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6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

Author -  Vicki Kenny

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

1. Packing 

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-packing.png

 

Of course you’ll want to make sure you get everything you need, but don’t necessarily take everything you want. Pack light, and instead of bringing things like a tablet that would provide hours of time-killing fun, prepare to use your free time to come up with exciting activities or ideas that you can share with the kids at summer camp, or build relationships with fellow counsellors. A music device is a great item to bring that will allow you relax while you sleep or entertain you while you work without completely distracting you from the present moment, and all of the technology-free fun that camp has to offer! As for the essentials, there are many different websites that provide a checklist of what to bring – and your placement camp will provide a list of suggested items for you to pack as well.




2. Be Thoughtful 

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-thoughtful.jpg

 

You will make a lot of great connections during summer camp, so in preparation for this you may want to bring along a few specialty items that will make your time there really meaningful. Blank cards may be a nice way to say thank you, ask for a favour, or say goodbye. A few camp staples like ingredients for smores and/or popcorn might spice up an evening by the fire!

In addition to the connections you’ll make, you will also become a mentor to a group of younger children, so take time during their first day to memorize their names and faces. 

 

Regarding their safety, although the camp will most definitely have first aid materials on hand, it is always a good idea to bring along a simple kit of your own to keep in your backpack, just in case. When you’re working with younger kids, you may customize your kit with items such as band-aids that feature cartoon characters, because this small gesture could help save a few extra minutes of tears after a knee-scraping incident. A book of short, scary stories (age-appropriate, of course!) might also bring some excitement to evenings by the fire.

3. Build Relationships

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-build-relationships.jpg

 

Not only is it important to know and trust your fellow counsellors, but also you will want the campers to do the same. Lead your campers in team-building activities soon after they arrive, and in reflection exercises at the end of each day that will allow them to air anything that might be on their minds. Because they are younger, they may not have the conversational tools necessary to verbalize anxieties they may be experiencing, so it’s good to find ways to prompt these types of feelings when you approach them in group settings. 

 

Also, be aware of any cliques, bullying, or other negative relationship dynamics that begin to form, and break them up early to keep them from preventing some of the children from having a meaningful experience. If you see any campers who are the "leaders" within the group, pull them to the side & ask them to help you byincluding a camper who may look homesick or doesn't appear to be fitting in as well. The kids look up to you so much that they'll love the fact that you've come to them for help. 


4. Expect the Unexpected

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-expect-the-unexpected.jpg

 

Arrive at your summer camp experience knowing that you may not sleep for quite some time… that’s just the truth! It is quite likely that you’ll be waking in the wee hours of the morning, and sleeping once the very last child has to use the restroom for the twelfth time that day, or visits your tent to inform you that their bunkmate called them a poophead. If you know this going in, you will experience less anxiety when the unexpected occurs, and in turn, your campers will feel at ease when you handle these situations in stride. Your job will be filled with excitement, and if you’re a fan of caffeine – lots, and lots of coffee!



5. Absorb Your Training  

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-training.jpg

 

At times, orientations and trainings at summer camp can feel obvious, or self-evident… be sure to leave these types of ideas behind! If you begin feeling that you’re already informed enough to daydream through camp trainings, you are very likely to miss some extremely important details, and details are ALWAYS important when you are leading a group of children, so stay attentive, absorb all of the information you can get, and if you are given a schedule of activities, be sure to carry it with you at all times.

6. Health Concerns

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-health-concerns.jpg

 

Your specific Camp America placement will undoubtedly have this covered, but it is always a good idea for you to know personally where the nearest hospital/clinic/health provider is located in relation to your campsite. Also, once the little campers arrive, find out about any allergies, conditions, or other special needs that may need additional consideration during camp activities and/or mealtimes. If you personally have any medical needs, make sure that you speak to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you’re able to bring enough medication or other items to cover your entire stay.

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

Key ingredients to making sure you have a safe & enjoyable Camp America experience!

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

1. Packing 

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-packing.png

 

Of course you’ll want to make sure you get everything you need, but don’t necessarily take everything you want. Pack light, and instead of bringing things like a tablet that would provide hours of time-killing fun, prepare to use your free time to come up with exciting activities or ideas that you can share with the kids at summer camp, or build relationships with fellow counsellors. A music device is a great item to bring that will allow you relax while you sleep or entertain you while you work without completely distracting you from the present moment, and all of the technology-free fun that camp has to offer! As for the essentials, there are many different websites that provide a checklist of what to bring – and your placement camp will provide a list of suggested items for you to pack as well.




2. Be Thoughtful 

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-thoughtful.jpg

 

You will make a lot of great connections during summer camp, so in preparation for this you may want to bring along a few specialty items that will make your time there really meaningful. Blank cards may be a nice way to say thank you, ask for a favour, or say goodbye. A few camp staples like ingredients for smores and/or popcorn might spice up an evening by the fire!

In addition to the connections you’ll make, you will also become a mentor to a group of younger children, so take time during their first day to memorize their names and faces. 

 

Regarding their safety, although the camp will most definitely have first aid materials on hand, it is always a good idea to bring along a simple kit of your own to keep in your backpack, just in case. When you’re working with younger kids, you may customize your kit with items such as band-aids that feature cartoon characters, because this small gesture could help save a few extra minutes of tears after a knee-scraping incident. A book of short, scary stories (age-appropriate, of course!) might also bring some excitement to evenings by the fire.

3. Build Relationships

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-build-relationships.jpg

 

Not only is it important to know and trust your fellow counsellors, but also you will want the campers to do the same. Lead your campers in team-building activities soon after they arrive, and in reflection exercises at the end of each day that will allow them to air anything that might be on their minds. Because they are younger, they may not have the conversational tools necessary to verbalize anxieties they may be experiencing, so it’s good to find ways to prompt these types of feelings when you approach them in group settings. 

 

Also, be aware of any cliques, bullying, or other negative relationship dynamics that begin to form, and break them up early to keep them from preventing some of the children from having a meaningful experience. If you see any campers who are the "leaders" within the group, pull them to the side & ask them to help you byincluding a camper who may look homesick or doesn't appear to be fitting in as well. The kids look up to you so much that they'll love the fact that you've come to them for help. 


4. Expect the Unexpected

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-expect-the-unexpected.jpg

 

Arrive at your summer camp experience knowing that you may not sleep for quite some time… that’s just the truth! It is quite likely that you’ll be waking in the wee hours of the morning, and sleeping once the very last child has to use the restroom for the twelfth time that day, or visits your tent to inform you that their bunkmate called them a poophead. If you know this going in, you will experience less anxiety when the unexpected occurs, and in turn, your campers will feel at ease when you handle these situations in stride. Your job will be filled with excitement, and if you’re a fan of caffeine – lots, and lots of coffee!



5. Absorb Your Training  

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-training.jpg

 

At times, orientations and trainings at summer camp can feel obvious, or self-evident… be sure to leave these types of ideas behind! If you begin feeling that you’re already informed enough to daydream through camp trainings, you are very likely to miss some extremely important details, and details are ALWAYS important when you are leading a group of children, so stay attentive, absorb all of the information you can get, and if you are given a schedule of activities, be sure to carry it with you at all times.

6. Health Concerns

 

6-ways-to-prepare-yourself-for-your-experience-with-camp-america-nz-health-concerns.jpg

 

Your specific Camp America placement will undoubtedly have this covered, but it is always a good idea for you to know personally where the nearest hospital/clinic/health provider is located in relation to your campsite. Also, once the little campers arrive, find out about any allergies, conditions, or other special needs that may need additional consideration during camp activities and/or mealtimes. If you personally have any medical needs, make sure that you speak to your doctor or pharmacist to ensure that you’re able to bring enough medication or other items to cover your entire stay.

6 Ways to Prepare Yourself for Your Experience with Camp America NZ

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Camp America Blog

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