By: Chris Radloff
Hello there! It’s Chris Radloff here, the Summer Camp program director. Are you sending your child to camp for the first time this summer? It is a big step to send your child away from home and we wanted to give you some tools to help equip your child (and you!) for their time at Cho-Yeh this summer. Here are some ways to prepare your child emotionally, physically, spiritually, and socially for their time at Cho-Yeh.
- If your child has never stayed away for the night, it is a good idea to test out a sleepover with a grandparent or close family friend. This way you and your child will have confidence in their ability to be away from home.
- Talk about it! If you were a camper somewhere, talk about your experiences and memories of going to camp. Look at pictures of activities and our facilities online so they can begin to build excitement about the new adventure that awaits them.
- Pack for camp with them. If they are involved in the process they will be more emotionally prepared for drop off because there was a build up to it. (They will also have a much better idea of what is inside their trunk! See our post about packing a trunk here: https://www.cho-yeh.org/camp-mom-expert-pack-trunk/ )
- Don’t mention homesickness, but do pack a favorite stuffed toy or comfort item to provide a sense of connection with home. Never say to your child, “If you have problems at camp, call me and I’ll come pick you up.” This well-meaning but misguided reassurance focuses your child’s attention on an exit strategy, rather than overcoming challenges.
- If your child spends a lot of time indoors between school and activities, it will serve them well to start building up stamina for being outside in Texas summer! Get outside as much as possible in the weeks leading up to camp. Instead of driving to your community pool, try walking or riding bikes so they can get more acclimated to the weather and being active in it.
- For our younger campers, hygiene is a huge part of going away for camp. Walk them through how to shower, brush their teeth well, brush their hair, getting themselves ready for the day and getting themselves ready for bed. After a week at camp doing these things on their own they will come home with so much independence!
- Talk to your child about what they want to get out of camp or what they want to learn about God.
- If they don’t have a bible that is on a level they can read, purchase one for them.
- Pray for your child’s camp experience and pray with them as well!
- Before breakfast we say the Lord’s prayer all together. This isn’t mandatory and by no means does every camper know the words (but we do have them posted on the tables for them!), but if your child wants to start learning it, they will be a step ahead of the game!
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom and power and glory.
Forever and ever. Amen.
- At lunch we sing the doxology all together, here are the lyrics with the song if your camper wants to learn it before they come! These words are also on the wall in the dining hall. Doxology
- If they aren’t coming to camp with friends from home, talk to them about making new friends and ways to include others.
- Watch the Safety 360 video (3-4 minutes) on your own and then with your child. Talk about the aspects of camper safety shown in the video. https://www.cho-yeh.org/summer-camp/experience/camper-safety/
- Encourage your child to talk to their counselors if they have any concerns or problems.
We also have a series of blog posts on our website from our expert Camp Mom that can help take the guesswork out of some of the logistics of sending your child to camp, check them out here: https://www.cho-yeh.org/category/camper-mom/ .
We are so excited to have your camper with us and we hope this helps guide your preparations for their time at Camp!