While searching for stickers at our local arts and crafts store last weekend, I heard a little girl say, "Mom, look, there is the pool lady." At first, I did not think she was referring to me. Did she really recognize me in my sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers which are are a far cry from my camp "uniform" of shorts, swimsuit, and flip flops? However, as the two approached, I recognized the camper from Unit A last summer, and kneeled down and inquired, "Are you excited for camp this summer?"
"Yes," she began, "I am so excited to see everyone in Unit A again!"
"Well," interrupted her mom, "she has not realized that this summer she will be in a different unit, and that there may be some differences, although I have tried to explain this to her."
We spent some time talking about camp and the parts of camp that may be different this summer, and while she was apprehensive at first, once I begain to tell her more about Unit B, particularly the Unit B Special Day with extra swim time, she began to understand and clearly became more excited about experiencing a new unit. I was peppered with questions and spent time answering each and every one. Finally, we parted with thoughts of the fun summer ahead and with hopes that warm summer weather will arrive soon.
However, while driving home, I began to think about my own children and their expectations about camp. I realized that they are excited, but that I may need to do a bit more to help them understand that as campers move from unit to unit, there will be differences. Transitions are often hard for children of any age, and it is important for children to have realistic expectations and an understanding of what camp will bring each summer. How are is your child feeling about camp? What steps can we take to help make the transition a smooth one for everyone?
If your family is new to camp or if your camper is moving up to Senior Camp, please join us on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, for a New Parent Night. We will share information with parents and take time to answer questions that you may have. We hope to see you there!
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