How To Prepare Your Teen for Sleepaway Camp

Sleepaway camp gives your teen the opportunity to build confidence, independence, and social skills by being away from home and taking responsibility for themselves. Camps are staffed with experienced counselors who are there to support campers and ensure they have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Even with all the safety precautions that the camp will surely have in place, mobile plans with good coverage are essential for staying connected and providing a sense of security for your teen. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can prepare your teen for sleepaway camp.

Involve Them in the Decision-Making Process

By involving them in the planning and research process, you can help them get excited and invested in the camp experience. If they can choose a camp that aligns with their interests and preferences, they’ll be more likely to enjoy their time there. Involving them in the packing and preparation process can help them feel more in control and confident.

Practice Sleeping Away From Home

If they haven’t spent many nights away from home, it can be an adjustment to be away from their familiar surroundings and routines. By practicing with a sleepover at a friend’s house or a short trip, they can start to get used to being away from home and learn how to cope with homesickness or other feelings of discomfort.

Pack Together

By tackling the packing process along with your teen, you can make sure they have all the essentials they need for their time away from home. It’s also an opportunity to discuss what to expect at camp and what they might need to be comfortable and prepared. It’s a chance to bond and spend time together before they leave. By working together to pack and prepare, you’re giving your teen a sense of ownership and control over their experience, which can help them feel more confident and excited.

Discuss Camp Rules and Expectations

By talking about what’s expected of them and why those rules are important, you can help your teen understand the importance of following the camp’s guidelines. This can also help them feel more prepared and confident when they arrive at camp since they’ll know what to expect. It’s also a good opportunity to answer any questions or concerns they might have and to set clear expectations for communication while they’re away.

Encourage Independence

By giving them opportunities to make decisions and take on responsibilities at home, you’re helping your teenager build the skills they’ll need to thrive at camp. Encourage them to take on tasks like managing their schedule and communicating with friends and family while they’re away. This can help prepare them for the autonomy they’ll have at camp.

Stay Mobile

With a mobile plan, your teen can stay connected with family and friends while they’re away, which can provide a sense of security and comfort. They can also use their phone to document their experiences, share photos with loved ones, and keep track of their schedule and activities. Having a mobile plan can help them in case of an emergency or if they need to reach out for assistance. Just make sure you check what regulations are in place for technology use at the camp they’ll be attending.

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Communicate With the Camp

By reaching out to the camp staff or attending any pre-camp meetings or orientations, you can get a better sense of what to expect and what your teen will need to bring. You can also ask any questions or raise any concerns you might have, which can help ease any anxieties your teen might be feeling. By communicating with the camp, you can help ensure that any special needs or accommodations are taken into account.

Build Excitement

Talk to your teen about all the fun activities they’ll get to do and the new friends they’ll make. Encourage them to make a list of things they’re looking forward to doing. You can also try to find out if any of their friends are going to the same camp, so they can connect before they leave. By building excitement and anticipation, you’re helping your teen approach camp with a positive attitude and a sense of excitement.

Ready, Set, Camp

Seeing your teen off to sleepaway camp can be an emotional experience, but it’s also a great opportunity for them to grow and develop independence. On the day of departure, make sure you arrive early enough to allow plenty of time for goodbyes and to take care of any last-minute details. Encourage your teen to embrace the adventure and have fun, and let them know you’ll be thinking of them and can’t wait to hear all about their experiences when they return.