6 Tips to Get Your Child Ready for Adventure Summer Camp
Going away to an adventure summer camp is a rite of passage, and a great opportunity for your son or daughter to grow in his or her independence and confidence. A good adventure can also help build self-esteem and dependence on God. If your child is not yet signed up for an adventure summer camp, it is not too late! Research camps in your area and check with local churches or Young Life to see what options are available.
Some of the great things about going away to adventure summer camp can be undermined if your child goes away to camp unprepared. Here are some tips to make sure your child shows up with everything he or she needs for a transformative and positive experience at an adventure summer camp:
Stick to the packing list.
The people running the camp are the experts on what your child needs to have a great camp experience. The list has likely been refined over years of actually camp experiences. If the list says to bring something, make sure to pack it, even if you don’t think he or she will need it. Likewise, if the list mentions not to bring something, it’s best not to bring it.
Don’t forget sun protection!
Sunscreen is sure to be on the packing list, but it is worth emphasizing. All it takes is one bad sunburn for your child to be stuck in the shade for the rest of camp. Also consider alternative means of sun protection, like a hat with a brim, sunglasses, a thin blanket for shade, etc. You’ll also want to stress the importance of using sunscreen with your child, and make sure that he or she knows when and how often to reapply.
Communicate to the camp the unique needs of your child.
Really think hard about anything that would be helpful for camp counselors or administrators to know about. Make sure the camp has all necessary information about medical conditions, allergies, medication, bed-wetting, etc. Make sure your child has everything he or she needs such as medication, anti-allergens, or an inhaler.
Provide verbal encouragement.
Going to an adventure camp is a big step for children in their independence. Provide lots of positive verbal encouragement to let your child know that he or she has what it takes for this big step.
You can also equip your child by memorizing some verses that they can keep in mind for strength, and speak to other children who need encouragement. Here are some suggestions:
- The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
- He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. 2 Samuel 22:34
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5–6
- Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13–14
- So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
Send your child with a note for each day.
Regardless of how excited your child may be to get out there and have an adventure, spending a lot of time around new people and away from the comforts of home can cause homesickness. Writing a note for your child to open each day is a good way to be a comfort and an encouraging voice for your child while they face this new adventure. Use these notes to remind your child that God is with them and has special things that He wants to speak to their hearts, especially in the challenging moments.
Pray while your child is away.
Adventure summer camp is a tremendous opportunity for God to minister to your child independently of you. These types of experience can result in kids really making their faith their own. Pray that your child would be safe, pray for his or her relationships, ask God to use him or her in the lives of others, and pray that his or her trust in the Lord would grow through this experience.
Your child will learn a lot at adventure summer camp—not only about the outdoors, but about life and living. Getting out of the classroom is very important for kids. If you believe your child would benefit from learning outside the classroom all of the time, consider enrolling with Enlightium Academy, a fully accredited online Christian school that provides our students with a strong foundation academically and spiritually while allowing them the flexibility to keep exploring and growing in other ways.