Going to summer camp for the first time can be a bit scary for both dancers and parents. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a few tips to help put your mind at ease and get you prepared for a summer of fun.
Bring your positive attitude
If you don’t think camp will be a positive experience for your child, neither will they. Remain positive: give your child a pep talk in the morning if nerves kick in. Offer encouragement and a reminder of how much fun camp is! For young campers, remind them that attending camp is definitely something for ‘big boys’ and ‘big girls.’
Share your own camp experiences
Did you go to camp as a child? Show your dancer your pictures. Explain to them how much fun you had and all the neat things you learned! This will excite children for their own camp experiences.
Head to summer camp with a friend
If you enroll your child with a friend, they already have a connection with someone, which makes for an easier transition.
Learn as much about the camp in advance together
Learn the names of camp staff and what to expect by reviewing camp videos, brochures, etc. Calm your own nerves by reading over camp safety policies or reviewing safety with the camp provider. Understand that day one of summer camp can be a bit hectic, so allow yourself plenty of extra time to get checked in.
Keep emotions in check
Resist the urge to tell your child over and over how much you will miss them throughout the day. This increases the risk of separation anxiety. Instead recognize that it is just a few hours a day. Your child will be having so much fun, there won’t be time to get homesick.
What to pack
An extra change of clothes in a bag (in case of accidents), healthy snacks (nothing too sugary), a water bottle and a list of emergency contacts to leave with the camp providers. Be sure to label everything with your child’s first and last name.