Choosing the Right Camp: Communication
How Will I Stay in the Loop During Camp?
The right camp for your family can communicate with parents in a way that works for you. Camps have a variety of policies and procedures in place that make it easy for staff to communicate with parents, parents to reach campers and staff, and for your child to share about the fun they’re having throughout the week. The key is finding a camp whose communication style aligns with yours.
Sharing About Camp Activities
If there is a no-phone policy, there are still plenty of creative ways a camp can share with parents all the fun their child is having throughout the week. Some camps provide supplies for letter-writing, others have a daily photo blog or email update parents can follow. Check with the camp director about how your favorite camp shares the fun.
- How can campers and parents communicate throughout the week if the camp has a no-phone policy?
- Can staff scan letters from campers to be emailed to parents?
- Does camp provide stamps, postcards, or stationary for letter writing?
While most camps encourage independence and “unplugging” with a no-technology/phone-free policy, it is useful to know how you can reach your child or the camp director during camp (and vice versa) in case of emergency or unexpected changes.
Here are some good questions to ask camp directors to find out about a camp’s communication style:
- Will parents have the contact information of the camp director?
- Can you call/text to a cell phone, or is the number provided an office line?
- Does the director regularly check voicemail and email?
- How soon can I expect a reply?
- If there are changes while at camp, such as a new check-out or bus arrival time, how will the camp director reach you? [Social media? Text? A note home the previous day?]
- What will happen in case of inclement weather?
While Leadership Academy does have a no-phone policy for campers, we aim to be readily available by phone for parents. Our Camp Director carries a cell phone at all times, and parents receive this number in their Welcome Email about a week before camp starts. The Welcome Email also has a link to the Parent Guide [you can see an example here], where you can learn about what your camper should bring/wear, check-in and check out procedures, behavior guidelines, and more (check out an example here) [Note: Although we are an all weather camp, we will email if rain is in the forecast, so your child can bring a raincoat. In the event of thunder and lightning, our activities move indoors to the Nature Center.]
Sometimes being away from home means campers have difficult or unusual behaviors. While counselors and the director are trained to manage and diffuse these situations through positivity, redirection and behavior modeling, parents will occasionally be notified, It’s a good idea to review the camp’s parent guide (with your child if possible), so that everyone is aware of expectations and consequences for behavior while at camp. If they do not have a parent guide available, ask the director how behavior challenges are handled, and at what point parents are notified. We send out a detailed Parent Guide before Camp that outlines our behavior policy. Our caring staff will work with your child to redirect minor behavior issues, and we will only call home if behaviors continue to escalate: we want our campers to stay at camp if at all possible!
Illness or Injury
It’s good to know how your camp will reach you in case of an illness, injury, or other health issue that happens during camp. We use text messaging to keep you informed if we need to use minor First Aid, and the Camp Director will call immediately for more significant injuries or health issues.