There is nothing more exciting to a child than the prospect of sleep-away camp with their friends. It’s often something that happens in the last year of primary school and it’s like a right of passage for children of this age.
Preparing your children for this event is a must, though, especially if they’ve never been away from home before. A camp is a big deal and without parental supervision, it can be anxiety-inducing for children. From year 6 residential trips to camping with family, children need to be prepared for it to happen. School camps are a huge part of the primary school experience, and it can be quite a big deal for a child. So, here is how you can prepare your child for being away for the first time.
- Get all of the information from the school. If you want to prepare your child for going away camping for the first time, they need to know what they’re getting into and so do you. You can’t prepare them unless you know the in’s and outs of the trip, where they’re planning to go, and what the activities are involved. You can’t just stick your kids on a bus and say good luck while they go on their way, you should talk about what’s going to happen and where they’re going to be. You should also give them some pre stamped postcards for them to fill in and send to you while they’re on their way.
- Run practice. Allow your children to sleep over with their grandparents or a family member a few times before they go away to sleep away camp. There could be some issues that are happening behind the scenes such as bedwetting because of anxiety and it can really help your children to learn how to self settle. They may not be able to phone you every night while they are at camp so they have to learn how to be without you.
- Go on a drive to the campsite if it’s close enough. Sometimes, school camp holidays are undertaken within a few kilometers of the local area. If you can, do a drive by and go and have a look at the activities and allow your child to have a look as well. This way, they feel more confident when they get off the school bus on the way to camp.
- Be open about your concerns with the teachers. You don’t have to just be quiet and suck it up if you’re nervous about your child being away. Open the conversation with the teachers and ensure that they know that you are feeling nervous. This will help you to calm yourself down and let your child go for the first time and it will make your child feel more confident too.
A camp is going to be a big deal and you should do all you can to ensure that you are preparing your child for their very first time away.