Hey, Camp Preppers!
I’m posting tips and advice on Mondays throughout April concerning great ways to involve your child in the planning processes of summer camp such as packing and shopping. Last week I introduced the topic and explained the importance of including your kids in the planning stages of summer camp.
Making it something they’re a part of certainly reduces some of the mystery of summer camp for them. They know a little more of what they can expect when they’re a part of the planning. Today I’ll be talking about a vital part of helping your children to prepare for their summer camp experience: solidify the length of your kid’s camp stay in their mind.
There are three ways described by authors Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski in their preparatory guidebook, ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’, available here at Everything Summer Camp.
1.) Use a family calendar to mark the dates of your child’s camp stay. Having this visual representation of when camp starts and ends will generally put a decent idea of just how long camp is in your kid’s head. Make sure the calendar is pinned up in communal areas of your home, like the kitchen refrigerator or a hallway wall.
2.) Referencing time is another way to solidify the length of your kid’s camp stay in his or her mind. Referencing time means to refer to another event of a similar amount of time. If you and your child are thinking of a two week camp stay, ask, “How long did winter break feel? That was two weeks.” What’s vastly more important than your kid’s answer is their focus on lengths of time.
3.) Lastly, you can reframe time. This means putting the length of your kid’s camp stay in perspective. If your kid’s concerned that his or her camp stay will feel too long, you can lessen how ‘LONG’ time will feel. One way to do this is to explain that summer VACATION is a whole ten weeks long. Summer camp will only be one or two weeks. That’s 10 to 20% of summer vacation. That’s NOT that long!
You can also spread out a deck of cards and say that if each card is a week, there are this many cards to one year. Flip two of the cards and say this is how many weeks out of the year you’ll be at summer camp. This visual works great for kids!With these three tips, you should have no problem giving your children an accurate idea of how long their camp stay will be and how long it will feel. Tune in next Monday to learn about what you can avoid before (and during your kid’s camp stay). And, as always, thanks for reading.