Advice for First-Time Parents
Becoming a first-time camp parent is a big step. You might find that questions are constantly coming to mind or that you hope you packed all the right supplies. Here is the catch – It is going to be just fine. It is actually going to be more than fine. Your child is getting ready to go to summer camp and embark on an adventure that will shape their lives for an amazing future. Even after this pep-talk, you might need just an extra push to get you ready for the summer. That is why we have asked some of our first-time camp parents from 2017 to offer some advice.
Laura Smith; Mother of Alec Smith
Camp Lincoln – Intro1
Saint Paul, Minnesota
My son heard about camp from other boys at his school and he approached me about attending. I had already heard of Camp Lincoln and was perfectly happy to let him give it a try. I was surprised he wanted to attend alone!
I happened to be in the area, so I dropped by the camp in May, before the first arrival day. Although it was the end of the day, the staff answered my questions and offered me an informational video to show my son. I felt more at ease having set foot in the office and on campgrounds. When we arrived to check my son in on arrival day, I was immediately impressed by the attention we got from the staff. In the parking lot, there were multiple staff standing around waiting to be of assistance, and their cheery greetings were genuine and reassuring. After his all too brief time at camp, I was pleased to see my son being more optimistic, friendly, open-minded, game to try things, and responsible for himself.
My friend advised us to send along a camping foam mat to help if the bed was uncomfortable. That was very handy, and I would suggest that to any first-time camp parent. I would also advise sending some pictures for your child to hang around their bed. We attached ours with painter’s tape, so they left no mark.
Alec loved his time at camp and left wanting to try more activities. He really wanted to try overnight camping. Luckily, as a two-weeker, he can try more activities and go overnight camping with his cabin this coming summer.
Nicolas Jourdain; Father of Philou Jourdain
Camp Lake Hubert – 2W2
There are many reasons why we sent our daughter to camp. A few of those reasons include: learning to live in community with other children under the responsibility of adults, developing maturity and building strong friendships, living and playing in a breathtaking environment, as well as improving her English.
Camp sent us letters throughout the session about how our child was succeeding in her skill development and how she was integrating into camp life. It was awesome to know that our child was living exceptional moments that will remain etched in her memory.
My advice to a first-time parent would be to have confidence in the whole staff. They have great experience creating an unforgettable summer for your camper. We love knowing our child is living in a community and making friends in an exceptional place and having an incredible adventure.
Kimberly Burt; Mother of Cece Burt
Camp Lake Hubert – Intro2
My oldest daughter, Cece, attended Camp Lake Hubert for the first-time last summer after finishing 3rd grade. From the very beginning, I felt so comfortable and confident in the experience she was going to have. The camp is very communicative, and the information they provide is very welcoming. The packing list was especially helpful! Although we were anxious to send our daughter away from home for the first time, we had every reason to trust that camp was going to be an amazing experience for her, and we knew camp was going to take such great care of her. As hoped, Cece, had an incredible two weeks at camp. She came home with a new confidence and independence about her, with her eyes wide open from new and fun experiences she could not have imagined before attending camp! She really connected with her counselors and made great friends from all over the world in her cabin. She cannot wait to go back this summer for another fun two-week session!
Kimm Lucas; Mother of Ellie Lucas
Camp Lake Hubert -2W4
We wanted our daughter to experience the magic of camp like my husband and I had. There are so many benefits of a residential summer program, like personal growth and development, lifelong friends, trying new activities, pushing oneself beyond the comfort zone, and more. After only two weeks at camp, we saw a more confident, happy, and outgoing daughter. She shows more initiative at home and carries that in her school life too. We have heard many stories and memories about camp consistently throughout the year and she always has a huge smile on her face when sharing something from her time at camp.
If I had any advice, I would say to encourage your child to try new things, be open to meeting new people, and to have the time of their life! Keep it real and let them know there may be moments where they miss home and friends, but to know that the experience of being away from home is priceless.
We’ve enrolled Ellie for a second summer as she was excited to go back and try more activities, meet new people, and to hopefully build upon the independence and confidence, as well as her excitement and passion for camp that we saw after her first two weeks. We hope she will have the opportunity to have many summers at Lake Hubert like we did, both as a camper and, perhaps, a counselor in the future.
Justin Evans; Father of Lily Evans
Camp Lake Hubert – Intro1
My wife attended Camp Lake Hubert as a kid and talked about all the great summers she spent there! So we knew we wanted to send our daughter one day. Camp Lake Hubert was great from the moment we dropped her off at camp to when we picked her up. The communication was wonderful so we knew we were leaving her in good hands.
I would advise parents to have their kid take the bus up to camp! It gave Lily a chance to meet a few girls her age in a smaller group setting and bond on the drive up.
Lily is SO MUCH more independent now! Her confidence and boost in self-esteem could be seen the moment she came running to us when we picked her up at camp. She excitedly showed us her cabin and introduced us to all her camp friends. Lily’s first year is something we will never forget!Lily’s experience at camp was outstanding and we enrolled right away in the two-week session for this coming summer! She’s counting down the days until she sees her camp friends again!
Anne Feucht; Mother of Hailey Feucht
Camp Lake Hubert – Intro2
I was the barn manager at Camp Lake Hubert in 1997 and had the best summer of my life while working there! After having Hailey, I dreamed that she would one day get to experience life at Camp Lake Hubert too. When she was finally old enough for Intro Camp, she jumped at the opportunity to go!
The communication with staff was excellent. The camp director spoke with me via phone a couple of times in the months leading up to Intro Camp so that she could get a good idea of what Hailey was excited about, what her anxieties might be about coming to camp for the first time, and how they could best help her have a great experience.
I would advise first-time parents to take a tour of camp with your child! It’s a great way for them to see what camp life will be like and get any questions answered that you or they may have.
Hailey used to struggle with separation anxiety. Going to camp, and going alone, was a huge step out of her comfort zone. Once she completed her session, she had a new-found confidence and understanding that she IS very capable and very brave! Upon hearing about all the fun Hailey had at Intro Camp, Hailey’s best friend wanted to experience it too! They are both currently registered for Intro Camp I in June 2018.
Julie Murchinson: Mother of Henry Murchinson
Camp Lincoln – 2W2
San Francisco, California
The most incredible part of his experience was truly the counselors and the letters home from them. They not only got to know him but helped him be a better person, develop, etc. He is going back for 3 weeks this summer, convinced his sister to go and they cannot wait.
Laura Schneider; Mother of Jameson Schneider
Camp Lincoln – Intro2
East Grand Rapids, Michigan
Jameson is the one who said he wanted to go to camp after hearing his older cousins talk about it. It was always something I had in mind because of my own positive experience at Camp Lake Hubert. Everything is so well organized and I feel like the recommendation letters from teachers really help for an independent assessment of camper readiness. We dropped our son at camp, and it was great to see the counselors start to engage the kids from the get-go and work on building relationships with the kids.
If camp is something that your child is pushing for, I would listen to their instincts and trust that this is the right choice. Jameson watched the camp video and was determined to attend camp. For those whose children are reluctant (which I was when I first attended camp), trust in the history and success of the camp. Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert offer an exceptional summer experience that every child should have.
Intro Camp is quite short, but an excellent introduction to the camp experience. Jameson came home from camp more independent and confident. It was really great to see what a positive experience camp was for him. The first thing Jameson said when we picked him up was, “I want to go next year for two weeks!” So that is what we decided to do for summer 2018, and he cannot wait to get back.
Maria Guzman; Mother of Diego De La Garza Guzman
Camp Lincoln – 2W2
Both my sons have been campers at Camp Lincoln and loved it. After Diego finished his two weeks at camp he told me, “Mom next year I want to go back at LEAST 3 weeks!” So, he definitely loved his first experience. We decided on Camp Lincoln as a Summer Camp because it is in Minnesota, far away from Mexico. This is a learning experience for them to travel far away on their own. It is also diverse and is a wonderful experience for them to meet new people from all over.
For a first-time parent, my best advice is to relax. Although it is very hard for parents to let go of our kids, just know that they are having a wonderful time and will not miss us at all! The benefits I most saw during those summers my kids were away, were that they definitely matured and grew a lot, learned to be away from home, became more independent, and learned to make new friends outside of their own bubble.