How to Talk to Your New Camper about the Summer

Welcome new camper families! We are thrilled to have you as part of our Greystone family, and we cannot wait to welcome you to Greystone for your very first summer in just a few more months.

After the holidays, camp always feels like it is just around the corner, and you’ll be hearing from us more often. We will start to send emails and mailings to you (the parent) as you start to prepare for the summer. We also love sending fun surprises in the mail for your daughter as well – we want her excited before she even arrives! In March, you can also start following along with our New Camper Blog series (or check out our archives even now!). So just know, after the new year, you’ll start hearing from us all the time!

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In the meantime, it is never too early to start talking about camp with your daughter. Here are our top tips on how to talk to your new camper about the summer:

Speak Positively

Camp is so much fun! Your camper is going to have the best time, so help her feel that excitement even now. You may be nervous about your daughter being gone for a week or more, but the very best thing you can do for your camper is to stay positive and talk about all the wonderful things ahead for her this summer. Don’t let her hear or see your anxiety or nerves! Need some things to talk about? Check out our Explore section of our website to see all our classes or watch some fun camp videos together.

Predict her Success

As you know, your children are looking and listening to you. If you tell your daughter how well she is going to do this summer, she will start believing it! Tell her what a great job she is going to do with trying new classes. Encourage her with how much fun she will have setting up her bunk. Let her know that she’s going to love making new friends from all over the country. You want your daughter to know that you (as her parent) think she will have the very best time at camp.

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Start Building her Toolkit

All campers come to camp with a toolkit, and you want your daughter’s kit filled with helpful tools! To do this, start working on the right tools now. What tools does she need? Tools to know what to do and how to respond in specific situations.

For example, when your daughter needs help with something in the next few weeks, explain how she will find help at camp: “When you’re at camp this summer, you can ask your counselor for help with anything. Just like you’d come to me for help at home, you can go to her with anything you need.” (Also, check out our blog post on speaking up for yourself – it has some suggestions on how to work on this before the summer!).

Another example: when you’re reminding your daughter about making her bed and cleaning up her room at home, it’s a great time to mention how it works at camp: “Remember, at camp you’re going to be living with 10 other girls, and you’ll need to make sure you keep your stuff on your bunk and in your space.” Any small reminders like this will help build her camp toolkit before the summer.

Be Careful with the Promises You Make

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!” Even if you have the best of intentions, don’t make promises that you may not be able to keep.

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Really Talk up the Fun Things

Camp is a great place for girls to try new things and engage in social interaction without screens. There are so many fun things your daughter will get to do at camp that she can’t do at home. Talk about the cabin dynamic (“it’s like having a sleepover with your 10 best friends!”), how great it is to have college-aged counselors (“you’ll have counselors that will be like super cool big sisters”), the activities she can try (“you can shoot a bow and arrow, or ride a mountain bike, or try out a 100+ foot waterslide all in the same day”), and the food (“the camp food is homemade and is way better than school cafeteria food!”).

Need more tips? If you’re looking for even more ways to prepare for the summer, make sure to check out our New Camper Resources page that has lots of helpful hints for both campers and parents.

We can’t wait to see you at Greystone in a few short months! Make sure to contact us with anything we can help with, and we will see you soon!