As a teacher I love school camps.
Kids get to be kids more than they do in the classroom and all students have a chance to shine, not just the academic ones. Mind you the downside is less sleep from having to make sure all 80 kids go to bed on time and that they stay asleep.
For some kids though the idea of going on school camp can be daunting and the cause of much anxiety. Especially if they have not had a sleepover before or have not spent much time away from home, school camps are a real “unknown” for some.
Here’s a couple of things you can do to help those children who are anxious about going on school camp.
- Show them some pictures of the camp and the activities they will be doing. Most school campsites will have a web page that you can go to and look at with your child. Often there will be a gallery of pictures of the campsite, the buildings and the activities they will be participating in.
- See if you can get hold of a camp program or timetable so your child can be familiar with what’s happening, and when, on the different days of the camp.
- Tell them they can call you on camp if they need to. While camps are a great way for kids to learn independence, even knowing they have that option can be a relief. Obviously discuss this with their teachers so this this can be possible.
- Lastly and most importantly tell their teacher. Teachers want all of the kids to have a great time on camp and seeing those students who are anxious end up having the time of their lives and grow as a result is one of the most satisfying things about their job.
Often it is the fear of the unkown that can create much of the anxiety around school camps. Becoming familiar with what’s happening and what it looks like can alleviate some of that fear and even create some anticipation of what could be a great time in their life.