Sending your child to summer camp can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. You can rest assured that your child will be in good hands, and that they will have a wonderful experience learning and developing healthy relationships with our Creator and with other campers.
To help prepare you and your child the camp, here’s what you need to know:
- Download the Kamp Kaleo Dress Code and help your child pack accordingly. Pay close attention to what is on that document.
- Make sure you read and understand the dates and times of camp, including drop-off and pick-up. Unless you are told otherwise, drop off your children no sooner than 3 p.m. the first day of camp and pick them up right at 1 p.m. on the last day. Some camps are shorter than others, so please make sure you have the right dates in your calendar.
- Try to be HOPEFUL of the week, and TRUSTING of the youth and their leaders. This can help build positive expectations in the youth.
- If homesickness becomes an issue:
- Affirm that, “Yes, it is sometimes scary to be away from home.” “We’re glad that your friends will be with you.” or “We’re happy you’ll be making new friends.”
- Affirm that, “Yes, we will miss you too, but we’ll have a full week, just as you will.”
- Don’t create problems by saying, “Call if you get homesick.” Or even worse, “If you need us to, we can come get you.” Our staff is competent to help your child deal with homesickness if it should occur.
- When packing medications, please make sure they are in their original container. We cannot have any bags, plastic pill minders, envelopes, etc. with medications in them. Keep in mind we have a nurse dispensing medications to up to 65 kids. We don’t want any mistakes. Our ACA accreditation requires original containers as well.
At Drop Off:
Drop off and check-in is a crucial time for both the campers and our staff. To make it as smooth as possible we need a few things from you:
- Prior to camp, make sure to have completely filled out your online health form. We cannot accept a child with no or incomplete information. Our regulatory bodies prohibit this.
- Make sure you bring payments or explanations of payments (signed scholarship forms, signed church payment agreement forms, etc).
- Get checked-in, say goodbye, and go! The longer you hang around saying goodbye, the greater the chance your child will develop homesickness. Trust us! Leaving as soon as possible is the best thing for your child. Our staff also needs those crucial first minutes to bond with your child and get them acclimated. We suggest not even going to the cabin!
While Your Child is at Camp:
Write to your child during camp. Your letter or card could appropriately include:
- Report on what is happening in the family and your town (conveying, however, that “our life goes on without you, but that is okay.”) This is a valuable lesson that must come with growing.
- Inquiry about how camp is going (conveying that, “We miss you and care for you”).
- Statements of eagerness to hear about camp (conveying that, “We expect it to be important”).
Send letters or cards to: Kamp Kaleo, 46872 Willow Springs Rd., Burwell, NE 68823.
- If you are going to write a letter to your child, we suggest actually pre-writing one and mailing it from your home the Saturday before camp starts. It should arrive on our around mid-week depending on where you are mailing from.
- While your child will be encouraged to write to you during camp, they may not have written at all, or as much as you may have liked. Certainly you are free to express that feeling, but caution should be used not to create feelings of guilt.
- Coming home after a week at camp is difficult. There is so much to talk about, yet guardedness about it, too. Parents will do well to make it clear that they can and will listen, but not insist that the returning camper talk if they are not ready to talk.
- At this point, it is a matter of genuinely responding to the camper’s needs. Going to camp is an adventure that will bring new experiences and new understandings. Your camper may try to incorporate new learning into his or her daily life. Be open to this. If changes cause you to wonder, show interest in what is being attempted and talk with your camper about them.
- Leaders will have come to know your child in significant ways. It is alright to ask them how you can better respond to your child, but please don’t expect them to betray trusts of a meaningful relationship.
- Ask your pastor how you can help with the Christian nurturing of youth throughout the year.
- Send letters or cards to: Kamp Kaleo, 46872 Willow Springs Rd., Burwell, NE 68823.
The Outdoor Ministry program is planned and provided by the Outdoor Ministry Committee of the Nebraska Conference of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Nebraska.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions not on this list.