As you think about child’s readiness for camp, we encourage you to consider the following questions. Often, the answers will illuminate whether your child may be ready. Please call us at 610-668-0423 so we can address your specific questions or concerns and provide our professional insight to help you make the right decision for your child.
Does your child want to come to camp?
Often when kids come to you with a desire to go to overnight camp, it’s a sign that not only are they interested in attending but that they are ready. Asking them about why they are interested will often give you the information you need to feel ready to take this step!
Has your child demonstrated success with sleepovers and falling asleep without your assistance?
Camp should not be the first time your child is sleeping away from home. Let your child practice with sleepovers with family members and with friends, as this will give your child the confidence needed to feel positive about sleeping out of the home, and it will help you rest easier too!
Is your child able to independently conduct tasks of daily living (brushing teeth, getting dressed, showering, putting away clothes, putting on sunscreen, serving themselves food, etc.)?
Your child will return home with much greater independence but should arrive at camp willing, with prompting and reminders, to do many of these things. These are great tasks to practice at home as you gear up for the summer!
Does your child have the stamina for a 14-hour day with tons of communal togetherness?
We know that the constant stimulation at camp can be tiring, so we build rest hour into each day to help! We also know that just like at home and school, there will be moments at camp when things aren’t going the way your child would like and you will want to have some confidence in your child’s ability to manage frustration.
Does your child sleep through the night without nightly accidents?
If your child has accidents on occasion, we can work with you to put a plan in place that your child feels comfortable with and that can work at camp. This is more common than most think and we can help create a plan that is discreet and supportive to your child.
How can we help?
Cori Miller and Lori Zlotoff are year-round Camp Harlam professionals who are also part of the Camper Care team each summer. They are poised to have in-depth conversations with prospective and enrolled families to discuss readiness and to prepare for success. They will make home visits, talk to professionals, and work with you and your child to make sure camp is prepared for what they might need.
During the summer, our five-person Camper Care team is made up of teachers, therapists, guidance counselors, and special education professionals who know camp and know kids. They work seamlessly with parents, counselors, and campers to ensure a positive experience for all. They are able to communicate with families throughout the summer to collaborate in real time and discuss issues as they arise. They work in partnership with counselors and parents in advance of and during the summer to support kids to have the best possible experience!
Please contact us at CampHarlam@URJ.org or 610-668-0423 to have a conversation about your child’s readiness for camp!