Preparing your child for camp

We are confident your child’s upcoming time at The Farm at Piper Hill will be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of their life. They’ll have a wonderful time, make really good friends, and look back fondly as they grow older. Camp is quite different from their day to day life and can take some time to adjust and get the most out of this time away from home. However, we have learned a few approaches that help make this transition to camp life a smooth one.

let your child know how excited you are they are going to camp
Look over the camp materials together and talk about which activities they want to try. You will receive their camp schedule 1-2 weeks prior to their scheduled week at camp. Learn about and become familiar with camp procedures.

encourage your child to make new friends
Your child may or may not know another camper during their time at the farm. By encouraging your child to get to know their fellow campers they will form lasting friendships that they will cherish for years to come. You can even include some pre-addressed stamped envelopes with your child's name on them so they can hand them out to their new friends to stay in touch after camp is over.

practice camping if they haven't had much experience sleeping away from home

You might camp together in the backyard or have them spend the weekend at a relative’s house.

reassure your nervous camper
Even the campers who have been to a sleep away camp before get a little anxious on opening day. Just advise them to be friendly and open to trying everything camp has to offer.
 
make sure they know everyone at home wants them to have a great time
Avoid comments like “You will have fun, but I am going to miss you so much.” You want them to be excited about camp, and fully engaged with it, instead of worrying about home and how much the family misses them.

avoid making "early pick up" deals with your child
One of the worst things that you can tell your child is, “If you don’t like camp, then I’ll come get you.” This type of decision puts a big weight on a child’s shoulders and typically sets them up for failure. They will be so preoccupied and overwhelmed with deciding whether or not to go home that they will never fully embrace camp.
 
listen to and talk about any concerns your child may have
As the first day of camp nears, some children understandably experience uneasiness about going off to camp. Rather than acting on what you believe their feelings to be, ask good questions such as: “We’ve been busy packing your gear. What are your thoughts about heading off to camp in a few days?” Communicate your confidence in their ability to handle being away from home and remind them about “small victories,” successes they have experienced in other situations.
 
have realistic expectations
Camp, like the rest of life, has high points and low ones. Not every moment will necessarily be filled with wonder and excitement. Encourage your child to have a reasonable and realistic view of camp. Discuss both the ups and downs your child may experience. Your child should not feel pressured to succeed at camp either. The main purposes of camp are to relax, have fun and make new friends.
advice for the younger campers
Remember that your child will be in charge of taking a shower and washing their hair, along with keeping up with their belongings. If they are new to this, it’s a good idea to take time practicing these skills before camp begins.
daily notes for your child
Lastly, we highly suggest to write a letter for each day of the week (labeled with the day) and give the letters to the counselors upon check-in and we will distribute them throughout the week. This is a great way for our campers to be encouraged and have a small piece of home with them each and every day.