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  • Posts found under: Kids Camp Los Angeles Archives |

    Making the Transition from Day Camp to Sleepaway Camp

    It’s that time of the year again when making summer plans jumps to the forefront of all of our minds. Although the thought of falling into the same day camp routine as last summer might seem tempting, for many families, it is time to consider sending the kids to sleepaway camp. Sleepaway camp provides opportunities for campers to gain independence, build interpersonal skills, and explore new interests.  Although day camp provides campers with fun and fulfilling summers, there is no comparison to the happiness and friendships that sleepaway camp can bring a child.  After a few summers at day camp, sleepaway camp is a natural progression for children.  While choosing sleepaway camp this summer might seem like a huge change, there are some steps you and your camper can take to make sure that the transition is easy for the whole family.

    Include your camper in the decision-making process

    Although you might be the chief decision maker, making your child feel like they are part of the discussion around camp can help to shape a positive attitude around their summer plans. Giving kids some say in their destiny helps children to take ownership for the decision to transition to sleepaway and can make a child more confident going into camp. Let your child weigh in pros and cons of sleepaway and day camp options and validate any worries they have about changing their summer routine. Be sure to research some camps in advance so you can highlight activities and events at your child’s potential sleepaway camp that will pique their interest and get them counting down the days until summer!

    Plan some sleepovers

    Practice makes perfect- and that is certainly the case when preparing your child for sleepaway camp.  Give your child lots of opportunities to “practice” for heading off to camp by scheduling some sleepovers at a friend or family member’s house.  Having your child spend a few nights away from home before camp can help them to become more comfortable with the idea of being away from their own bed for a portion of the summer.

    Talk to the experts

    Camps are well-trained in easing the transition for first-time campers.  Camp directors and counselors alike have had plenty of experience helping children from all walks of life settle into the residential camp life, so rest assured that your camper will be in good hands.  Contact your camp staff and let them know that your camper is leaving home for the first time and inform them of any concerns that you and your camper have.  Many camps can arrange to have you meet up with other campers or counselors prior to heading off to camp so your child has a familiar face to look out for once they arrive at camp.

    Don’t make camp an either/or

    If your camper loved their day camp (there’s plenty to love at day camp!), be sure to let your camper know that going to sleepaway camp isn’t necessarily taking their beloved day camp’s place.  Let your camper know that, like day camp, sleepaway camp is a great experience that they have the opportunity to try, and that doesn’t mean that it is replacing their tried and true day camp indefinitely.  If it fits into your summer schedule and your budget, you might consider enrolling your child in both day camp and sleepaway camp so they can have the best of both worlds.  Once campers experience the joy of residential camp, they’ll be too excited to even think about their previous camp!

    Expect the best

    In most cases, the transition to sleepaway is over before it even begins.  Once your child gets to camp, they will likely be swept up into the excitement of new activities and the opportunity to make new friends.  The majority of campers hit the ground running and acclimate to camp with ease. Expect the transition to go smoothly and make sure your camper knows that you have confidence in them. A confident camper is a happy camper!

    The decision to transition to sleepaway camp is a big one but one that you won’t regret.  In many cases, the transition is more difficult on parents than it is on children, so take a deep breath and rest assured that your camper is going to be just fine.  With a little preparation and a positive attitude, sending your child off to summer camp will go off without a hitch!

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    Why Summer Camp Is Worth Every Penny

    It’s the beginning of the year and a time that typically inspires introspection. Is it a good time for a career change? Should we have another child? Is it time to up-size or downsize the homestead? And yes, is summer camp worth the cost? While we cannot help you decide if you should relocate or start a new career, we can outline our case for yes, Summer Camp Is Worth Every Penny!

    Whether you’re an old pro at sending your child to summer camp, or brand new to the idea, here are but a few reasons why it is well worth it:

    Friends

    Your child WILL make friends at summer camp! At the end of each summer, my daughter would become very anxious about the upcoming school year, always wanting to know who would be in her class, would she see old friends, who would she sit with at lunch, will the teacher like her. Summer camp taught her how to make friends, and eased her social anxieties long after camp ended.

    Social Media/Cell Phones

    I don’t particularly care for the term social media as there doesn’t seem to be much socializing going on. Every parent recognizes the safety-net cell phones provide for our children these days. It’s tough to strike a balance between being able to get in touch with your child at the drop of a hat, and all the other ‘social media-ing’ that goes on with kids and their phones. Camp is the perfect place and time for disconnecting. When not dependent on their phones, children engage with each other in real settings, enjoying real life experiences.

    Real Life Experiences

    Experiences! Think about it. Not reading about doing something, or watching a video about doing something, or seeing pictures of others doing something, but actually doing something and being engaged in the moment. Whether it’s learning to barrel jump in the equine arena, sailing atop the lake on a wave runner, star gazing in a sleeping bag on the ground, or finally mastering that backflip on the trampoline, camp is the perfect place to make friends and to learn new skills, and thus, developing independence.

    Independence

    As parents, we strive to protect our children all the time, from everything. To our own detriment, and at our own expense, we would gladly take every disappointment and hardship away from them if we could. Even at 22 and 30 years of age, I still worry about my children’s safety and happiness. It is, however, inevitable. Our children will become adults. They will become independent of us. How are they to know how to act, or which decisions are good ones, when they are away from us if we never allow them to be away from us? Camp is the perfect place for children to be safely away from home.

    New places, new people, new activities, new skills, living it up in the great outdoors, getting pushed from comfort zones, making decisions, and reaping rewards from all of this, camp is a safe and nurturing environment like no other. An invaluable experience overall.

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    What I Learned About Friendship At Camp

    We all know that California summer camps are a great place to learn how to make friendship bracelets, but camp can also teach you a thing or two about making the friendships themselves. Kids Camp Los Angeles provides campers and counselors with endless opportunities to grow and learn, and one of the most important opportunities that camp provides you with is the ability to meet countless new friends. And while making friends at camp might seem a bit nerve wracking, the friendships that grow from camp are well worth the effort and experience. Of all the important things you can gain from a summer at camp, friendship tops the list. Here are a few of the many lessons to be learned about friendship from your time at camp.

    Everyone is in the same boat

    Regardless of whether you are heading to camp with a bus full of friends or you are making a solo journey to camp, everyone departs on their camp experience with a similar goal in mind – to make new friends. Everyone also feels a little nervous about venturing out to meet new people. Even counselors come to camp each year with butterflies in their stomachs in anxious anticipation of the friends they will make. Once you realize that everyone at camp- both campers and counselors alike- is just as nervous and excited to meet people as you are, you might just realize that you are surrounded by future friends who are ready to get to know you.

    It’s easier than it sounds

    The idea of making friends can seem like a daunting task but once you get down to it, making friends at camp is easier and far less scary than it sounds. While at camp, you are constantly surrounded by potential friends at activities, evening programs, meals, and during bunk time. Each activity period or meal time presents itself as an opportunity to strike up a conversation or work cooperatively with other campers, which are great first steps towards building a friendship. Since camp is a place without the constant interruption of cell phones or computers, there is more time and less distraction to forge genuine bonds with those who surround you. With all of this time dedicated to genuine interaction, it is nearly impossible not to make a few great friends while enjoying your time at this Kids Camp Los Angeles. Making sure the camp is accredited is very important. Canyon Creek is proud to have become accredited by the American Camp Association in its very first year.

    Every friendship is different at Kids Camp Los Angeles

    The friendships you form at camp are as unique as the people you meet at camp. There are literally no two that are quite the same. Campers come from all different walks of life and with very different life experiences that shape their friendships with others. Some friends rely on constant communication and togetherness, whereas other friends find themselves content in giving each other independence and freedom. A friend you meet during your bus ride to Kids Camp Los Angeles will likely lead to a much different friendship than that with a friend you meet in your bunk and choose to spend every waking moment with. Regardless of how a friendship begins or how the relationship is structured, all friendships can bring a whole lot of fun, laughs, and memories. Having diverse friendships can be complex but the reward is immeasurable as each different friendship brings its own benefits and lessons. It does not matter if you are from California, Utah, New York or even from outside the Country, having diverse friendships can be complex but is so worth it as each different friendship brings its own benefits and lessons.

    What you put in is what you’ll get out

    Like all relationships, friendships take effort, but the time and energy you put into meeting new friends and maintaining friendships will benefit you long after your summer session ends. Being at Kids Camp Los Angeles might also put certain demands on your friendship- whether those demands are finding time to spend together, overcoming disagreements, or balancing several different friendships- that might take work to navigate but ultimately make your friendship grow. When camp ends, new challenges may arise as you are forced to leave many of your new friends who might live in different cities, states, or even countries. Distance might make maintaining friendships challenging, but putting energy into being a good friend, even from afar, often leads to relationships which are resilient and some of the best. Logging some hours on the phone or on Skype can lead to lifelong friends that you will be so glad you chose to commit to.

    Kids Camp Los Angeles friends are unlike others you meet at school or on a sports team. With your camp friends, you have so many shared experiences that form an unbreakable bond. While you might feel nervous about making camp friends, rest assured that year after year, the friendships are what keep campers counting down the days until their return to camp, where they can pick right up where they left off with some of the best friends they could possibly ask for.

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