Tag: Maine Summer Camps

Ideas for Indoor Fun

Trapped inside this winter?

Whether you are trapped inside due to the recent major winter storms in your area or have a house full Braceletsof kids home and bored for school vacation week, here are a few ideas from summer camp that may help entertain everyone when you are out of ideas!

  • Skits – Tackle a fun theatrical performance at home that kids can plan, practice and then perform. Have siblings work together or invite a few neighborhood friends over. Paper Bag Skits are great. Place 5-10 random items in a paper bag and the kids use these items in a skit they perform (the wackier the items the better).  Watch their creativity take off! Or have them plan and act out a commercial to advertise an item, play progressive charades, or perform a scene from a favorite musical.
  • Friendship Bracelets – Unpack the camp trunk and find the leftover embroidery floss. Kids can make bracelets for friends, family members or even themselves. Search online for “how to” videos or purchase a book at a craft store if you or your child does not know how to get started.
  • Write Letters – Pretend they are at camp with no electronic communication. Newspaper Fashions Grab the stationary and write fun letters or cards to friends, address the envelopes, and mail them out the old fashioned way! Perhaps they will be lucky and get a reply in a week or so. Start a letter writing chain, ask funny questions or create a “fill in the blank” style letter that a friend returns. Letter writing is a great life skill. As many a summer camp office staff can attest to, kids should learn how to address an envelope properly!
  • Evening Programs – Kids can think of their favorite games and Evening Programs from camp, and try a home version. Can you play an inside version of Capture the Flag? Build fairy houses if you can get outside (fairies like snow), organize a scavenger hunt around the house or try Dutch Auction, Chocolate Smugglers or Flounder (ask the kids how to play – they will know!)
  • Newspaper Fashions – Use newspaper to create fashion designs using nothing but newspaper and a limited amount of tape. Make a super hero, create an red carpet worthy design or use a theme. Kids can use each other as the model or dress you up. Don’t forget to take photos!

S'moreOf course get outside if you can (see our recent Children and Nature blog). Dress warmly and enjoy all the out of doors has to offer whatever time of year.  Fresh air does wonders for helping with cabin fever.  If you have a fireplace you could roast some marshmallows and make S’mores afterwards!

See you when the weather gets warmer!

Susie Hammond, Associate Director Wyonegonic Camps

Managing Summer Camp Drop Off

Dropping your child off at summer camp for the first time can be one of the hardest things a parents does. In one of our staff training sessions the other day, an experienced camp mother explained to the counselors their role in greeting and welcoming campers on opening day.  This not only includes meeting their excited or nervous new campers but also understanding what parents are going through. She said “dropping my children off at camp was much more difficult for me than dropping them off at college…we are entrusting our children to you, and we ask you to love them and keep them safe and happy.”  As a parent you have to trust that the camp you chose will do this for your child, and that the adventures, friendships, self esteem and independence they encounter throughout their camp journey will be well worth your time apart.

You can also make this process easier for both your child and yourself by planning ahead and following these tips.

1) Arrive with your paperwork in order. It will make your check in easy and quick!

2) Plan ahead with your child how they would like to manage drop off.  They may have an opinion!  Read this article on one child’s requests.

3) Help your child settle in, but keep your visit short and do not linger to long at camp. They will participate and make friends more quickly once you have said your goodbyes and departed. This may especially help children who are worried about saying goodbye and the separation, the longer it drags out, the more anxiety may build up.

4) Meet your child’s Counselor and Unit Director/Leader. Seeing these important role models will help you envision their time at camp after you have departed.

5) If you or your child are worried about homesickness – do not make promises for “opt outs” or early pickups. Instead tell your child that you are proud of them for taking this step, and that you know they can do it!  Showing your confidence that they can make it through their camp session and that you will see them at closing day (or for a planned visit) will help your child believe in themselves.

6) Save your tears for the parking lot if possible.  Camp Directors and staff understand and will help you!  Try to wait to let your own emotions out after saying goodbye to your child. You do not want them worrying about you! But instead focusing on themselves and their own adjustment to camp.

Enjoy these additional resources for summer camp families.

Dr Chris Thurber:  Resources for Families

Psychologist Michael Thompson: Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow

We cannot wait to see our campers arrive!

Susie Sudduth Hammond

Assistant Director – Wyonegonic Camps