At camp, campers are constantly on the “go, go go.” From the time campers wake up, their schedule is packed activities.
They can be out on Whitefish Lake all day, other days they are singing, dancing, crafting and creating! From the moment campers open their eyes until the moment they fall asleep, their days are filled with fun and adventure, hanging out with new friends, eating delicious foods, trying new things and making life long memories. With days like these, it’s easy to understand why sometimes campers just need to rest. And as seriously as we take fun at Camp Foley, we are just as serious about rest. We know the importance of slowing down and recharging, and all of our campers take part in “Rest Period” every day.
Rest Period is a 45 minute period right after lunch where all the campers head back to their cabins and have some quiet time. When campers are constantly on the move, when they fly from activity to activity, they sometimes don’t have time to reflect on things they are seeing, doing and learning. A rest period gives campers a chance to relax, read, listen to music, and sleep before getting back into the busyness of camp life. During this time, campers may want to write letters home, organize their cabin space, or listen to music. Remember no phones, but campers can have ipods!
We have a rest period for many reasons, including helping our campers get out of the sun and help them take a mental and physical break in the middle of the day. Resting during the day is good for the body. It gives you more energy and lets your body rest from all the activity during the day. Resting has also been shown to improve productivity and focus, which can really help campers who are involved in a wide variety of new tasks and skills.
Many campers are unaccustomed to the “go go go” of camp, and rest period is a welcome break, BUT we see campers here at Foley struggle with rest period and find it to be a tedious and boring time of the day.
SO to help prepare our campers and parents for this summer, here are 5 tips for a successful rest period at Camp Foley!
When packing for camp, don’t forget about rest period! Think about what your camper would like to do during some down time. What do they do at home when alone? NOW we are not talking screens! Camp Foley is proud to be a tech free camp, and we think rest period actually plays a vital role in teaching kids how to just “be”, and not have to be entertained every second of the day. Campers learn that THEY are in charge of their own time during rest period and get to choose how to spend it. Help your camper brainstorm different ideas of what they could do keep occupied. They could learn to play solitaire, pack puzzles, drawing paper, fidget spinners, books, bracelet string, and so much more.
FOR CAMPERS: When at camp put your rest period materials on your bed in the morning, so you are all ready to go after lunch when you get back to your cabin.
Many campers choose to write letters home at Rest Period and setting them up for success before camp can mean the difference between 2 and 10 letters home in 3 weeks! Talk through letter writing with your camper and choose several different people they could write to while at camp, like grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and even neighbors. Prepping stationary, and addressing/stamping envelopes for your camper, especially if they are under 10, will work wonders. It will take the stress away from having to find and keep track of so many different materials and let them focus on telling you about all the fun they are having. We have a whole blog dedicated to mail time that you can check out for even more tips!
3. Create a plan with an AD
If you’re worried about your camper being successful during rest period, don’t be afraid to reach out to the camp admin. Our Assistant Directors Ally and Joe would love to help you create a rest period plan for your camper. It can be as simple as giving a camper a little more space away from cabinmates, turning on soft music for them, or giving a personal quiet space each day away from any distractions. We are here to partner with you to give your child the best camp experience possible! Email Ally (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joe (email@example.com) or feel free to set up a zoom meeting with us!
4. Practice at home
A fantastic way to prepare your camper for Rest Period at camp is to practice at home! 2 weeks or so before camp starts, start having screen free quiet time everyday. Start with smaller amounts, 5 or 10 minutes and work up to the full 45 minutes. This will help the transition between camp and home life, and won’t be so jarring for your camper when they first arrive at Foley. This is also a great chance for your camper to figure out what they like to do best during this restful time, and will encourage them to form good habits that will carry over into camp life. Set a routine and stay consistent!
Talk to your camper on exactly what will be expected of them. They will need to be sitting quietly in one place (usually their bunk), not talking, and engaged in a solo activity or simply “being”. If campers are aware of what they are supposed to do during this time it also tells them without stating it what NOT TO DO. Our camp staff and parents are a TEAM together. If you start with strong expectations at home, it will be much easier for counselors to follow through on those expectations here at camp.
We can’t wait for summer to hit and have all our campers put these tips to good use! If you aren’t registered for camp, now is the perfect time! CLICK HERE!