Monday, July 22, 2019/by Laura Remington/Go Back
You can learn a lot about boys summer camps from websites, personal recommendations, and conversations with camp directors, but there is no better way to evaluate an overnight camp than visiting while it is in session.
How do you make the most of your visit? Here are a few suggestions for visiting Kabeyun and other boys summer camps.
Expect to spend more than an hour at camp, much of it walking on trails that are covered with rocks and roots. You will want rugged shoes and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Yes, parents need baseline information about a camp’s facilities, food, safety, and staff training, among other considerations. But your child is the one who will live here for four or eight weeks, so let them set the pace and tone of the tour. Be open to viewing the camp through your child’s eyes. At Kabeyun, we love when prospective campers voice their questions, concerns, and interests. We don’t even mind when, in their exuberance, kids interrupt adults to do so! It helps us tailor the tour to their interests.
See where your child’s curiosities about camp take you during your tour. Ask if they can participate in a camp activity, especially one that has piqued their interest. Try to speak with a camper about their experiences. And consider asking if you can stay for a meal – 30 minutes in the dining hall will give you a great sense of any camp’s culture.
At Kabeyun, what happens in the dining hall is so central to our culture and camp experience that we like prospective campers to see it for themselves. We encourage families to visit at 8:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. to see the end of breakfast or lunch. At those times, each instructor presents their plan for the next two activity sessions and boys raise their hands to sign up. Counselors at each table are actively involved in the selection process, helping campers plan and encouraging them to explore new challenges. At meals, we also celebrate accomplishments, such as earning a new sailing rank or mastering a song on the guitar, and we recognize service, such as sweeping the dining hall or clearing a trail.
Remember, Kabeyun and other boys summer camps are great places for children to learn independence and leadership within a new community. Their camp tour is the perfect time to let them start taking the reins.
You can read more about how boys choose activities at Kabeyun here.
And this link will take you to a New York Times Parenting blog that suggests some excellent questions to ask when researching and visiting boys summer camps.
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