Thursday, May 28, 2015

Create your own Summer Camp in your Backyard

Summer camp is a wonderful resource for children and provides them with the opportunity to learn skills in team building and can give them a confidence boost! After being diagnosed with cancer, going off to summer camp may not be an option any longer- that is why creating your own summer camp is a great alternative!

 How to begin your very own summer camp: [1] Round up your campers

Include not only other children that your kids know, but reach out to other young ones in the community. This will help make the camp experience profoundly more beneficial, as it encourages your kids to branch out. Invite neighborhood kids that you may not have met yet.

[2] Plan out a schedule and activities

Though it is important to have an idea regarding the activities, location and times of your camp…don’t stress if it does not go perfectly! Sometimes, some of our favorite memories are unexpected.  Some good things to have on your checklist while planning your schedule are:
  • Designated Days of the week/weekend to host camp activities
  • Locations on designated days
  • List out activities [have and idea of both indoor and outdoor activities to ensure you have a back up plan if weather does not permit]
  • Time lengths
  • Supervision [depending on your camp kids ages, this could range from hands on supervision to just keeping an eye out on the campers]

 [3] Rally up the camp spirit

 Once you have rallied up campers, plan a time to meet and brainstorm a camp name craft up a camp flag and even make T-shirts. To take this even further, take a group photo that you can turn into printable postcards for campers to send to their relatives.

 [4] Ban Media & Technology

 Obviously it is up to you and your campers discretion on how far to take this, but we would highly encourage to eliminate all distractions from one on one camper interaction. We would suggest to limit it to one cell phone in cases that an adult is not in immediate proximity of an activity.

 [5] Chow Down!

Camp food is often a very memorable part of the experience. At the beginning of each week discuss with campers and plan out a menu. Parents can listen to their desires and even make healthier versions of what they want!

 [6] Taking your camp counselor hat off, parents!

As we mentioned earlier in this post, parent supervision will vary depending on your camper’s ages. Although safety is number one in any group situation, make sure you are limiting your discipline or unnecessary involvement. A huge part of summer camp for kids teaches them coping mechanisms and learning how to resolve conflict on their own.
 Now that you have your basic steps to creating your very own summer camp stay tuned for even more helpful summer camp ideas:

  • Friday 5/29: 20 Summer Camp Activity Ideas
  • Sunday 5/31: Healthy Camp Recipe

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