of how camp operates. You may have questions about what to pack or how we address homesickness, whatever the issue, we want every parent to feel confident that their camper is going to be in a safe and nurturing place they can call their summer home.
Here are some common areas that parents have questions about…
Packing – The summer 2022 packing list is a thorough and well-thought-out list of the essential items campers will need for a happy and successful summer. It’s never too early to begin gathering camp items and placing your order with Everything Camper. You know your camper best, so when it comes to items that are recommended and not required, feel comfortable making adjustments based on your child. Each camper has adequate space for their belongings, but we encourage them not to overpack, as it makes it more difficult for campers to manage their space. We want them outside to have fun and be comfortable in their space when inside the bunk.
Homesickness – First-time campers who have never had an extended time away from home and family may express concerns about homesickness. We understand and are here to help make the transition to overnight camp as easy as possible. Camp staff is trained in how to help campers who experience feelings of homesickness and will be there for them with comfort and support. We encourage parents to let their campers know that missing home and family is quite natural and we are here to take care of them if these feelings arise. Please do not tell your camper you will pick them up if they feel homesick. Give them the confidence that they will work it through and have a wonderful camp experience.
Getting to Know Your Camper – We want to know all about your camper. Their personality, interests, fears, goals…all of it. The best way to provide us with this important information is to fill out the Parent Questionnaire on the Parent Dashboard. The more we know about your child, the better we can support them throughout their summer camp experience. The information you provide will be communicated to your child’s counselors and group leader so that they can help your child have a successful and meaningful summer.
Meeting other IS campers – The majority of new campers are coming to camp on their own, without knowing other campers in their division, and maybe nervous about meeting new friends. “New Family Orientation” is the perfect day for new families to tour camp, enjoy a delicious BBQ lunch, and allow new campers to meet their group leaders and other new campers in their division. It also allows parents to meet the directors and key staff members to learn about camp life and have their questions answered. It’s the best natural environment for campers to become familiar with one another prior to the start of camp. We know that not every family can attend NFO because of distance or scheduling, but do not worry, camp is a place where friendship and connections are formed from the moment campers arrive.
These are just a few areas that first-time families have questions about, but please know that no question is off-limits. It’s important that parents and campers have their concerns addressed so that they feel comfortable and confident at their summer home. Please do not hesitate to sign up for a time to talk with me about your camper’s first summer at Iroquois Springs. We know it’s going to be a fantastic experience and the start of many memorable summers to come.