We are thrilled that your daughter has joined us at camp. Her days are about to fill with laughter and sport and song. That said, sometimes the early days are tough.
As adults, we’ve dealt with change. And, even as for us, change is challenging. Whether we are 8, 18, or 48, change is hard. When kids leave home, they are leaving behind everything that provides comfort. It’s hard to be without technology; it’s hard to be without your dog/guinea pig/ bearded dragon/goldfish; and, it’s hard to be without your parents. The “hard,” however, is where we find strength. And, after years and years of teaching and loving campers, we can tell you that there are three truths that you have to hold onto simultaneously:
Your daughter will miss you.
You may miss your daughter more
Your daughter will thrive and gain confidence and be happy.
We see this all the time. It’s not uncommon for a camper to be sad at noon, but happy by 12:20. If they write a letter to you at 12:10, you might be under the impression that melancholic is their emotional state for the entire day. We can assure you. It’s not!
So, here are a few behaviors to avoid in those early days of camp (please):
Thou shalt not:
- Make a “pick up” deal with your daughter. Ex. “If you are still sad next Tuesday, I’ll come and get you.” Kids are tough and they will last.
- Share family drama with your daughter via Bunk Note. At Ak-O-Mak, girls have the unique opportunity to get away from social media and friend drama. They need a break from family struggles as well—especially because they are powerless to do anything.
- Tell your daughter how nervous you are for them, or that you can’t imagine being able to leave home when you were their age. Your daughter needs to know that you believe in her, and that you are confident that she is strong enough to take on this challenge (that doesn’t mean that you are not nervous…just don’t show it).
The bottom line is that Ak-O-Mak girls get to be kids when they are here. They play, they bond, they share, and they build themselves up. They need space to do this! Tell her how proud you are of her for challenging herself—that you know she’s “got this.” Because she does!
You made the right choice to send us your daughter, and we are thrilled that she’s here!