Waterfront Fun at Heart O' the Hills

Is your child ready for camp?

The easiest way to know that your child is ready for camp…they tell you! But let’s be real, it’s not that easy!

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Does my child spend the night out?
2. Will my child eat food prepared by someone other than me?
3. Can my child bathe themselves and take care of basic personal hygiene?
4. Is my child able to read?
5. Is my child able to make decisions?

By now, you may thinking my child is only 6 and at this rate they may not be ready for camp until high school. Relax, they are probably more ready than you think. Let’s take a closer look at the above mentioned questions…..

Camp-Out at Heart O' the Hills Camp for Girls1. If your child is able to spend a night or two out with ease, even if it is just with grandparents or the neighbor kid, then they are probably ready for camp. It is important for children to break out of their everyday routine with their parents. Any camp schedule will be quite different from your home schedule! Start setting up some sleepovers and get to practicing!

2. At most camps, your child will be eating in a dining hall or a cafeteria with food prepared by a loving kitchen staff. We know that many children are picky eaters and do our best to make food that appeals to most everyone. Practice now, let your child make some decisions on what they want to eat and encourage them to try new foods. When I was a camper, I ate many foods at camp that I wouldn’t touch at home.

3. A camper needs to be able to take care of themselves, brush their teeth, wash their own hair, brush their hair and take care of basic personal hygiene. Any camp counselor will remind them, just like you have to do and some will even braid hair!

4. We aren’t asking your child to read a novel at camp although they will need to be able to read their own schedule, read the many letters you will write them and it’s a necessary life skill! It is a great idea to practice reading/writing letters to make sure that your camper enters camp feeling comfortable with communicating with you through letters. Just like the old days!

Packing for Camp5. While at camp, little decisions are made every day! Do you need to wear tennis shoes or sandals? Do you want orange juice or milk to drink at breakfast? Do you want dessert at lunch? These aren’t life altering but they are important little decisions that will pop up throughout the day. We are teaching kids to be strong, capable people in this world. That starts with being able to navigate throughout a day of camp.

Talk to your kids about camp, let them have some input on what they want out of their camp experience, take them to tour the camp, attend a family camp or parent/child weekend if you can, these are all great ways to get a good pulse on your child and their readiness! If they are ready and you aren’t, we have some tips to help you too! Happy Camping!

Editor’s note: Caroline Key grew up attending Waldemar, graduated from Schreiner University (so that she could be close to camp), and in her adulthood has worked at a half dozen camps, including Mo-Ranch, Stewart and The Heart, where she served for three summers as program director. She currently works for Waldemar.



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