Some kids look forward to a summer full of new activities and fresh faces, but for others the new and changing routine of different camps and people can be stressful. Even if the camp activity is something they are really looking forward to, anxiety can make it hard to get out the door each morning. Whether it’s just one week, or a summer of back-to-back camps, everyone wants their child to have an enjoyable and stress-free experience. We’ve talked to TONS of parents, and the #1 tip that they recommend is to send them with a friend.
Camp + Friends = AWESOME
The advantages of coordinating with a friend are many – your child gets to hang out with someone they like but may not see as often when school is out, you may be able to carpool or share before/after care arrangements, and they know there will be at least one friendly face at camp with them.
The challenge, then, is how to coordinate across multiple families’ busy schedules! Often this has been done with a flurry of texts, emails and phone calls. We understand because we have lived this madness! So we designed Campanizer to make this process simple & intuitive. When you find a camp that you want to send your child too, it’s just a click away to share it with a friend. Here’s how to do it:
- Find a camp and click ‘Save for Later’ to add it to your Activity List. (Your Activity List is just a list of camps you may want to send your child to – it doesn’t automatically register you. So add as many camps/classes that you’d like and use it for planning. You can always remove the ones you don’t want later.)
- Enter your friend’s email address and click ‘Send and Finish’. We’ll send your friend an email with the camp details and they can response ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Maybe’. (Think of it similar to an evite!)
- We’ll send you an email when they respond, and you’ll also be able to see their response in your Activity List in your Campanizer Dashboard.
If it doesn’t work to send your child with a friend, here are a few more tips to help prepare your child for a great week at camp:
- Choose an activity they love – if they are excited to go learn 3D printing/ninja warrior/sewing/etc they’ll be more willing to overcome the natural discomfort of a new environment.
- Make an advance visit – if possible, visit the camp location in advance to check it out together. Some camps like Thorne Nature Experience offer opportunities for families to visit at designated times. For camps held at gyms or art studios, try to attend an open gym or open studio time together before camp. You can point out bathrooms, talk with instructors and get excited about the activity together.
- Drop in for a day – if your schedule allows and your child finds a week of camp overwhelming, try a camp like Steve and Kates or Shredder that offers daily drop-in. Start with one day and, as your child starts to enjoy camp and feels more confident, you can add additional days.
- Try a half-day camp – if a full-day feels like too long, many camps offer half-day schedules. A few Boulder camps that offer half-day programs include Avid4Adventure, The Arts Hub and Friends School. Search for more on Campanizer using the filters to choose ‘Camp’ and then ‘Half Day AM’ or ‘Half Day PM’.
- Talk to the camp counselors – they love children and want them to have the best experience at camp! Let them know that you have a nervous camper and show your child that their counselor is someone that you like + trust.