Parent Guest Blog: Advice for Moving Up to a Longer Session

Hello Greystone parents! As we are counting down to the days until the summer, we know many of you are preparing for your daughter to attend a longer session this summer. Often, our campers move from one of our shorter sessions to a longer session…so we know that many of you are sending your girls for 1-3 weeks longer than you did last year.

Today, we are sharing advice from current camp parents who have gone before you, as we asked them what advice they would give to other camp families who are moving from a shorter session to a longer session this summer. Here’s what they had to say:

Junior2023 42.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Jane from Alexandria, VA

Daughter moved from August to Main

  • Just because they are going for 3 extra weeks, it doesn’t mean you need to send 3 extra weeks of clothes! The laundry each week makes it easy.

  • For packing, think about bringing: a backpack/crossbody bag; a water bottle that has a flip spout (easier to flip the spout rather than unscrew the bottle); Chacos/Tevas are a must

  • Costumes - we start collecting things throughout the year and pack them with her things. Sometimes they get used, sometimes not. But at least she has things to contribute to the cabin for various dress-up EPs.

  • 4th of July - definitely send fun things for her to wear - can never have enough red, white, and blue!

  • Letters home - get something to bear down on; we use the clipboard case - Enday Clipboard With Storage Case - it stores her stamps and envelopes. Speaking of envelopes - get the “press it seal it” type so the humidity doesn’t seal the glue. This year - I made mailing labels for all of the people she wanted to send letters to (I even made 5 labels for me and her dad so we’d get hopefully 5 letters, hahaha).

  • Class schedule - go in with an open mind - have an idea of activities you are interested in and be willing to switch during the midpoint in case something isn’t what you wanted. Try new things.

  • Bedding - my daughter didn’t have it the first year but we got a husband pillow the second year - she likes to use it during Rest Hour to read.

Junior2023 62.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Suelin from Birmingham, AL

Daughters moved from Junior to June

  • I think the biggest thing for picking classes was to choose a wider range since you are there longer! And I encouraged them to try something new since it’s 3 weeks instead of 1!

  • For packing, I wish I had not packed extra things to do because it was longer since they have the Greystone Store that they can purchase from, and they are busy just as much as one week.

  • For the Greystone Store I wish I had talked to my kids about portioning out their spending. One of my daughters spent almost all her money that first week.

  • We packed extra fun sunglasses and extra dress up stuff for both girls so they could share with their friends and cabinmates.

Junior2023 96.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Lucy from Birmingham, AL

Daughters moved from Junior to June

  • Preparing my girls emotionally to be away from home for that long was the hardest part. We listened & learned the camp songs together, talked in detail about each of the classes & made a wish list of activities, and connected the fun they remembered from Junior Camp to the bigger experiences they would have at June Camp!

  • We printed pictures of family & friends at home for them to share with their camp friends & counselors, & I supplied plenty of stationery and addresses so they could write letters if they wanted.

  • I knew there would be fun, exciting days & plenty of happy moments, but I wanted to encourage them that when they missed home, that feeling was normal & wouldn’t last forever. We prayed together that they would know the nearness of God while away from home, and that they would enjoy all the fun of summer at Camp Greystone!

Junior2023 76.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Collins from Charlotte, NC

Daughters moved from August to June to Main

  • To prepare for the jump from June to Main, we spent a lot of time watching Main Camp videos to build excitement! We watched videos of the captains and lieutenants, Corn Roast, and July 4th- all of the things that are exclusive to Main.

  • We Facetimed friends who had attended Main Camp and asked for their input. Thanks to them, we knew about wildlife Wednesday and Jersey Thursday and added more dress-up items to her trunk.

  • Before the first Main Camp session, we were intentional about our plans before and after camp. In the week leading up to camp, we spent a lot of family time - cooking dinner, taking the dogs for walks, hanging at home before camp. We also made sure not to schedule anything right after she returned for camp. She needed a week to unpack, catch up on sleep, and tell us about her adventures!

  • While she only packed one or two costumes and her green and gold items for August and June Camp, we packed a variety of items to wear on the 4th of July, multiple costumes, wigs and tutus for Lip Syncs, EP’s, etc.

  • I added an extra bathing suit and towel to her trunk for Main, which she appreciated as an extra for the rotation, especially when the EP’s were water events.

Junior2023 97.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Catherine from Franklin, TN

Daughter moved from Junior to June

  • We talked a lot about how Junior Camp starts to form a foundation of Greystone and then moving into the longer sessions helps build on that foundation. We also discussed how June Camp allows her to further her friendships that she started in Junior Camp.

  • For classes, I reminded her that she can do more in her classes and hone in on new skills and achieve multiple levels.

  • We talked about how she will learn new Greystone traditions and experience new EP’s at the longer session, and how Odd vs Evens is ramped up. All of these things are so exciting and fun that she would be amazed at how quickly the 3 weeks goes by.

  • For packing, we put in both green and yellow for Odds v. Evens, and she loves to bring some cards and other games to play in the cabin. We also include all her family photos which she loves to decorate her bunk with. And finally, she was excited to include her big warm comforter as she knows there can be some chilly nights in June Camp.

Junior2023 132.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Megan from Charleston, SC

Daughter moved from Junior to August to June

  • First thing that comes to mind is seeing if there is a camp buddy also moving up to the new session…someone they clicked with and both want to be in the same cabin the following year (contact camp if you want help figuring this out!). It was nice knowing there would be a familiar face in her cabin and one that she knows well.

  • For packing, ask your daughter what she could have done without, what she needed more of, did she feel she had enough silly dress up clothes, enough stationary, etc. I found that I packed way too many white shorts and shirts, too many dresses, needed a bigger tube of toothpaste, another flashlight in case a cabinmate forgets hers…just things like that as it will benefit you and your daughter. We saved so much room in her trunk last year by going through the packing list and making it her own list and what works for her.

  • Once the packing list is revised by my daughter, we pack together. The unknown is stressful for anyone. When your camper knows what and where things are in their trunk it eliminates a lot of anxiety.

Junior2023 107.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Julia from Dallas, TX

Daughter moved from Junior to June

  • We talked a lot about how Junior Camp was all fun, all the time, but the longer sessions offer more time for deeper friendships but also conflict. Jimboy wrote an excellent blog post that I think about a lot about the “middle weeks” being where growth happens. That was so true for me as a camper, and I think it’s invaluable as a parent hoping to mold my girls into loving, serving, resilient adults. So, we had a lot of talks about girls in her cabin that took 10 minute showers or refused to make their beds, and how much that affected the experiences of every girl in the cabin.

  • Logistically, my sister recommended these rolling duffels, which turned out to be exactly the perfect suitcases for a longer session - we sent her with two of them. I was sad to part with the idea of a trunk, but it really isn’t necessary, and the duffels made our airport experience much easier.

  • We did pick a rough list of classes from the list published ahead of time so that she could narrow down priorities going in.

June2023 1.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
June2023 1360.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1
June2023 1396.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1