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Preparing Parents 2022

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 onto 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. For example, saying things like “WHEN you are at camp” rather than “IF you are at camp” (this is good practice for the months between camp too!)
  • 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. Ask open-ended questions that encourage finding solutions like, “if you didn’t remember where the vegetarian food is, who could you ask?”.
  • Make a plan for what to do when your child misses home Missing home 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. A good idea for helping kids through this in advance is reminding them that they can have a great time at camp AND miss home/family at the same time. It can be hard for kids to recognize that these two things can co-exist. Read more here about our thoughts on homesickness being a four letter word 🙂
  • 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***

  • 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 to let us know how we can make this summer amazing for your camper and for you!


About the Author

Anna Herman

Anna is so excited to be the Executive Director of the URJ Henry S. Jacobs Camp. Anna grew up in Dothan, AL, and began attending the Henry S. Jacobs Camp at age 11. In addition to being a camper, Anna also was a counselor and unit head. Anna is counting down the days til opening day!


Thank You 2022 Donors!

Thank You 2022 Donors!

Thank You 2022 Donors! The support of our generous community has truly been the backbone of everything we do at Jacobs Camp. In 2022, we saw record enrollment numbers with over 525 campers attending one of our sessions, and we are on track for similar enrollment...