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Love & Care

Summer camp

To send or not to send your child to a summer camp?

Summer is the time we all want our children to have a good rest, ideally, to learn some new skills or make new friends. This is the time for the outdoors, sports, adventures, travel and fun! Sure, it is great if you can spend the summer doing all this with your child! But most adults will not be able to have three months of an active outdoor summer with their children…

Your decision about sending your child to a summer camp will mostly depend on your own previous experience and on something you might have heard from people around. Let’s try to get a clear picture of advantages and disadvantages of a summer camp for your child.

What’s good about a summer camp?

  1. A summer camp is an opportunity for your child to build up their independence, responsibility and self-care.

  2. Your child’s activities at a camp are organized and supervised by professional counsellors and most probably will benefit your child.

  3. Summer is a great time to learn a new skill – archery, horse-riding, video-making, dance or English. So choose a summer camp that will have something interesting to offer!

  4. A summer camp is a great place to make new friends – we all remember those tears at the end of your camp stay when you need to say ‘good-bye’ to all your new friends!

  5. You can choose a camp in a place of natural beauty, on the seaside, in the mountains – those place where the air is fresh and full of energy!

The possible dangers of a summer camp.

  1. There might be a period of stress if the child is travelling by themselves for the first time – they might miss you, their usual surroundings, have difficulties making new friends.

  2. Parents have no control over their child’s activities during the day. They doubt if their child has eaten well or is wearing suitable clothes.

  3. Your child might have conflicts with other children in the group and you will not be there to advise or support.

  4. Children that are not used to taking care of their hygiene and belongings might have lapses in self-care and care of their things. Their clothes might be a smelly mess, hair and teeth not brushed.

To prevent all of these good counselling care is important.

You can do a few things to prepare your child for the camp rather than decide not to send them.

  1. Discuss the camp with your child: look at some photos and videos, talk about things they will be doing. Inspire your child!

  2. Find out if your child is worried about anything bout the trip – dispel their worries and reassure them that everything will be fine. Suggest practical ways to address any possible difficulties.

  3. Make sure your child is confident about self-care. Make to-do lists for mornings and evenings – ask them to tick the list every day.

  4. Reassure the child that they can contact you any time they have a major problem. Encourage them to first try to deal with difficulties by themselves. Find out the camp’s phone rules and agree with the child what they can expect in the way of phone calls.

  5. If there is a possibility to meet the counsellors, please, do it. Ask all your questions and introduce the child.

  6. Make sure your child knows the basic rules of communication, being respectful, polite, kind, sharing, following safety rules.

Give it a try and a summer camp may be the best and most memorable experience for your child!

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