Updated: 5 hours ago
As a parent or a teen, you might be asking yourself how to prepare for summer camp and why it's important? Overnight summer camps can play an important role in shaping young lives, fostering new friendships, engaging in our natural environment and building leadership. At the same time, it can be nerve wracking, and some teens might be fearful as they step into this new experience for the first time.
Prepare for Registration
The YES invites youth from 90 BC communities, and every kind of background each summer. Like most camps, we have a maximum capacity for accommodations and our registration can fill up quickly.
For any program, it’s important to understand what your options are for attending. It’s good to read through the information early to know what program best suits you and questions that you may have.
What are the options for payment?
Where is the camp located?
What transportation options are available?
So now you’ve registered - that’s great! It’s time to build up excitement for your teen. While you may be excited for your youth to experience a summer of a lifetime, they still may be nervous or have questions about the program that they’re attending.
A great tactic is to discuss the upcoming experience by fielding your teen’s concerns and highlighting their strengths. This might look like:
Reviewing some of the things they did well during the school year and how attending a camp program will give them an opportunity to build on these skills and develop new ones
Talk about problems they had during the year or their opportunities for improvement and suggest how attending a summer camp can support and build up their skills.
Some youth may think that summer camp is for a certain type of person - perhaps they believe that it is for the most athletic kids, or teens who are in leadership or student government at school. While The YES can cater to these youth, we also take pride in ensuring that there is an activity for everyone through an inclusive lens that focuses on self-awareness and community care. We find that most youth who are nervous about fitting in or finding their place feel at ease after just a day or two at camp. We’re lucky to be able to host our overnight camps on beautiful Lake Cowichan - a place where activities can range from canoeing, spike ball, making friendship bracelets, tie-dye and more.
It is our commitment to provide a rich and wonderful camping experience for all campers. While we could go on about the benefits of camps for teenagers, sometimes it’s more helpful for teens to hear it from other teens. Anxiety is often caused from fear of the unknown. The more familiarity they have with the camp, the less nervous they’ll be. Take a look at a camp program’s photo gallery or testimonial section – it’s a great way to get a clearer visual of what to expect when you arrive at camp, as well as to read about the experiences of other youth who may have once been in a similar situation. Check out this awesome video representing a YES experience from a former participant, and now staff!
Homesickness & Separation Anxiety
Homesickness is a normal feeling for all teenagers (and adults) to experience at some point. It is the natural result of separating from home, our loved ones, and our rituals. There are a few leading factors as to why children in particular may feel homesick. For example, those children might have little previous experience away from home, they may have low expectations of camp, they could feel forced to go to camp, and they might be unsure whether adults will help them if they need help. Most feelings of homesickness are not problematic. In fact, missing home isn't a problem until it becomes a preoccupation. When the feelings of sadness and anxiety associated with missing home become so strong that making friends, having fun, sleeping, eating, and participating in activities is difficult, something must be done. One way to counteract homesickness is to start at home. Tactics look different for all families and youth, but here are some basic strategies:
Involve your youth in camp planning; have them sit with you during registration, let them explore a camp’s website, view a day in the life, scroll through galleries; try to make camp their choice!