10 Questions to Ask Your Camper on the Way Home
It’s happened to all of us – we pick our child up from school, camp, sports practice or youth group and ask, “So, how was your day?” This query is most often met with, “Fine.” As we probe further – “What did you do?” – the response becomes, “I don’t know” or (even worse!), “Nothing.”
We know that our children did not do “nothing” all day long. But sometimes, such broad and open-ended questions can leave our children overwhelmed by the amount of information they would have to sift through in order to formulate an answer. This is especially true after a day at camp, where kids have been engaging in multiple activities with various companions, being stretched and challenged and learning so much along the way.
The drive home from camp, though, can be a perfect time to reconnect with your child after a day apart, as well as a golden opportunity for reinforcing the positive growth that inevitably occurs as the day-to-day challenges and joys of camp develop grit, determination, and new interests. This is when a few intentional questions can make all the difference. Here are ten of our favorites to get you started.
- Tell me something you did for the first time today.
Camp is full of opportunities to try something new, and it’s the perfect, safe place to do so. We hope your child will have plenty to say about awesome first-time experiences.
- What was the biggest challenge for you today?
Likewise, camp is full of opportunities for a child to step out of her comfort zone and approach a new challenge with the support and encouragement of our staff and her new camp friends. We hope your child with have loads to tell you about accomplishing something she didn’t know was possible.
- What was your favorite song? Can you sing it for me? Or What was your favorite game? Can you tell me about it?
Camp is a place for fun and silliness! We love singing songs, working on crafts, and playing games. Through hilarious antics and crazy lyrics, our camp community forms a unique and strong bond.
- Tell me about a new friend you made.
One of our greatest joys is watching campers’ friendships grow throughout each week. We deeply understand our role in helping kids feel like they are an important part of the group and assisting them in understanding social dynamics and the process of making a new friend. We know your child with end the week with some fun new friends to tell you about!
- What did you learn about nature that you can share with someone else?
Our camps are all about getting kids outside to play and enjoy nature. We’re also invested in teaching children about our natural world to cultivate within them a love for and responsibility to the environment. Your child will have lots to share about nature at the end of each day.
- Who was your favorite staff member? Why?
We are proud of our amazing camp staff! They are a team of people who love the outdoors and have a passion for making a positive impact on children. Your camper will be able to interact with many of them each day, and we know those connections will be valuable to your child’s growth and enjoyment of his camp experience.
- What was the funniest thing someone did today?
Campers will get dirty, muddy, and wet as they spend time outside all day. They will see new things and have many interesting experiences. They may even participate in some silly, wholesome jokes. We imagine your child will encounter something they identify as “funny” throughout their week at camp!
- If you could pick just one activity to do all day, what would it be?
This is another way to get at your child’s favorite camp activities. With so many fun, engaging activities to choose from each day, your camper is sure to find some things she adores (and some that she doesn’t). This gives her the chance to zero in on the most positive experiences of her day.
- Is there anything about camp today that you didn’t like/made you feel anxious?
In the midst of all of the new camp experiences, your child might encounter something he didn’t enjoy or may feel nervous about being away from you in a lesser-known environment. These end-of-the-day chats with your camper can be a great opportunity to talk through the hard parts, encouraging him to lean into the difficulties and find positive solutions to his problems. We also believe that communication between parents and camp staff is hugely important and we hope you will share any concerns you or your child have with us.
- What are you looking forward to about tomorrow?
Whether it’s getting back to a game of Capture the Flag, anticipating creek day, or looking forward to building a campfire and making s’mores, there will be plenty about which your child can be excited. Focusing on these highlights is a great way to wrap up each day’s camp debrief and anticipate the day ahead.
We are glad that your child is a part of our Leadership Academy camp community this summer! And we still have room at many of our sessions. So if your camper has so many great things to tell you at the end of each day that you think she needs a second week, don’t hesitate to register today.