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Seven Things Camp Directors Wish You Knew

From learning opportunities you may not have expected to open communication, here is what the experts want parents to know about summer’s annual rite of passage


You May Not Realize How Valuable Camp is To Your Child's Development

“Every family should know that a quality summer camp experience is as valuable in a child's development as a great year in school. Amazing growth happens when campers are supervised by trained role models in an intentional community.”

—Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, NY


The Summer Slide is Real

“What we wish more parents knew is that 100 years of research shows that summer learning loss is a real issue. The good news is summer can be a break from school without being a break from learning. Seek out a camp that infuses fun with learning for your child.”

—Tara La Motta, Apple Montessori Schools in Riverdale


The More Communication, The Better

“When parents are preparing to send their [kids] to camp they should listen to their child’s feelings.  If they’re nervous about going to camp, recognize their feelings, talk to the camp and see if you can bring them ahead of time to walk around and become more familiar with the surroundings. Camp’s time for fun.

Open communications with the camp and your child is crucial to having an amazing experience.  If your camper is having a rough morning and you weren’t able to get breakfast in don’t stress, call the camp and tell us so we can make sure that your kid starts their day off full of energy and ready to spend an amazing day with their friends.  Remember to always send your camper to camp with a refillable water bottle that’s clearly labeled. If you forget don’t worry, call us and we’ll make sure that your child has a water bottle to take with them that day.”

—Carla Rudow, Camp Veritans in Haledon


Manage Their Expectations

Make sure parents inform their child of the expectations of the program and provide downtime during to allow students to complete homework. Have students arrive well rested each day.

-Jordan Yannotti, WPS Summer Enrichment Director


It’s Totally Normal to Miss Your Kid

“Realize that you may feel sad when your child’s away from home all day. Separation can be as difficult for parents as it is for children. Give yourself permission to miss your child, but also give your kid permission to enjoy his time away from home. And be open with the camp about any special needs that your child has. Let [camp personnel] know right away if your child’s having a hard time with something—making friends, swimming, finding a club—the camp should be able to help!”

—Miriam Peretsman, Camp Riverbend in Warren


Chances Are Your Child Isn’t As Nervous As You Think

“Remember that your camper is probably less nervous about being away from home than you are.  If you are worried, just call the camp and speak to the director or division leader.  We’re always glad to talk with parents.”

—Tom Riddleberger, Campus Kids Summer Camp


Camp is a Great Opportunity to Teach Kids to Be Resilient

“Camp is a wonderful environment to practice resiliency. Not every day is going to be perfect. There are challenges of new activities like swim lessons and climbing walls, new friendships to form, new foods to try at lunch and lots of transition. Support your camper by focusing on the positive!”

—Sue Rynar, Jeff Lake Camp in Stanhope

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