First Day Expectations

By Melissa Curtis

Redhead boy outdoors

The day is finally here – the first day of camp! You’ve been counting down the days, making all your preparations, going over the checklist in your sleep. Your child has been counting down the days with anticipation of an awesome summer experience. The day is finally here – you are excited, but your child is now not sure. Is this normal?

Absolutely! Whether your child will be attending a sleep-away camp or a day camp close to home, the first day always brings a mix of emotions. I like to call it nervous excitement. One part of their brain is telling them this is going to be the best day ever, and the other part of their brain is saying, “but what if it isn’t”.

You pull up so proud that you’ve made it to camp with all the things on your checklist – you’ve even labeled them, which definitely sets you above the rest. You turn around and you’re greeted with a look of fear – or even tears – from your child. The same child that was dancing around the kitchen that very morning is now clinging to your side and saying they don’t want to go to camp.

First day jitters are normal. Camp staff is trained to catch extra tears on the first day. Getting campers involved in activities upon entering the room will help tap into those feelings of excitement that are being masked by temporary anxiety. Short goodbyes in the carpool line or at the door will help campers feel the freedom to get involved in the camp activities.

Before you know it, you will be picking up your camper at checkout and your child will be all grins!

Melissa Curtis is the Director of Auxiliary Programs at The Hockaday School where she directs Hockaday’s longstanding popular summer program, Summer at Hockaday.

Summer at Hockaday is a fun-filled summer program that provides enrichment opportunities in the areas of academics, sports, the arts, technology, and much more. Boys and girls, ages three and up, enjoy their summer days spent on the beautiful campus of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas.

Day camps and enrichment classes provide students the opportunity to try new things and to strengthen a variety of skills, while making new friends and lasting memories. Camps and classes are available in half-day and full-day schedules and occur in one-week and two-week sessions. Before and after care is also available, making a student’s full-day stay on our campus seamless.

Come spend your Summer at Hockaday!
http://www.hockaday.org/summer 

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