Many camp counselors and seasoned camp families believe that summer camp is all about personal growth and establishing independence, but the benefits of summer camp also include making new friends and memories. One of the easiest ways to make new friends at summer camp is to show up to camp ready to meet new people and try new things.
Going to summer camp alone can help to encourage kids to meet new people. In this instance, camp is an opportunity for independence, to arrive without any preconceived notions or pre-judgement. However, not all children have the self-confidence to try something new, like sleepaway camp, without a friend or someone they know. In fact, you may have gotten a summer camp recommendation from another parent, and are thinking about sending your child to the same camp. For campers who are nervous for any reason at all, bringing a friend to camp can help to quell anxiety.
If you decide to send your child to camp with a friend, there are ways to encourage your child to branch out alongside friends from home. It’s completely possible to attend camp with one friend, and return home from camp with many more. With an amazing program, your child will experience the benefits of summer camp regardless of whether or not they bring a friend. If you do decide to send your child to camp with a friend, these tips will help them get the most out of their summer camp experience.
If your child really wants to stay in a cabin with a friend, consider having them participate in different specialties to maximize their sense of adventure and the independence they stand to gain. Talk to your child about what they are hoping to get out of camp. You can even browse the camp website together to get a feel for the different specialties. Make sure your child enrolls in something they are passionate to learn more about – this way, you don’t have to worry about your child compromising their interests.
While it may be tempting to be bunk buddies, sticking with randomly assigned cabin mates will automatically introduce your child to nine new friends. One of the biggest benefits of summer camp is the immediate friendships that form when staying in a cabin with other kids. At Pali, campers come from all over the united states, and over 40 countries. Rooming with someone new allows campers to learn about other cultures and ways of life. Who knows, your camper may even make a new best friend from across the world!
Each cabin houses ten campers and two counselors which means that a cabin full of strangers will almost immediately turn into a cabin full of friends.
If your child does decide to room with a friend, Pali Adventures honors all reciprocated bunking requests as long as they fall within our guidelines. Each camper can request to share a cabin with up to two other friends of the same age and gender. Since Pali Adventures is not a cabin-based camp, having your child bunk with a friend won’t inhibit their ability to make new friends during camp activities and specialty sessions.
While it may seem convenient to carpool with friends from home—especially if you are coming from out-of-state—you may want to consider multiple weeks at camp, overlapping on one session, but not on another. This allows your camper to experience some independence as well as some time with friends from home.
At Pali Adventures, bringing a friend to camp is encouraged if that works for your camper and your family, but we also like to stress the notion that going to summer camp alone doesn’t mean your child will be alone at camp. In fact, going to summer camp alone often emboldens kids to put themselves out there in ways that they might not have if they came to camp with a buddy. Camp staff is trained to integrate campers from the moment they arrive so no child is left alone. It typically takes mere minutes for kids to buddy up and start their friendships.
Don’t stress too much over the decision to attend camp solo or with a friend. At Pali Adventures we guarantee your child will have an unforgettable summer camp experience filled with personal growth and adventure!
Visit the Pali blog to learn more about preparing for summer camp.