Camps play a huge role in the brain development of children. It is scientifically proven that practical work in a non-academic environment helps kids learn faster and makes their brains function more effectively. This is because they experience, observe and know new things unrelated to books or alphabets. Therefore, you should conduct proper research before sending your kid to a particular camp. Why? Because every kid has a different personality and IQ level. Luckily, several camps serve different purposes. Just like academics, participating in extracurricular activities is also beneficial for a child’s mental and physical health.
These camps cater to improving your child’s weaknesses, be it academics or sports. There are many camps for outdoors and extracurricular activities like the girl’s guide or the boy’s scout camps. And there are educational camps as well, the Newtonshow camp (a kids camp in Singapore) to name a famous one. Getting your kid in a suitable camp will surely help carve him into a better version of himself. But the one big step is to prepare your child to go to a camp, it can be hard, but we’re here to help you out. Below we have mentioned a few successful pro tips to get your child ready for camp. So head below and check them out.
Create Awareness and Interest
The first step to start the camping conversation is to tell your kid how great camps are. You can do this by sharing your own experience or someone else’s. Show them your camping pictures if you have any. Try telling them about the fun things about camp and how many friends they will make. To make it easier, show them some youtube videos and camping vlogs to create awareness and interest. Please do yourself a favour, don’t tell them it is for their benefit and will help them learn. Kids hate it when you tell them something about schooling. But still, if they’re not listening, the best you can do is bribe them; this one always works. Promise them a toy or a picnic or anything of their interest, and they’ll be ready to go.
Parents register their kids at the camping centre weeks before the date due to the unavailability of slots. Use this opportunity to make friends, and if worked well, your kid will be jumping excitedly to go camping. You can easily do this by meeting parents there for registration and taking their contact numbers. Ask your kid to give his new friend a gift for building positive relations, it can be a chocolate as well. Later you can set a playdate or a sleepover to give your kid an experience of staying away. This can be a lot better in making camp friends from an early stage and will boost your kid’s confidence.
Child labour, who? Packing is a job almost everyone that almost everyone in the world hates to do, so give yourself some relief and put your child to work. Packing your bag can be an interesting activity for kids. It will give them a new experience of becoming slightly independent and help groom them to manage their bags at the camp. Let them choose their clothes and hats and fold them by themselves. Let them manage it and see their happy faces no matter how clumsy it is. But don’t leave them on their own. You can supervise them and give opinions not to frighten them.
Send some company
As it’s your child’s first time, it is better that you send some company. It’ll not only be convenient for your kid, but he’ll also have a good time making friends. When you’re alone at a completely different place with new faces, it can be hard to socialize with some children. Having a familiar company will save your kid from that. The company can be anyone, an older sibling, a friend or just some random kid from the house next door. There are several other benefits of this, like your kid will socialize better and get adjusted to the environment easily. No matter how shy he is, he will slightly be confident in being with someone familiar.
A Piece of Comfort
Since probably your kid is going away for the first time, there should be something for him to hold onto. While going away, elders also keep reminding them of their loved ones or their homes. This creates a ray of comfort, satisfaction or hope in the individual when things get tough. The same is the case with kids; giving them something from their bedroom or home can be quite helpful. This doesn’t mean that you give them something of purposeful meaning. It could be anything like a favourite toy or blanket. You can even try giving your kid your scarf with your perfume on it. If there’s nothing, you can even gift something that’ll become a memory for your kid’s upcoming years.
Some Cheat Snacks
Most parents are strict about their child’s diet and ban consumption of junk food, but in this case, you should let them have some. Putting a lot of restrictions on your kids while they’re away can cause anger among kids. There are also high chances of kids getting rebellious and disobeying you by sharing junk food with other kids at the camp. You want to make sure your kid is improving academically and ethically. It would help if you lifted some restrictions to help them be their best version. So pack them their favourite snacks with some healthy snacks to munch on casually during the night. The charm of treats will boost their motivation to go camping.
Some Quality Time
Before sending your kid to camp, make sure to spend as much quality time with them as possible. Otherwise, your kid might feel lonely and nervous. Spend a day off with your kid, go shopping (toys), have lunch (ice cream) or have a long walk (just them to an amusement park) and make them sleep beside you. This will be better for you too since camps are weeks long and parting from your kid will be terrible with every passing day. This doesn’t seem at all means for you to get emotional. If you get emotional, you can scare the poor kid, and he might reconsider his camping decision.
Meet the Camp Coach
Another important tip is introducing your kid to the camp coach or instructor. Having an adult around is always emotional support for parents, but even more, for kids, they know. Just like having familiar friends can help, having a familiar coach can increase the chances of participation and socializing. You can do this by visiting the camp centre a day or two before the actual date and talking. Yep, nothing more! Just talk to each other and make yourself and your child comfortable with the coach. You can talk about your kid’s hobbies, likes, dislikes, allergies, weaknesses, and crack jokes. The purpose is to laugh so that your kid feels familiar with the coach.
All According to Plan
Make sure to implement the ‘plan camp’ from the start, and by ‘plan camp’, we mean the plan set by the camping centre, not you. Many parents make the mistake of personally dropping off kids at the camp location; I’m afraid that’s not right. Drop your kid at the camping centre and make sure to wait with them until the camping bus arrives. This way they will feel h2 and important and most of all, they will see many other children, which will give them a sense of companionship. Another reason is to let them enjoy all the camping moments, which includes travelling to the camping spot as well. Kids usually interact during road trips, which will be a great opportunity for them to make friends.
Keep an Eye
Lastly, you don’t have to be worried about your kid since they’ll be right in front of your eyes. Old school camps didn’t let you meet your child during camping; this demotivated children from visiting camps more often and made them anxious. Today, camps allow parents to video call their kids and talk about their day. Not just that, the camp centre creates a WhatsApp group for each camp batch and shares every activity in videos and selfies. This motivates both the kids and the parents. Plus, it is a great way to make and collect new memories that you can later on cherish.
Now that you are fully prepared with your lessons, it’s time to prepare your kids. Set the date on your calendar and follow these steps to get your kids all happy and excited for their first time at camp. It’s obviously going to be among the best experience for them and a healthy one. Also, aside tip for you, enjoy as much as you can while it lasts, because once they’re back, you’ll have no time for yourself with the usual parent duties—happy camping parents, wink.