Sometimes it is hard to know how you can be involved in your child's summer camp experience since you are not with him/her at camp. Being involved with the process from the beginning will help with a smooth transition. To help you out, we've listed a few things you can do to get your camper prepared for camp and keep you involved in the process. If there is anything that the camp can assist you with, please don't hesitate to ask! We look forward to having your child with us for this memorable experience. See the check-in day info corresponding to your child's program for specifics.
Feel free to contact the camp for a tour so your child can see the camp and become familiar with where he/she will be staying. Look through the brochure to see photos of activities and descriptions of camps and typical days. If your child has never been to camp before, have him/her ask a friend to come along to make them feel more secure. If you have questions about the camp programs, please do not hesitate to contact the camp office.
Bolster your child's confidence about the adventure they are about to experience.
One of the greatest benefits of camp is a child's emerging independence. To learn to trust other caring adults, they grow and learn, little by little, to solve some of their own challenges. It is one important way your child develops greater resilience.
Do not highlight a conversation about "homesickness" in your preparations. Do not suggest to your child that he or she can call home if homesick or send a cell phone with them. This is a statement a child never forgets. If your child is experiencing a challenge to their adjustment to camp we will call you. You can help by talking with your child before they leave for camp and telling them that there is always someone they can reach out to, whether it is their counselor, a trusted activity leader, the camp nurse, or the Program Director. We are all here to help.
We recommend packing the suitcase with your child so they know what is in there and where to find it. The "favorite clothes" should go to camp. They will make it home if he or she likes them. Make sure you label everything with your child's name. Include a plastic bag or something similar for dirty laundry and explain what it is for. Make sure it has a label on it as well. Black plastic bags look a lot like trash. Check out the general packing lists for your child's program by clicking here.
Campers love mail!
Postal mail should be directed to:
237 Golden Bough Rd
Lake Wales, FL 33898
Parents, like campers, love to receive letters and are disappointed when they do not get one. Help address and stamp some note cards or postcards before your camper leaves.
One-way emails. There is a small cost/charge with emails and emailing capabilities must be approved by the parent/guardian through the Parent Portal. If you did not register online, contact the camp office to receive log in and password information to access your online account for email and photo access. (Basic Photo access viewing is free and will allow viewing through the beginning of the next summer.
E-mails are delivered once a day. They are retrieved at noon each day and delivered to the counselors of each housing unit. Campers cannot e-mail you back.
When writing, don't highlight big events that he or she is missing. Let them know how proud you are that they are at camp. If you are following the camp week through the photo pages, mention some of the activities you are seeing them involved in.
If you need to send medicines with your child to camp, do not place them in his/her suitcase. All medicines (prescription or over-the-counter) must be given to the nurse in their original containers with instructions at check in. Please, all medicines must be identified in their original containers. If your child has an inhaler, they can keep it with them but the camp nurse should be notified that it is in their possession. Medicines are returned to your camper on the last day as they pack their bags. The Infirmary stocks standard comfort over-the-counter medicines. There is no need to send Tylenol, Advil, Tums, etc with your camper.
Your camper has the opportunity to have a group picture for $6 to remember their week. You may want to send a disposable camera to capture further memories. Valuable digital cameras are not advised. In an age where uploading photos is routine and kids like to take "funny" pictures, please review their photos as being appropriate before allowing them to place them on any social online platform.
The "Canteen/Store Card" is the camper's "Spending Money Account".
Each Camper will have a "Canteen/Store Card" for their purchases and offerings at camp. Each camper automatically has $5 in their account from registration. Additional deposits can be made to the account online or in a "canteen" envelope at check in day. The average amount of spending money we suggest is approximately $30-$35 based on the length of the program. At the end of the program, unused funds greater than $10 may be requested for return on closing day. A staff member wil be outside the T-Shirt Shoppe on the Lakeside campus and the Hillside Outpost Gift Shoppe. Remaining funds less than $10 are automatically donated to the specific mission of the week.
The "Canteen/Store Card" can be used for Canteen snack items, T-shirt Shoppe, camp photo, leather crafts and mission offering. If not depositing funds for the “Spending Money Account” online, please complete a Canteen Envelope at check in depositing it at the Housing Assignment venue.
Please remember to include mission giving in your spending plan. Each program emphasizes a different mission and often has a missionary on staff relating their experiences.
There are a wide variety of snack items in the Canteen. Each camper may purchase two items at canteen which is open twice a day. The most they can spend at any one time is about $2-$2.50. There is a T-shirt Shoppe with Lake Aurora stuffed animals, jewelry and clothing. Items range from 50 cents to $38. Leather crafts is optional and ranges from 50 cents to $4. Mission offering is encouraged and emphasized at each program.
Please be sure your child knows what amount of money they have in their "Camper Spending Money Account" at the camp. You may add additional funds to this account while your child is at camp through your online account. If you did not register online, contact the camp office to receive log in and password information to access your online account to check the balance of your child's account.
Directions to the camp are in the summer camp booklet, or Check In Information flyer, or click here. Please note your check in time and day. Check in will not start early but you may explore the grounds as you wait.
There is something very powerful that you can do for your child while he/she is at camp: pray!! Pray for your child's spiritual development and health while they are away. Also, pray for the camp staff and faculty.
Be prompt for pick up time. The times for each session are listed in your check in information. If any campers made decisions to be baptized at camp, your child may want to attend the baptism at the lakefront at the close of the program. While you will be eager to get your child home and talk with him/her, we encourage you to allow your child the extra time to support his/her fellow campers in this important decision by being present at the baptism.
Remember to check "Lost and Found" at the chapel on Lakeside or picnic tables on Hillside.For programs serving 4th,5th,6th and younger, campers will be signed out from their meeting area in addition to the yellow check out card for each vehicle leaving the campus. Please hand the card listing campers in your vehicle to the staff person at the exit gate.
Be prepared for your child to be tired, as they've spent a lot of time outdoors in active programs. They may also be grumpy. Going home is a sudden change of pace. They are leaving new friends. Don't be offended if your child isn't as happy to see you as you are them. Your child will appreciate extra time to rest and be excused from family chores the first day or two at home. When your child is ready to talk about the camp experience, listen closely but don't probe too much. Ask open-ended questions to encourage your child to share (i.e. what was your favorite activity, who was your favorite person at camp, etc). If your child expresses a desire to be baptized while at camp, a faculty member will call you to discuss the decision. Some children may decide they want to be baptized, but may wait until they get home to talk with someone about it. Don't push your child about any decision they might have made. It is not uncommon for parents to find out about their child's decision from someone other than their child.
Your child needs to continue the growing process once they come home. We encourage you to pray for and with your child. Teaching how to have a personal quiet time with God is stressed at camp, so encourage them in this endeavor. If your child isn't already connected with a local church, take this opportunity to find a church the whole family can attend. If there is any way the camp can help, please let us know.