Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints: Preparing You and Your Child for your first time at a Cal-Wood Summer Camp

Making sure you and your child are prepared for camp is one of the first steps to a successful week of new experiences and fun. Read through our guide for some tips on how to help make sure you and your child are ready for a full week of camp!

Get Excited about Camp as a Family
Your kiddo may be ready for camp with theirs packed bag that has been sitting next to their bed since December, but they also may be a little nervous about leaving home for a week.

As a parent, the way you talk about summer camp has a significant impact on your child’s excitement, so we encourage you to talk about Cal-wood summer camp always with a positive attitude. Tell your child how jealous you are they get to be at camp for a week. Talk about all the fun activities they will soon be participating in and all the amazing food they get to try.

If you have some fears and nerves yourself, avoid sharing these with your child, but instead call our office and we can answer any questions.

Do Some Research
Take the time to explore the rest of our website with your child and learn more about the summer camps, Cal-Wood history, and the staff. You can even watch videos about Summer Camps here at Cal-Wood! Talk with friends and family who have been to Cal-Wood in the past and learn about others’ experiences. This may help calm some nerves as well as teach you and your child something new! And always feel free to contact Cal-Wood if you have any questions.

Prepare for Camp Life
Living at camp may be a little different than living at home, and we want to make sure your child is prepared, here is what you can do. Plan sleepovers with friends to prepare them from missing out on their typical nightly routine and get them familiar with a sleeping away from home. Remind them that camp is like a slumber party with a whole group of awesome friends!

Stay Connected
Staying in touch and updated on your child’s adventure is very important at Cal-Wood. Here are the best ways to make sure that happens!

The first and maybe most personal way is to pre-write a letter and give it to Cal-Wood staff on the first day of camp. Be sure to specify what day you want us to deliver the letter to your child and we will make sure to hand deliver it. Sending letters in the mail takes a little too long to reach us up at Cal-Wood, so please plan ahead if you want to write a letter.

The second way to stay connected with your child is through email. While its not handwritten like a personal letter, it will allow you to give your camper real-time updates without having to wait for snail mail up in the mountains. If you are already signed up for camp, you will be receiving information on how to use our new email system once your child is at camp.

We also have some tips on things to write in these letters or emails. As mentioned before, being away from home for a week can be difficult and many times being homesick can affect a child’s experience. When writing letters avoid saying things like, “we wish you were here” or “we miss you”. Instead let them know how jealous you are they get to be at camp for a week, or that you can’t wait to hear about all their new friends and adventures. Keep the letters light and happy and let them know how PROUD you are of them.

Make sure you are packed
It can help give a camper comfort to know that they are prepared when they arrive at camp. Make sure you utilize our camp packing lists to ensure your campers has everything they need to be successful at camp! Packing lists can be found in your Parent Portal as well as on our website on the Lodge Camps, Tent Camps, and Backpacking pages. If there are certain items you do not have, your camper will have access to our gear room and will have the ability to borrow certain items from Cal-Wood (these specific items can be found on the packing list).

In addition, campers never want to lose track of there things at camp, but that can be hard when sharing a tent or cabin with other campers. Take the time to label your items so that your camper can return home with everything they brought to camp. Through your Parent Portal, you can order customizable labels for your campers items!

If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to email us at camps@calwood.org or call at (303) 449-0603 ext. 7.

We can’t wait to see you this summer!