Preparing Parents 2021

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Shalom from Jacobs Camp,

As Camp Director, I can tell you first hand that when a child goes away to camp, the entire family grows from the experience. But that doesn’t make getting ready for the summer any easier!

Like everything else, preparing for camp feels a little bit different this year. We know many of our campers have not spent much, if any, time away from home, and we are totally ready to provide extra support this summer.

Today, I am sharing some ideas for how you can prepare as a family for the summer ahead:

  • Set the Right Tone One of the best things you can do for your camper is to notice how you talk about the summer ahead.  It is very easy to project our own anxieties on to our children, and the more we can show them we feel confident in their ability to thrive at camp, the better prepared they will be for this experience.
  • Talk about concerns As the session nears, it is totally normal for campers to feel nervous about being away from home. Be sure to listen to and acknowledge your camper’s feelings while expressing confidence in his or her ability to spend the time away.
  • Make a plan for what to do when your child misses home Homesickness is perfectly normal, and it may help to talk through a plan of what your child can do when they miss home. For younger campers, this may mean packing a familiar stuffed animal or other object that helps them feel grounded. This could also mean hanging photos of family in their area of the cabin. Our wonderful counselors are well equipped to help all of our campers feel comfortable and at-home at camp.
  • Pack together Go through the packing list together and let your camper be part of the process! Especially for younger campers, this not only helps them find their belongings more easily, but also helps them feel empowered and ready for an amazing summer.
  • Focus on all of the wonderful experiences to come While camp may feel a bit different this year, we will still have SO many fun times and amazing experiences.  Parents should focus on all of the amazing activities your campers WILL experience including new friends and new activities. Here you can talk through what a typical day is like at camp, and here you can watch a video of some of the cool things your camper has to look forward to!
  • Join our Jacobs Parents Facebook Group We have heard from many parents that one of the greatest resources for advice is our great online community of first-time and experienced camp parents in the Jacobs Camp Parents Facebook group. Want to know the best way to label clothing? Wondering what duffle bag is most popular? Figuring out where to stay in Jackson the night before camp? This is the group to ask! Please click here to request membership in this group.

***It is important to note that this group is not monitored by camp staff.  if you have questions or concerns specific to your child, please contact camp directly at 601-885-6042 or aherman@urj.org.***

  • Communicate with camp The more information you can provide us about your camper, the better! We do everything we can to be prepared when our campers come through the gates, and the more honest and candid you can be with us about your child, the more we can do to ensure your child has a successful camp experience.
  • Don’t forget to prepare yourself too! Sending your child for the summer can feel daunting. Remind yourself that you are giving your child the gift of independence, and that going to camp is an opportunity for your child to explore the world beyond his or her own backyard. You are giving them space for personal growth, the chance to make new friends, and the opportunity to build new skills and explore new interests. Even still, it is normal to feel nervous. Please know that we are here to address your concerns.

You can always contact us here at camp 601-885-6042 or aherman@urj.org to let us know how we can make this summer amazing for your camper and for you!

Love,

Anna