Tips for Parents

Camp is about creating lasting memories for your kids. But sometimes there’s more to it than signing up your child to spend the week away.
Below we’ve listed some helpful resources and tips for choosing the right camp, preparing for camp, and dealing with homesickness.

How to Choose a Camp

Manitoba and NorthWestern Ontario have several fun and different camps to choose from. What you need to do before signing up is determine which one will be best-suited to your child.

Location matters - Not all camps offer transportation services so it is important to confirm this with the camp. If they do not offer transportation, you will be need to be able to physically transport your child to camp. 

Your child’s age - Most camps offer programming for children that range in age from 6-17 years old. It is important to ensure that the session they are registered for is age appropriate for your child.   

Interests - Knowing what your child likes or hopes to do at camp is an important factor when selecting a camp. Some camps offer more adventure based programming and physical activity than others. The variety of activities available varies from camp to camp so it is important to know what your child is interested in what experience he or she wants to get out of camp.

A good resource on determining whether or not your child is ready for camp can be found at:
http://www.campparents.org/righttime

Camps are listed by region in our Find a Camp section:
http://www.mbcamping.ca/find-a-camp.cfm

Preparing for Camp

Most camps will provide you with a kit list of things you’ll need to bring and some suggested items. But if it’s the first time away at camp, especially a sleepover camp, a little mental preparation needs to go into getting ready.

Give your child a sense of independence. Let them try packing their camp supplies themselves and do chores around the house.

Have sleepovers at a friend or relatives’ house. Even though these are familiar places, they are still not at home and can be useful practice for your child being away at camp. 

Assure children that camp is a safe and fun place to be. Give them realistic expectations about what kind of fun they will have and let them know that at the end of the week you will be excited to hear all about it. 

A great resource on tips for parents and campers on how to prepare for camp is at:
http://www.ourkids.net/camp/preparing-for-camp.php

Dealing with Homesickness

It doesn’t happen to everybody, but when it does it can be a difficult experience for both the parent and the child. Even if you’ve practiced independence before sending your child to camp, he or she may feel the need to be at home with their parents.

Send a note and/or a care package - this will act as a reminder that you’re thinking of them and that you will be there when they get home to hear about their advent

Let a camp director know if your child might be apprehensive so they can make sure to include them in activities and help gently guide them through fun activities until they’re able to do it on their own.

Encourage your child to stay at camp the whole week.. If home-sick phone calls occur, it can help to remind your child there are only a few more short fun-filled days before heading. home. 

Good advice for homesickness can be found at:

http://www.campparents.org/homesickness

http://www.ourkids.net/camp/kidsickness.php