Opening Day: Chaos or Calm? - New Camper Blog Series

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Today we’re talking about Opening Day, specifically looking at whether it is known as a day of chaos or calm. Most campers and parents love Opening Day (they even compare it to Christmas morning, as it just that exciting). One of our new camper parents said this about Opening Day last year: “This was our first experience with Greystone. Opening Day was my daughter’s favorite day. It was so well organized and was so easy for families.

But, for some, Opening Day can feel slightly chaotic. So why is it amazing for most and crazy for a few? Today, we’re going to help work through this question so that Opening Day can be much more calm than chaos for you!


First off, having the right expectations is key. Opening Day for a new family is going to involve excitement and nerves…for campers and parents! Children can pick up on how you, the parent, are feeling. So, having the right expectations as a parent is going to go a LONG way in how you perceive Opening Day.

As far as setting expectations, the main thing to keep in mind is that everything is going to work out! We have so many people to help you, and no matter the unknowns, you will get your daughter settled. Things may feel a little crazy at times, but I’d encourage you to embrace the fun of it all.

Here’s a silly example: when you’re waiting to go to your cabin, you’ll be at our Opening Day tent with lots of people. You can see all of the people and think, “Wow, this is overwhelming. We don’t know anyone and there are lots of people.” Or, you can see all of the people and think, “Wow, some of these girls are about to be my daughter’s new friends. I wonder which of these girls they will be? How fun to be part of this exciting moment for my daughter.”

Now, I know this is silly, but truly, your expectations and perception of the situation are really going to make for a calm Opening Day instead of a chaotic one. And it all starts with YOU, the parent.

The Nitty Gritty:

From those parents who view Opening Day as chaotic, we hear some of the same comments repeated as to why Opening Day felt chaotic. Based on those comments, here are some specific ways you can embrace the chaos and feel calm!

  • Waiting to head to your cabin: We open our gates at 7:30 a.m. with campers heading up to their cabins at 8:30 am. The in-between time (from 7:30 – 8:30) can cause some feelings of nervousness as you wait. Here’s the deal though: as we assign bunks, there is no need arrive at camp right at 7:30 a.m. If you aim for arriving between 7:45 - 8:00 a.m., you’ll have plenty of time to park, visit our Opening Day tent, and still be ready to go up to your cabin at 8:30 a.m. This can help start the morning with a better feeling of calm. If you do get to camp early and find yourself waiting, you can stay busy while you wait: check out our Greystone Store items, have your picture taken in the Photobooth or by a camp photographer, explore our map to see where everything is located – this will also help keep the nervousness at bay.
  • Moving into your cabin: Parents sometimes comment on how crazy it is moving into the cabin. And they are right! All of the girls and the luggage arrive at the same time; add in a few family members per camper, and you’ve got so many people in the small cabin space. If it is crazy inside the cabin when you arrive, just wait to unpack. Go do something else first. You can drop off your medicine, visit our parent reception, take a quick tour, see our 100th archives – you do not have to unpack first. Give yourself some flexibility, and you’ll find the cabin less-crowded when you return.
  • Speed of the morning: Sometimes parents are surprised at how fast the morning goes. You walk up to your cabin at 8:30 a.m., and we ask parents to leave by 10:15 a.m. For many parents, that time goes fast! One way to make it more calm and less chaotic is to just take the pressure off of doing everything. Your daughter will take a tour with her cabin, so you don’t have to see everything before you leave. You can pre-order things from The Greystone Store so you don’t have to shop on Opening Day. Keep an eye on the clock and don’t overdue it. The main things you need to do before leaving? Two things: unpack your things and take medicines to the Health Hut. Nothing else is necessary if you’re feeling strapped for time!

Opening Day is great, and most families (especially the campers!) love it. By keeping your expectations in perspective, and keeping in mind these pointers on how to make things just a little more calm, you’ll be all set for the best day of the summer.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Opening Day! Comment below with any other Opening Day questions. We will see you next week for another New Camper Blog!