Getting Ready For Camp
Part of your camper’s success at camp will depend on the preparations made before he/she even leaves home. Whether it is working through pre-camp nerves or knowing what to pack, by following a few simple guidelines it will help you to ensure that your camper starts their Kimama experience in the right direction.
Kimama camps are more than a vacation for your kids, we believe that camp is a place for your child to grow, develop their independence and self-awareness. Common concerns for campers going to camp are fitting in socially, coping with being away from their home and unease at trying out new activities. By discussing, the upcoming experience and talking to your child about their concerns and even highlighting their personal strengths it will give them a little more confidence. At Kimama the sense of belonging is what makes the Kimama experience so special. Our counselors have much experience in the field of informal education, most of whom have worked at Jewish Agency camps outside of Israel.
There are plenty of practical steps you can take to help prepare your child for camp. Here are just a few that we recommend:
- Review our web site or if you can try to attend one of our yearly Kimama events so your camper can get a stronger sense of what Kimama is like.
- Learn details of the area that camp is in and the facilities we have to offer.
- Try to involve your child in the packing process to give him/her a feeling of ownership over the experience. Work off the recommended packing list that we provide. If your camper is attached to, a sentimental item, such as a stuffed animal or blanket, be sure to pack it.
Kimama is a place for making new friendships that campers would not necessarily come across in their normal life. We bring together many children from all over the world, many of whom come from different cultures and ways of living. We recommend that parents explain to their camper the basics of sharing a room. Many campers have never shared a bedroom before and at camp, they may sleep in a room with up to 5 campers.
- Try to teach your camper how to keep their belongings organized, living in a small space with a number of campers can get messy.
- Teach your camper how to handle clothes and toiletries. Explain what to do with dirty clothes (keep them separate) and wet ones (hang them up to dry rather than tucking them in with other clothes).
Another important aspect of your camper’s journey at Kimama is that they will be given the chance to develop their self-awareness and independence. Our camp policy is that we have no phones allowed at camp so it is worth explaining to your camper about our e-mail system where you can write emails every day to your camper updating them about what is going on back home and even include some photographs too.
- Talk about the format and frequency of contact. This will help reduce the possibility of disappointment later on.
- Try not to tell your child how much you are going to miss them. Though parents often have just as much trouble with the separation as kids do, you will only make the situation more difficult by expressing this. Instead, try and explain that you are excited for this amazing experience they are going to have.
Kimama is a wonderful opportunity for all children and teenagers to find a place of belonging, to improve their skills, to make new worldwide friendships and last but not least really indulge in the spirit of freedom, free from their everyday routine.