How to Get Your Kids Excited About Summer Day Camp
Whether this is your child’s first or tenth time going to summer camp, initial thoughts about spending a week with new people, trying new activities in a new environment can feel intimidating. However, you as a parent or guardian can get them pumped up to jump into a new adventure through support, preparation, and insight. Here are ways to get your kid(s) excited about coming to Avid4 Adventure’s Day Camps:
Explain the WHY in outdoor adventure
Today, children spend more time inside and on screens than ever before. In 2017, CNN released a report showing that on average, children of age 8 and younger spend more than two hours in front of screens per day. As beneficial as technology can be, many children are becoming more engaged with their devices than their own backyard. Share your personal thoughts with your kids on why you’re encouraging them to go outside this summer, and use our resources like this article by Avid4 Adventure VP of Day Camps, Sarah Pekala to describe some long term skills they can gain from camp.
Tell them it’s OK to be nervous!
Wherever your child is on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, summer camp can feel overwhelming. Let them know that it’s completely normal to feel nervous (we know, we hear from parents all the time that their child is nervous to go biking, climbing, kayaking, meet new kids, the list goes on) when heading into a new adventure. You can reassure them that our staff will welcome them with excitement on their first day and they will not be forced to try anything they are not comfortable with (we call this the 'Challenge by Choice' approach).
Research and visit Avid’s recreational spots based on your camp location:
When registering your child for Avid4 Adventure, research the outdoor recreation areas they will visit while at camp (on specific camp pages, scroll down near the bottom of the page to 'This Week's Adventures' where you'll see a list of the recreation areas that a camp visits). For example, our Adventure Camp in Boulder travels to local areas including Boulder Reservoir, Clear Creek, Eagle Trail, Mt. Sanitas, Flatirons Vista, and Boulder Canyon. Once you’ve decided on a camp location, inform your child and consider visiting the trail heads, climbing crags, and paddling spots they will explore at camp. Your child will get an introduction to Avid’s favorite adventure spots, and may come to camp with a sense of familiarity.
Ask them what they’re looking forward to at camp:
Ask your child to share what they’re excited about, and work together to create a brief list of their camp goals. Whether it’s getting to the top of a rock climb, learning to pedal on a two-wheeler, building confidence, or making a new friend, goals can help kids figure out what they want to get out of camp at Avid4 Adventure before their first day. You can also check out this great article written by our friends at Camps with Friends about some of the great things to look forward to when attending an adventure camp.
Share YOUR skills or insights you’ve received from the outdoors:
As a parent/guardian, do you have personal experience or interest in one or more of Avid’s core sports: mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and paddling? Have you received long term benefits from days spent outside? Share your insights or embark on a new outdoor adventure with your child prior to camp. They may tune into their adventure spirit and want to share their new skills and insights with other campers when the week arrives.
As the summer camp season arrives each year, we at Avid4 Adventure are thrilled to see both new and returning children come to summer camp in Colorado, California and Oregon—something we prepare for all year. We plan authentic adventures and train world-class staff to encourage kids to live active, empowering, and balanced outdoor lifestyles. While you and your camper await the epic week that is summer camp, use our other resources to get your child prepared and excited for a potentially life-changing experience! In addition, check out some of our great adventure videos for more resources to help your child get excited about summer camp at Avid4 Adventure!
Ready for more adventures? Click the link below to see all of our confidence building day camps for kids!
About the Author: Cassidy Morris moved to Boulder, CO to work for Avid4 Adventure as a day camp instructor and fell in love with working with kids outside. Today, Cassidy is the Operations Supervisor for Washington Park Day Camp in Denver, Colorado.