Have you ever picked up your child from camp and asked, “So how was it?” What kind of response did you receive? Did they go into detail about the activities, their counselors, their cabinmates, the food they ate? I’m sure you have also experienced this during the school year when you ask a question and the only response you receive is, “fine”.
I came across an article recently by Paul Robertson called, “How to get more than a grunt”. When I was growing up, this was me. My parents were the last people I wanted to talk to about what was going on. Even though they tried hard, I didn’t give them the response they hoped for.
The principles in this article can be applied to camp. When the campers get picked up on Closing Day, they are feeling all sorts of emotions. They’re happy to see their family and friends at home and to actually be at home. But they’re also sad to leave their friends at camp and the environment at camp. During the ride home, they may be excited to give highlights. But what about the deeper things? It is important to know that it may take time for your child to process the things they learned at camp, whether it was how to set the table or learning about the relationship they can have with Christ. If you ask a question on the ride home or the day after and they respond with a short sentence, give them more time to process and let those new experiences settle in. Here are some questions you can ask throughout the following weeks after your child comes home:
Tell me about your counselors.
What was your favorite activity?
What was the Theme this summer? Tell me about it.
Who do you want to keep in touch with?
What was the hardest challenge?
Tell me about something you accomplished while at camp.
Tell me about your camping trips.
What skills did you take? What did you learn in those skills?
By asking questions like this, you will able to get an accurate picture of what your child experienced at camp. If you have any questions you’d like to add, please do so in the comment section below.
Assistant Director, Camp Crestridge