It’s inevitable: children make friends at camp. Even the quirkiest personality finds someone who understands them and thinks they’re fabulous! Sometimes it’s one or two friends and sometimes it’s ten new friends. Regardless of the number, friends are people who make your child feel comfortable being who they are, and that is priceless.
So how does your child maintain that bond with their camp friends when they are thrust back into “real life”?
Camp planned activities. Camps typically hold reunions and get-togethers throughout the year for campers to get together and recall their favorite memories at Cody. Even if your child’s friends aren’t planning to attend, regrouping with campers that had the same camp experiences allows your child to relive all the things that make their friendships important.
Technology. The last day of camp is a frantic race where campers collect phone numbers, emails, and Instagram handles from all of their friends. With this information, campers can stay in contact forever. Allowing your child to FaceTime, Skype, Instagram, Snapchat or whatever else with their camp friends will enable them to keep in touch and continue to feel supported and included.
Your encouragement. Your child’s camp friends were the ones who sat next to them on their bed when they were missing home, encouraged them to try a new activity, dared them to eat something they never tried, and made sure they were always smiling. At home, those friends are still necessary to remind your child of all they overcame and accomplished while away. Encourage them to maintain those relationships. You never know, they may keep in touch with those friends throughout their life!
If your child forgot their best friend’s last name or lost their paper of phone numbers, contact camp. We want your child to continue to build their confidence, gain independence, and feel loved, and we know that a support system full of friends is the best way to accomplish that. Camp itself may only be a short time, but take it from a camp alumna – these are friendships that last a lifetime.
– Jess Starkman