Wait, what? My son won’t have his phone to call me while he is at camp? How do we know he is OK? How do I communicate with him?
That’s right-Camp Carolina is tech free! We believe so strongly in providing a technology-free summer camp experience but recognize the importance of maintaining communication between caregivers and children during the summer. Today we will cover communication at camp!
Counselor Communication: You will be hearing from your son’s counselor/s A LOT! The first you will receive is an Opening Day Postcard. This short postcard outlines Day Number One at camp and lets you know how your son is settling in. Later that week a “Letter Home” will be sent. These are 1-2 pages long and outlines everything your son has been up to that first week. It also covers how he is getting along socially as well as details about something he might be working on improving while at camp (like cleaning up (initiative), sharing, patience etc). You will receive one of these letters each week your son is at camp. These are uploaded to your camp in touch account to read as soon as they are submitted!
Camp Communication: Your son can write home ANY TIME! We teach the campers how to mail home on day 1 and each rest hour the counselors encourage their camper to consider writing a letter home. On Sunday every camper must submit a letter to get in to the Dining Hall for lunch - so you will get at least 1 letter that first week! We strongly encourage discussing with your son how often you expect a letter home from him and set up a calendar to remind him. A good recommendation is 3 times a week. Send him with paper, pens and pre-addressed and stamped envelopes.
Parent Communication - Parent’s can write to their son at any point. HOWEVER, we strongly recommend not writing daily letters/updates from home as these continuous letters can encourage homesickness/anxiety if one day is missed. We recommend 2-3 letters a week is a good amount. Remember! A primary goal of Camp Carolina is to encourage independence of the campers and writing daily/requiring constant updates does not provide campers with a lot if independence. We pick up/drop off mail daily and any letters to your son will be given to him at lunchtime.
Camp Communication-Remember we will always call with an emergency or questions about your son's health. We may also call if he is homesick or having issues with a camper in his cabin. These calls are to update you and ask for advice on how to help your son. We appreciate your input and trust during these times to put your son first during this very important developmental stage. A healthy, collaborative and trusting relationship between the camp and parents is key. If you ever have any concerns about your son we encourage you to call camp. We will take a note and pass it on to your sons head counselor. He will then check in with cabin counselors/your son to get a well-rounded answer for you. He will then give you a call back to check in. This usually takes around 6 hours (or overnight if an evening inquiry) to get back to you.
Photos/Social Media-The best way to keep in touch with camp while allowing your son to work on his independence is to follow his experience/camp experience via the photos. Each night we post hundreds of photos online for parents to check out and see what was going on. Expect to see your son once every 3-4 days (sometimes it will be every day then he might go on a 3 day trip without a photographer so he won’t be in photos for a while). Remember-we will always call with any issues! If you do not see your son-he is on a trip/activity where there was not a photographer (we have 4 photographers, 260 campers and 12 trips offsite a day).
If you ever have any concerns or questions please call. We always want our camp families to feel confident and safe with their son under our care and sometimes a quick update from camp is all it takes to help settle your nerves.