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Saying Goodbye: Tips for Parents


Check-In Day is winding down, you’ve met the nurses and your camper’s counselors, helped your camper unpack, confirmed classes, and now what… How do you say goodbye?

  1. Validate any nervousness or anxiety your camper expresses, and let them know that it’s normal to be nervous when starting something new. Offer positive encouragement that you know your camper will have a successful summer.
  2. Let campers know that everything at home will be ok while they are gone. Ease their worries about family, friends, and pets!
  3. Have a concervation before camp about your camper’s expectaions for saying goodbye. Is is ok for you to help your camp make his bed? Wil your camper be embarassed if you tell the camp nurses that she hasn’t arted her period? Does your camper want you to hang around the bunk until he or she makes a connection with at least one other camper? Is it ok to hug and kiss in front of new bunkmates, or would it be better out at the car? Every child is different, and it will help you you know what to expect. Of course, leave room for changes of heart, and go with the flow.
  4. Let your camper excercise their newfound independence. If your camper is ready to say goodbye, know that you have done an amazing job helping them to mature and grow. Pat yourself on the back, and say goodbye!
  5. If your camper is nervous or teary, include your Bunk Counselors, Bunk Head, or Camp Drector in your conversation. Show your camper that you trust us, and that you know that we will take good care of them. Encourage your camper to come to us if they are upset later, and promise that you will check in with us to ask how the rest of the night went.
  6. Follow the Check-In Day schedule. Your camper will go on a camp tour with his or her bunk at 4:00 PM. This is an important step in helping your child to feel comfortable at Appel Farm, bond with bunkmates and Bunk Counselors, and get the lay of the land. We want you to have time to check in, and say your goodbyes without rushing, and so please plan to arrive on time, and say your goodbyes before the camp tour!

Read on for more tips from camp experts!

“We were expected to say goodbye, and go away, thank you very much.” Here’s one Mom’s story of saying goodbye to her independent son.

While Goodbye Is Never Enough for Me, It’s Perfect for Him

Now that you’ve said goodbye, does the worry stop? For so many of our families, it doesn’t. In this article, the experts at the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey offer tips for how to cope with your own separation anxiety:

How Parents Can Overcome Their Separation Anxiety When Kids Leave Home or Summer Camp.