In a few weeks, there will be large gatherings of nervous parents and children in the parking lots of shopping malls all over the US. Will you be among those parents or will you be driving the interstate to take your child to sleep away camp? While it is much harder for the parents than the children, the advice from Tips on Trips and Camps advisor, Carey Rivers, is to go for it. Just don’t cry till you see the back of the bus going down the road.
The camp bus plays an important role in the separation that takes place as your child enters the world of sleep away camp. By the time campers arrive at camp they will have at least one friend and be able to sing a camp song or two. You do not want your child to be the last one entering the cabin after the bus has arrived – with his parents in tow! Nor do you want a nervous time waiting for bunkmates to arrive on the bus if your child arrives early with his parents. Your child will feel more comfortable with other excited campers rather than their nervous parents.
The bus is also an opportunity to learn about all the fun activities at camp. Water sports, land sports, climbing walls, science and nature activities, specialty camp programming and what the food is like.
So trust your child to be able to handle the separation. Camp is designed to foster independence. Give your child a vote of confidence, a hug and a wave as the bus drives off. You will not regret it.