Dear Camp Ajawah Parents,

Welcome to the Ajawah Family.

We do a lot of thinking about our campers, about how to plan for them and serve them so that they will have the best possible experience.  In our efforts to ensure a good time for the campers, we sometimes overlook you and your concerns.  So, I’d like to take a moment to discuss with you how to be a Camp Ajawah Parent.

You should know that most campers come to camp and have a blast.  They come to just have fun, adventure, and make new friends.  When their parents arrive to pick them up after two weeks, they notice a difference: their camper has grown, matured, seems stronger and more confident.  As a parent, you don’t even need to ask how it went: there is a sparkle, a glow in your child’s eye that tells all.  On the way home, the talk is all about the people and activities at camp.

We all have to adjust to new situations. Negotiating his or her first time away from home may well be your child’s first big accomplishment.  They have learned independence and probably will be better able to handle new situations and accept more responsibility from now on.  This is a big win for your child in the game of life.

You can play a key role in helping your son or daughter make a successful adjustment to camp.  Here are some suggestions that may help:

            Don’t… pre-program your camper for homesickness by telling them any of the following:
                        “You’re going to be homesick.”
                        “If you don’t like it, give me a call and I’ll come and pick you up.”
                        “Just try it for a week and then I’ll come get you.”
                        “I’m really going to miss you.”
                        “You can call me any time”
            Don’t… write letters saying…
                        …What a great time you’re having at home.
                        …What a great time brothers/sisters/friends are having at home.
                        …How much you miss them.
           Don’t… visit your child.
                        It can be hard on a camper and hard on his camp friends to have a parent drop in.
            Do…            pre-program your campers for success by telling them…
                        …How much fun they are going to have.
                        …How much fun you had at camp, at the lake, etc, when you were a kid.
            Do…            send them a lot of mail: crazy post-cards, etc.
                        … Tell them “nothing’s going on at home.  All the neighbor kids are gone on
                                    vacation.  It’s real dead around here”
                        … Tell them how you envy them for all the fun you know they’re having at
                                    camp.

The key to a successful adjustment is when a camper realizes that they are known; accepted, recognized, and valued for who they are in this new situation, when suddenly fellow campers and counselors are not strangers but friends.  I, as Camp Director, usually know every child’s name by the third day of camp.

Sometimes parents ask why we have two weeks of camp and not one.  We feel that it takes that amount of time for the campers to get to know each other enough to rely on them and work together as a team.  This allows for a stronger bond, a better chance of success and to prove they can thrive while away from home.  If a child goes home after one week, he hasn’t had time to adjust, have fun, make friends, be his own person and become part the Camp Ajawah family.  We believe that it takes two weeks minimum to accomplish this.

Thank you for sending your child to Camp Ajawah this summer and having faith in our philosophy to enable your child to succeed in life.  I know it will be a great experience for them, my staff and myself.  I am looking forward to seeing your Ajawah camper this summer.

Cordially,

Dave Moore
Director, Camp Ajawah