I was reading Erin Davis’ blog (CHFI 98.1) about their time broadcasting from Tim Hortons for the Tim Hortons Camp Day. Erin writes, “We also got to spend time with the amazing Hannah Alper, who shared advice for kids going to camp for the first time. Her opening tip was the one that touched me most, like the line from the Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram song ‘Somewhere Out There’: if a child is missing his or her parent, simply look at the moon and know that they’re both looking at the same thing, seeing the same moon. A lovely thought, isn’t it? If you’d like more of this 13-year-old’s incredible wisdom (she really is phenomenal) – go to www.callmehannah.ca.” So I looked up Hannah’s blog and here’s what I found. Good ideas even for repeat campers!!
MY 10 PIECES OF ADVICE FOR KIDS WHO ARE GOING TO OVERNIGHT CAMP FOR FIRST TIME
By Hannah Alper (http://callmehannah.ca/my-10-pieces-of-advice-for-kids-who-are-going-to-overnight-camp-for-first-time/)
Last year I went to overnight camp for the first time. At first I was really nervous about being away from home for 10 days. I won’t lie and tell you that it was all easy. But I will tell you that after the first two nights I started to get comfortable at camp. I was supposed to be there for 10 days and then my parents were coming for Alumni Weekend (my mom went to the same camp) and the plan was that I would go home with them. But you know what happened? I loved camp so much that when my parents arrived, I asked if I could stay for another 12 days.
Here is some advice for people who are going to overnight camp for the first time:
- Make friends with the people in your cabin. You will make new friends starting from the bus ride up there and have lots of people to hang out with. Also, introduce yourself to everyone. I always had not just my friends in my cabin but other people in my camp were my friends too. It is always good to have a lot of friends to get you through the lonely or homesick times.
- If it’s your first time at overnight camp, it’s probably also the first time for most of the kids in your cabin. You are not the only one. It will make you feel better to know that.
- I was mostly nervous about the nighttime. My Mom’s advice to me was “all you have to do is make it through the night and then you will have so much fun in the day.” The days are so much fun at camp. Remember this at night.
- Try talking to your counselors if you’re feeling homesick. It feels good and they can make you feel better. They were also first-time campers – a really, really long time ago, though!
- When you’re packing for camp, collect some pictures of your family and bring some tape so that you can have them on the wall at your bunk.
- You know the list of things they tell you to pack? When it comes to clothing, bring extra t-shirts BUT…
- Don’t take your favourite t-shirt. You will probably lose it.
- My Mom and I had a special deal that we would both go outside at 9:30 every night and look up at the stars and say goodnight. When I looked up, I knew that she was looking up too.
- Take a notebook so that you can write down the phone numbers and email addresses of your new friends to stay in touch until next year.
- Make the most of every day. It goes so fast you’ll be home before you know it and instead of wishing you were home you’ll be wishing you are back at camp.
That is my advice for people who are going to camp for the first time. I am so excited to go to go back to camp and to see my friends. I’m not nearly as nervous as I was last year. I am going to have so much fun and hope you do, too!
Thanks Hannah!! I know your advice will help many campers – both first-timers and returnees!!!