*American Camping

Assoc. (New England)

781-541-6080

www.acane-camps.org

 

 

*Rhode Island Association of Camps

www.ricamps.com

Camps that are part of these associations agree to adhere to important principles of operation including supervision,

health & safety, administration, staffing and risk management in order to provide safe, fun, and positive camping

experiences for youth.

 

 

*RIASP After School and Summer Learning Program Maps

http://afterschoolri.org/parents/map

The RIASPA Afterschool and Summer Learning Program Maps include more than 200 afterschool and summer learning programs in our state, with information about their location, ages served, activities offered, costs, and more. Parents and families can utilize this map when searching for a specific afterschool or summer learning program for their children and youth.

10 Tips for Communicating with Your Resident Camper

Just because your child is spending time away at camp doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch. Parents should follow the camp’s

recommendations for keeping in touch. However, here are ten general tips for communicating with your camper while they’re getting

the experience of a lifetime at summer camp!

 

1. Carefully review and follow the camp’s advice about communication. Talk with your child about how you’ll be communicating and

what their options are for staying in touch with the family while at camp.

 

2. Send letters and postcards beginning a week before your camper leaves Or, drop off letters and cards when you drop off the camper.

This will ensure your child receives mail during the first delivery. Letters are extremely important because they are your child’s best

connection to home.

 

3. Keep letters upbeat Ask specific questions about your child’s friends,, activities, life with the group/unit, etc…. Try to refrain from writing

too much about how much you miss him or what exactly she’s missing at home.

 

4. Observe camp’s policy about phone calls Camps often discourage phone calls early in the session. Some camps don’t allow phone

calls at all. Phone conversations between parents and campers can interfere with adjusting to camp; they can also help with it. Camps know

what to do! During a longer session, an occasional phone call can be a great way to stay connected. Cell phone usage at camp is typically very regulated; camps are serious about their rules, so make sure your family understands and observes the camp’s approach.

 

5. Send one or two packages during your child’s time at camp Unless the camp encourages it, don’t send food; it can be disruptive if some campers receive packages with food and others do not. It also may go against camp policy. Rather, send puzzles, magazine articles, games, and other things that can be shared among campers.

 

6. Participate in family visiting days Some camps do not offer family visiting days. However, if your child’s camp does offer them, it is important to participate if possible. You will enjoy seeing your child in a new setting.

 

7. Be sure to pack stamped and addressed envelopes and postcards It is important for you to write to your camper, but it will be important for you to get responses as well. Try not to be discouraged by short and infrequent responses – take it as a sign that your child is having too much fun! 8. Help your child cope at camp Children can have difficulty during the first few days of camp. You may receive letters containing urgent pleas to come home. Respond sympathetically by communicating your confidence in your child’s ability to overcome the problem. Remember, by the time (s)he receives your letter, feelings about camp may have changed completely.

 

8. Pre-write lettersIf you anticipate your child will be extremely homesick, you can pre-write letters and arrange for the counselor to deliver them to your child every day during lunch.

 

9. Send a reminder from home that your camper can look at or listen to. Record a message in a medium your child can listen to (tape or MP3) or allow your child to pack a favorite photo, stuffed animal or memento from home.This is a creative way for your child to feel connected to you and to life at home.

 

10. Continue to communicate your love and support In your letters be sure to talk about how proud you are of your child and how happy you are that (s)he is having such an adventure. And remember, you will have a chance to hear many camp stories when your child comes home!

 

Provided by the American Camp Association, New England.  For more information please visit www.ACANewEngland.org, or call (781) 541-6080. Find us also at www.Facebook.com/ACANewEngland.

 

 

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Learning to Navigate Life ... at Summer Camp!

 

Children are fascinated by all the activities camps have to offer. Parents and guardians are attracted by

the skills those activities build.  But going to camp offers a child far more than basic program skills; camp

experiences prepare children to navigate life. They provide children with mentors and guides, with a map

for the future, and with a variety of skills to navigate into that future. Camps are engineered for ex-

periential learning—learning by doing—and they are set up to help children understand what they’re

capable of and what it means to be a responsible member of a group that’s not a family or a classroom.

And, yes, children make great progress with the program activities at hand.

 

Campers build skills in three major areas: program skills, life skills and 21st century skills. Programming

spans a vast array of activities—with something for everyone from Archery to Zumba. Whether a child is

exploring a new activity or pursuing one that is already beloved, camps do a great job of engaging learners in an authentic learning process and moving them through skill progressions. It’s amazing how campers pay attention to what’s next programmatically—tracking the next step in the progression and the next set of challenges and opportunities. “After I pass the swim test, I can sign up for kayaking.” “After I’m a junior, I’ll be a Middler and then a Senior; then I get to be a CIT!”

 

Campers might have signed up for a certain activity, but the chance to be off at camp doing that activity means they’re benefitting from some learning in the social-emotional realm also. Parents track and appreciate this learning more than children themselves! Being away from home at overnight camp for the first time, successfully separating from parents is a key life skill—and one best to acquire before it’s time to go off to college! Camp life fosters the development of resilience, too—physical and emotional. Just as a fall from a ropes course or a windsurfer can help a camper to understand how to avoid future falls, a misunderstanding or conflict within a friendship can also help campers to bounce back from the mistakes they have made in interacting with other people. Counselors facilitate the recovery from mistakes and missteps and encourage and help children to bounce back. Camp experiences build resilience and many other valuable life skills like initiative and self-direction, leadership and responsibility and flexibility and adaptability.

 

There’s a new focus on the importance of 21st Century Skills for today’s children who will grow up to become tomorrow’s workforce. Schools are working hard to weave these skills into their curricula. Camps, schools’ first and favorite partner and ally, do an excellent job of fostering the development of four major 21st century skills: communication, collaboration, creativity/innovation and critical thinking and problem solving. Campers have to work together to get their group up one side of a mountain and down the other; they learn to collaborate when creating a group skit or when cooking a meal. And they practice communicating all the time – as the spokesperson of their small group, as an emcee for camp radio, as cabin challenges are being mediated, or to request another trip to the salad bar at lunch—to name a few. So much of the teambuilding that happens at camp hinges on creative and innovative thinking—getting a group to the other side of this element of the ropes course or the other side of this problem that we’re facing. Camps are proud of the unique roles they play in ensuring that their campers are ready for the 21st century!

 

At summer’s end it can be difficult to tell who’s more excited and impressed—the campers who gain so many important skills for navigating life or their families and teachers who watch them return from camp, more confident and more competent and ready to put those skills to use.

 

Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves families and camps as the hub for “all things summer camp” in New England. For help finding a camp or for additional camp information and resources in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT, visit www.acanewengland.org or call (781) 541-6080.

 

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Overnight Camp Prepares Kids for College:

5 Skill Sets Overnight Camp Experiences Foster That Pave the Way

for College Living

 

By Bette Bussel, Executive Director, American Camp Association, New England

 

The transition to college is the largest ever for most students, but skills gained at summer camp can help

ease this major adjustment.

 

The American Camp Association, New England has compiled a list of five of the key skill sets overnight

camp experiences build that help campers make a smoother transition into college life.

 

1.     Separation: Knowing how to survive and thrive in a residential community away from home and away

from parents and family is extremely important. Overnight camp experiences boost independence simply because children experience life away from their families.

 

2.    Self-awareness and empowerment: Living away from home in the residential community of summer camp enables children to learn all kinds of key lessons about themselves and the unique role they are capable of playing in a group. For many individuals, camp experiences provide some of life’s most significant and meaningful lessons in understanding who they are and what they can contribute.
 

3.    Social: Camp experiences build social skills. Living closely with strangers in a small space, such as a camp bunk, provides added incentive to learn the give and take necessary for successful community living. The ability to get along with others and the chance to develop tried and true methods of making friends, make the transition to college much easier for experienced campers. What are one or two roommates when you’re used half dozen or more at camp?
 

4.    Independence: Camp requires children to take care of themselves and their belongings, and, when problems arise, camp living enables children to rely on themselves for solutions or to reach out to others who can assist them. A rescue from a loving family member isn’t an option at camp. Older campers don’t need to be rescued, they need and love the lessons in responsibility and self-sufficiency camp provides.
 

5.     Community building: Experienced overnight campers know first-hand how to be members of the community, a tremendously important skill in making a successful transition to a new college or university environment. Whether it’s tapping the expertise of others who know the ropes, discovering the most important resources, or identifying the people with common interests, community building.

 

Provided by the American Camp Association, New England, a 501 (c) 3 organization that serves families and camps as the hub for “all things summer camp” in New England. For help finding a camp or for additional camp information and resources in CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT, visit www.acanewengland.org or call (781) 541-6080.

 

 

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