Staying in touch while giving them space.

For many parents, the week that their child is away at camp can be a challenge. Parents are used to monitoring what and how their children are doing throughout the day and often check in with them frequently via cell phone when they’re not at home. While there are no cell phones or similar electronics allowed at camp, you can still touch base with your son or daughter. Here are a few ways that campers and parents can ease their separation this summer.

Plan ahead.

Colorful paper and some fun new pens might entice your child to write to you from camp. Don’t forget to pack stamps and an envelope, too! Or maybe your child prefers to draw? Ask them to draw pictures in a sketchbook throughout the week and then share them with you when they return home.

Nothing beats a simple care package.

A deck of cards, a bag of suckers to share, and a nice note telling them how you hope they’re having a good time—what could be better? Just be sure to include enough treats for the whole cabin and avoid any foods with peanut products (to protect our campers with allergies) and gum (it’s no fun to clean up). Address your care packages and letters to: Camper Name, Cabin #, Camp Wood YMCA, 1101 Camp Wood Road, Elmdale, KS 66850

NEW THIS YEAR! Send them a one-way email.

What’s a one-way email? Well, it’s just a regular email that you send to your child. The one-way part means that they will not be able to email you back (they’re too busy making new friends and having fun to sit inside on a computer!). Send your message to cwcamper@campwood.org. You MUST include your child’s full name and cabin number or we will be unable to deliver your message. Emails are printed daily at 11 a.m. and anything received afterward will be distributed the next day.

Spy on them.

Well, not really. But you can browse through the daily photos we post on Facebook and Flickr. We can’t guarantee a photo of every child—but more than likely you’ll get at least one glimpse of them during the week. And don’t worry if they’re wearing mismatched clothes or their hair’s a mess—that’s part of the fun of camp! No one cares what you’re wearing as long as you’re having fun and being safe. We hope these daily pictures capture the newfound independence and confidence of your children as they learn new skills and make new friends. Enjoy them!

We hope these tips help you to keep in touch while your child is at camp. Often, it’s harder for the parents than it is for children since we keep campers busy throughout the day. At night, they’re often so tired from the day’s adventures that there’s not much room for homesickness. This is a good thing! All children need opportunities to grow in confidence and independence—and summer camp is the ideal place to do so.

Thanks for sharing your child with us this summer! If you have any further questions about keeping in touch, give us a call at (620) 273-8641 or email us at ymca@campwood.org.