You can help your daughter prepare for her first year by doing the following things together:
Watch some camp videos. Check out our Cabin Tour video to show your daughter what a cabin will look like, and our Camp Tour video to show her what camp looks like overall. Let her see our Day in the Life video to experience what it’s like to be a camper. Watch our video about Opening Day so she knows what’s in store when she arrives. You can see these and many more videos on our Vimeo page.
Look over our camp schedule and explore our class options. You can read descriptions and see photos and videos of the many different classes available. Let your daughter look over these options so that she can get excited!
Talk to other families who attend Greystone. If you know any families who attend camp, talk to them before you come! Many parents say this is the best way to gain some insider scoop on Greystone. Connect your daughter with their daughters so she can ask questions as well. We also have city Facebook groups for many of our larger cities; check out the one from your town to connect with fellow Greystone families in the area. (If you don’t know anyone, don’t worry! We have a great Parent Penpal program for our new camp families that we will email you about in the spring.)
Have a positive attitude (as the parent) and speak with encouraging words when talking about camp. Many times parents are more nervous than their daughters, and that can impact how the girls feel about camp. You can help tremendously by being conscious of how you talk about camp! Tell her how excited you are about her camp experience. Let her know that you think she is going to have a great time and will love it. Your attitude and what your daughter hears you say will go a long way.
Work on taking care of her personal things. At camp, your daughter will need to be responsible for her own things and will need to keep up with them around camp. Help with this before she arrives! Instead of getting everything ready for your daughter before school in the morning, make a “cheat sheet” of things she needs to do and pack, and then have her check the list instead of asking you. It might take some work in the beginning, but it will help your daughter gain responsibility for getting her things together and ready for the day.
Work on taking care of herself. Your daughter will need to take a shower by herself, brush her own hair, put her hair up each day, dress herself, put on her shoes, and make her own bed. While her counselor can help, your camper will need to take responsibility for many of these things on her own. Work on these different skills now so she is ready for the summer!
Get moving! The Greystone camp property feels like a close-knit community, but your daughter will still need to walk across the campus throughout the day. If she isn’t very active right now, work on taking some walks around the block.
Write your Penpal. Our Penpal program is a wonderful way to make a friend before you even arrive. Make sure to write your camp Penpal multiple times!
Practice quiet times where she can entertain herself. Girls enjoy our one-hour Rest Hour every day, but for some, it is difficult to stay quiet. Many of our younger girls also have trouble staying quiet before 7:30 a.m. each morning. You can help by practicing quiet periods of time before she even arrives! Let her play quietly in her room for an hour in the afternoon. Think ahead about things she can do during these quiet times at camp.
Talk about food. We serve a huge variety of food at camp, giving even the pickiest of eaters a wide array of options. If you know your daughter is more selective in her food choices, talk to her about the food ahead of time. Read up on all of the many ways we work to provide food options and make sure your daughter knows she can always tell her table counselor or cabin counselor if she feels like she isn’t getting enough food.
Prepare for sleep at camp. Practice spending the night with a friend and make sure she can sleep without a noisemaker!
Pack together! Help your daughter to know what items she has at camp by having her help you to pack. It’s amazing how many girls don’t even know what is in their trunk, so they have no idea if they even have a specific item or not.
Talk about emotions and problem solving. When living in a big camp community, things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to go. Talk to your daughter about this. Help her know what to do when she is feeling sad (talking to her counselor is a great place to start). Explain what to do if something happens that hurts her feelings or what to do if she needs help (such as talk to a friend or find her Group Leader). Give your daughter the tools to be an advocate for herself so that we can then help her to have the very best summer!
Share the camp address and set up some guest accounts for close family to email your daughter. You can write letters ahead of time (before she even arrives!), drop pre-written letters in our mail bins on Opening Day, and email her for free.
Figure out different solutions with her. For many of these suggestions above, you can talk through solutions and help her know what to do. For example, “what if I…don’t feel well, or can’t find my backpack, or feel like someone is leaving me out, or lost my schedule.” (HINT: the answer to many of these questions is to talk to her counselor or Group Leader – she will help solve all of these problems or help your daughter figure out how to solve them herself!)
Need any more pointers or have questions on how better to prepare your daughter? Contact us!