Happy Tuesday new camper families! This is our last week in our New Camper Blog Series before the summer. It is hard to believe we are so very close to camp! It has been so much fun sharing different topics with you this year, and it’s been a delight to talk to so many of our new camper families before the summer. If you have any questions before the summer, make sure to reach out – we are happy to answer any questions before you arrive.
For our last New Camper Blog topic of this year, we are going to look at how to say goodbye to your daughter. Last week, we shared more details about Opening Day, including an Opening Day video to show you how the drop-off process is going to work. Today, we are going to prepare you for how to say goodbye as your camper hops out of the car and heads to her cabin on Opening Day.
As we mentioned in our Opening Day video, the drop-off process is going to be fast! We expect to complete our check-in process in less than 3 minutes once we arrive at your car. Because of this, you’ll want to be prepared with your goodbye before you even arrive. Here is what we recommend:
Think about how you want that morning to feel before you set off: Help you daughter to get even more excited about camp, and focus on the positive, especially if she’s a little nervous. You can play her favorite music, sing along together, have some fun questions prepared to get her thinking about why she’s excited for camp. Your excitement and positivity will help her feel the same! Instead of dwelling on the “I”m going to miss you so much” type of sentiment, use phrases like, “You are going to have the best time!” and “I am so excited for you!”
Give a great big hug before you even hop in the car: When you are loading up to drive to camp on Opening Day, give your daughter a BIG hug before she hops in the car. Tell her how excited you are for her and remind her how much fun she is going to have. Giving her that huge, long squeeze will be easier before you even start driving.
Make sure you’re careful about any promises you’re making: This applies prior to Opening Day too, but I bet many of you will be having these conversations on the way to camp. Saying things like “I’m going to write you everyday!” may actually be true for you, but it’s probably better to say, “Don’t forget to write me this summer, and I will write you too.” You don’t want to set up an expectation that you can’t keep. And most all, do not make a “deal” with your daughter about picking her up if she doesn’t like it; this is our number 1 reason that girls end up homesick at camp! Instead, be positive and supportive, and use good statements like,“I know you’re going to love the Waterpark,” or “Remember how we watched that video about camp? You’re going to have the best time meeting your Penpal!”
Plan for your car hug: You (the parent) will need to stay in the car the entire time on Opening Day, so giving a car hug can be a little bit strange. Talk about it ahead of time! You can hug your daughter in the car before she hops out, or she can hop out and then give you a big hug through the window. Either works, but think through this hugging and goodbye process before you come.
Keep your goodbye short and sweet: To make your daughter’s camp transition as smooth as possible, you’ll want to keep your goodbye short. Give her a hug, tell her you love her, and remind her how exciting camp is going to be – that’s it! A long, drawn-out goodbye process is only going to make it harder for your daughter to get out of the car. If your daughter is nervous, talk through it with her before you come. Explain how you will say goodbye and how you will email her that first day right after you leave. Speak words of confidence to her (“you’re going to do great!” or “you’re going to absolutely love camp.”).
Hold it together: We always joke at camp that we see more mamas crying on Opening Day than we ever have campers crying. It is hard leaving your daughter at camp by herself…especially for her first summer. Even if you may be emotional about the big drop-off, try to hold it together as best you can. After you daughter walks away, you can then bust into tears over your baby heading off to camp. But for your daughter’s sake, try to only show her your excitement!
Well, that wraps up our New Camper Blog Series this year; thanks so much for reading each week! We absolutely cannot wait to welcome our new campers to camp in just a matter of days. See you soon!