We are very excited for our upcoming 2021 summer! As many of you know, this summer we are switching to 3 week sessions. We decided to do this for a multitude of reasons…
- Camps that offer longer term programming allow for campers to bond with their counselors and other campers in a deeper way. After this past year of less social interaction due to camps, school and other activities being closed, we want to ensure a program that can help make up for some of that lost time
- This gives us the chance to create a consistent, routine driven camp program that both our campers and staff can benefit from and learn to trust. By making all of our sessions uniform, we will be better equipped to problem solve and create meaningful connections with our campers while still providing for the safest environment we can.
- With a smaller initial enrollment due to health department restrictions, we are able to offer a more personal experience for your camper.
- To learn more about why we switched to 3 week sessions checkout this resource on our website!
We wanted to get a camper’s perspective on this change. Many of our campers are very excited for the extra time at camp, and others are a bit nervous about coming to Foley for longer than they have in the past. Luckily, we have campers who have done this transition already! It’s very common for camper to go from 1 or 2 week sessions to 4 weeks. We reached out to some campers who have done this transition and asked them what advice they have for campers making this jump to 3 weeks for the first time…
To combat homesickness
“I don’t get very homesick, but I do know it was helpful to have things from home. I brought photos and little important things that were important to me, and I could look at them and know was waiting for me. And I’m so glad that camp is longer, because you get to spend so much more time with people you don’t really get to see. Really just enjoy it, because it’s going to be a huge part of your childhood memories later on.” – Ellie O. (13) a camper coming for 6 weeks this summer
“So my biggest tips for attending camp for 3 weeks would definitely be to not over pack but definitely do not under pack. With my few years at camp I have learned you will go through clothes pretty quickly whether that be because of a spaghetti stain or your sweatpants got soaked. I would follow the carefully packing list and then add on a couple extra of each things. The biggest thing is having a few pairs of swimsuits because it’s always nice to have a pair of good smelling swimsuits. you can only air dry them before they smell like dry lake water haha. Extra socks are a must as they get dirty and sometimes trashed . All in all I’d say for sure just throw a few extra of everything in that bag. except for things you might not use like a rain coat… as far as church clothes go i always bring a church outfit for 2 sessions of mass. as sometimes during the outdoor dinners get a little messy. but within the 3 weeks just a little extra of it all!!” – Jeff R. (15), camper coming for 3 weeks
Dealing with the length of the session
“The important thing I think is not to think of it as 3 weeks of camp, but just 1 extra week or one extra sign up, which is something we all want by the end of camp anyway! I would tell other campers if they are nervous to know they aren’t the only ones that are and we will all be together. Tell your friends and counselors when you get sad or homesick and they can help you a lot!” – 14 year old camper coming for 3 weeks (asked to remain anonymous)
Here are also some tips for parents to prepare your camper for this upcoming summer…
- Include your child in the packing process. They will get more excited for camp if they have some agency in what they get to bring with them
- Talk through homesickness with them and some strategies they can use when the feeling comes up at camp. It is nothing to be embarrassed about and is completely normal
- Discuss how your camper felt when they had a sleepover with friends or staying at Grandma’s house, they have been independent in the past and can totally spend 3 weeks at camp
- Make a letter writing packet with your camper. Include pre-addressed stamped envelopes, pencil/pen, paper, etc. You could mail a letter to your child a couple of days before they leave.