By: Matt Krouner, Owner/Director Camp Schodack
You’ve made it! A week or ten days has passed since your child left for camp and all is going great. You had a fabulous check-in with their Division Head after Opening Day and you’ve only called the camp office once to make sure you actually packed that special pair of socks in the camp trunks. Now, you find yourself gearing up for your first phone call with your child and you couldn’t be more excited.
As special as the first phone call is, it can also be a little nerve-wracking. So here are 5 tips to help make it a success:
1) Make sure you’ve had some contact with camp before the call. It can be helpful to have some talking points prior to the call so some camps send home newsletters with updates from the week or they welcome calls from parents to provide some tidbits about what’s been going on. Use these resources prior to hopping on the phone.
2) Remember that phone calls are not always an accurate picture of how your child is doing at camp. Often the happiest of campers get a little emotional when they hear their parents’ voices for the first time in a while. Almost always, they will hang up the phone and immediately get back into the swing of camp.
3) This may sound silly, but lots of camp-age children haven’t had much practice using a phone, at least not for old-fashioned “talking,” so before camp, make sure you’ve had a brief training session about how to speak clearly into the phone.
4) Don’t feel alone after the call! You should feel totally comfortable having a “call-after-the-call” with someone at camp if your child mentioned anything you want more information about. Most camps will be more than happy to chat with you and it’s a good way for you to feel even more in the loop.
5) Let your child lead! Don’t forget, your camper has been spending 24 hours a day learning how to be independent and successful away from you…that’s why you sent them to camp in the first place! Keep that in mind while you’re on the phone and don’t have too much of an agenda. Let your camper share their camp experience with you in the way that feels best for them.
I hope these tips were helpful and I wish everyone great phone calls from camp this summer!