Now that the summer vacation and summer camps are well underway, a question we at Parkland Children’s Academy have sometimes had to answer is what to do if your child isn’t enjoying summer camp? Summer camp is an essential experience for every child but what happens when you have signed up for a summer camp that your child now says they really aren’t enjoying? While summer camp is generally a great experience for most kids, often the shy or socially awkward children find summer camp a difficult experience.
The first step to solving your child’s summer camp anxieties is to sit and speak with your child. Find out what is causing them to not enjoy their experience. Some of the most common issues kid’s have identified range from not getting on with their counselor to not enjoying the activities available to them.
Possibly the most frequent reason for not enjoying camp is separation anxiety. Day camps, such as the Parkland Children’s Academy summer camp, are a good solution for children fearing separation anxiety as they get to go home every night. However even day camps experience their share of separation anxiety cases. While many children are able to get over their homesick feelings within a day or two, some children find it more difficult. A good idea is to speak with their counselor and work on a strategy to help your child overcome their homesickness. It is important that you stay away from giving your child the option of being able to call you anytime to be picked up as this gives your child a negative crutch to fall back on. Summer camp is meant to encourage growth in your child’s independence – giving the option of an exit strategy from summer camp hampers this and gives them an exit strategy from independence.
Another common issue is not getting along with other camp goers. If your child is having problems with another camper, it is important to notify your child’s group leader. If things do not get better your child may be able to join an alternate group.
If your child is not getting on with their counselor it is essential that you contact the camp and speak with the head counselor. Most often this issue boils down to miscommunication. Counselors oversee a number of children and it is very easy for a shier child to be overshadowed by the more confident children. Making counselors aware of your child’s needs – without getting too involved – will definitely help.
There are so many reasons why your kid might not enjoy summer camp but through communication with your child and the help of the camp counselor you will be able to find ways of improving your kid’s summer camp experience.