Prepping our campers for camp often starts with the basics: Where are the trunks? Who needs new swimsuits? Do anyone’s shorts or Chacos still fit? In the feverish pace of spring, we can (understandably) forget to help our kids prepare for the deeper, meaningful currents of their camp experiences.
How can families be intentional in our camp preparation for those formational experiences? How can we encourage openness in our campers?
LLYC Echo Valley Directors, Tom Bowyer and Karla Heath, offer genuine insight and encouragement.
Tom says, “I hope this kind of preparation is the absolute opposite of a to-do list and instead just an invitation for campers (and their families) to lean into all the best parts of camp.” Tom encourages parents to simply begin cracking the door early for conversation with their campers. “There is such value in giving our kids permission and space to share whatever is on their mind or heart—questions, hopes, concerns, reflections on what they came away with last year.” Simple conversation, says Tom, “is a great opportunity for families to practice the nuance of dropping expectations about camp and replacing them with hopes.”
Karla agrees wholeheartedly, “When we establish an early, open line of communication about camp, we can help our camper reframe any expectations they may have into hopes. And at the same time, we’re helping them learn how to engage in good conversation—both at camp and at home.”