Hi! My name is Leah and my daughter is Nora Day (10 years old). I became a Greystone girl in college when I worked at camp for three summers and now my daughter is about to enjoy her 4th summer at Greystone! The countdown is on in our home and soon it will be time to dust off the camp trunk and Crazy Creek chair. Camp Greystone is truly our second home. We feel the love, the joy, and the blissful peace every time we drive through the gates.
Today I wanted to bring some unique tips I like to call, “Practical Practice” as you and your daughter prepare for camp. Each child is different, but if you’re like me, it’s easy to take for granted how much we as parents look out for our younger, elementary-aged daughters. The weeks away at camp are a stunningly beautiful and safe time for her to spread her wings and gain some independence, and with a little practice beforehand, she will have the most wonderful time!
Camp is the best place to make new friends, so let’s help our girls start off on day one ready to do just that! Your daughter is going to meet dozens of other amazing girls. Years ago, during Breakfast Club, JimDaddy (Greystone’s previous Director) taught us the most polite way to meet and then reintroduce ourselves so there is never any awkwardness.
First meeting, at Shoppe: “Hi, My name is Eleanor, I’m in TU9. What’s your name? Do you have a favorite class at camp?”
Second meeting around camp, the JimDaddy way: “Hi!! it’s Eleanor, we met the other night at Candy Shoppe. Can you remind me of your name?”
As an adult, I actually put this technique in to use all the time, and it makes entering social situations so much easier.
Camp brings the best people together on staff; it is one of the only places I know my daughter will be cared for at my level of standards. That being said, your daughter may have some needs come up. It’s a great idea to help her practice a few scenarios where she can be her own advocate (since mom isn’t around) and ask for help from her counselor, Group Leader, or class teacher. This is especially important practice for children who are naturally reserved, quiet, or private.
“Counselor Caroline, I’ve lost my toothpaste, can you help me find it?”
“Counselor Caroline, my water bottle broke; what should I do?”
“Counselor Caroline, which shampoo bottle is mine?”
“Counselor Caroline, my hair is extra tangled today, can you help me braid it?”
While some of these seem very basic, camp is busy! We don’t want our girls to lose their hairbrush on day two and never ask about it till the last night and it is Banquet! :)
For younger girls, practice independent hair care prior to camp. With the girls in and out of Lake Edith and the pool all session, lots of brushing, braiding, and shampooing without mom is ahead. I plan to have my daughter’s very long hair trimmed prior to camp for even more ease.
June, Main, and August parents, practice making a pretend class schedule to help your daughter narrow her most anticipated classes! (Check your email a couple weeks before camp to find out the exciting class opportunities!) During class sign up time, there are LOTS of options and a mental note of a couple “must do” classes will help her have a plan and also some wiggle room for trying new things.
Does your daughter have a talent she could showcase during Talent Show? Camp wants to see it! Come prepped and practiced to try out during the session’s mini-talent shows.
As a mom, I’m so grateful to have a place like camp where my daughter can spread her wings and shine her brightest, try new things, and be loved and celebrated. I know the Directors and staff work tirelessly all year long to take care of each and every camper. How lucky we are to send our precious girls to this miracle in the mountains! I hope your daughter has the best summer ever!
P.S. If you’re looking for more ways to “practically practice” with your daughter before the summer, check out the new camper blog from last week about Speaking Up for Yourself!