Monday, May 18, 2015

Five Ways to Prepare for Resident Camp

Girl Scouts Summer Resident Camp at one of GSSJC's amazing camp locations is sure to be a time filled with joy and amazing experiences. Camp, however, can also be a time when girls experience minor anxiety if they've never been away from home before, and especially in a more rustic setting. A great way to prepare girls for camp is to attend one of the Council's many outdoor activities between now and then, and get them acquainted ahead of time using these following ideas:

1. Have a Camp-In
There is nothing so fun and comforting as having a camp-in in your own backyard--or maybe even your living room! Invite some friends, pitch a tent, break out the s'mores and have fun! Just getting into the camping mind-set will help ease some of her nerves. 

2. Tune-in to the GSSJC Resident Camp Webinar
Parents and new campers (and even returning campers) are encouraged to attend this brief orientation, May 21. Learn what and how to pack, what type of meals are served, how camp staff copes with homesickness (and how parents can further help prevent it!), how the Trading Post/Ship's Store works, what to expect at check in/check out and more!

3. Create an Environment of Enthusiasm 
If our girls know how excited their caregivers are about camp, it will help them get excited, too. She'll pick up on the enthusiasm. Look over the camp materials together and talk about the things she wants to try.  

4. Set Summer Goals to Achieve at Camp
Set summer goals to achieve at camp--for example make a new friend, learn something new, go off the diving board for the first time, etc. Let her know that camp is fun, safe place that is full of new and exciting adventures.

5. Talk About Communications
Talk about communications with your daughter during camp. You can email your daughter everyday, but camp is a technology free zone. That means no cell-phones, or ipads and laptops they can skype from. This is a rule because we want girls to allow themselves to connect with others at camp in the present tense, and focus their attention on meeting new friends and enjoying the activities we've prepared for them. 

Thank you Girl Scouts of Heart of the South for the inspiration and materials behind this blog piece.