Be prepared for Departure Day
Please be aware it’s very loud and everyone is either very excited or just a little apprehensive, especially the parents!!
You would have been sent a time when you need to be at the departure day, please be prompt.
Once you arrive please:
- Register your child by their surname and receive a label
- Your child must hand in their medication
- Your child will hand in their phone once they have arrived on camp.
Once your child has registered please, weather permitting, leave the registration room and mingle with your friends until the coach is ready to leave. Your child can get on the coach with their friends.
Merchandise, including sweatshirts, towels, and dressing gowns can be purchased at departure day with cash or cheque we are unable to accept credit cards.
Parents, please be considerate in your parking by not taking up two parking spaces!
Once your child has arrived at camp you will be sent a text to say your child has arrived safely.
At night time during camp we have `shmira’ (on duty) where a team of leaders walk around the accommodation to ensure everyone is getting the sleep they need.
Communications before, during and after camp
You will be told the contact number which is available 24/7 in the event of any emergency. In office hours you can call Alyson.
On Departure Day
The primary contact will receive a text message telling you when the coach has arrived at site.
On Return Day
The primary contact will receive a text message when the coach has left site and on the way home. Your child will have had their mobile phones (hopefully with enough battery) given back to them so you can always call them directly.
If it’s your child’s birthday during camp we will supply a birthday cake and treat them like a king or queen for the day, so you don’t need to worry. If you want to give them a small gift you need hand it in at departure day clearly marked or alternatively pack something small in their suitcase.
TIPS for parents’ Dealing with Homesickness
Do talk to your child about camp.
Do emphasize the many positives of camp to your child: growth in independence, self-confidence, making new friends and just plain FUN!
Sometimes we have found that additional stress and anxiety is at meal-times and your child often thinks about home.
Do sit down with your child and remind them that Shemesh is a vegetarian camp and they will always have a variety of choices at every meal, including a pasta bar, a salad bar and fruit at every meal. They can always go back for seconds if they didn’t get enough the first time round. You can also tell them about twice a week there is a tuck shop where they can buy chocolate, crisps and many other goodies. Explain that they will be responsible for getting their own food and they will have an opportunity to make choices about what they want to eat.
Do prepare your child for homesickness. Being away from home is a big adjustment for your child, and for you. We expect some children to be homesick, and we are well prepared to help you and your child through it. The feeling of homesickness usually goes away after a few days but sometimes it may linger throughout the summer.
Do remind your child that children who have bouts of homesickness throughout the summer still have a great time at camp. Feeling homesick does not have to prevent a child from having fun.
Our strategy is to help your child by talking it though with them, being sympathetic and asking the child to give it another day and then we can reassess. This strategy works and you can support us by not encouraging daily contact with home and for them to give it ago. It’s not easy on you and we do understand. Usually the homesickness does goes away or reduces over time. It’s really great when children get over these fears – Please trust our leaders.
Don’t, don’t, don’t promise your child you will collect them and take them home if they are homesick and want to leave. If you have already made this promise, take it back now, before the summer! Once you make a promise, it is hard to go back… even if you’ve changed your mind. Keep your options open. Tell your child that if they are unhappy and want to come home, you will “talk about it at the time.” Keep in mind that we will recommend a child goes home if it seems clear that staying in camp is not in your child’s or the camp’s best interest.
I know hundreds of children and adults who had a rough first few days at/during camp… and then stayed for many happy and memorable years afterwards! Give it time.
Once camp begins…
Do encourage your child to talk about any homesick feelings with friends and especially their leaders. Talking about it really helps. We have experienced Welfare Officers on every camp who can also help support your child if needed.
Do encourage your child to share homesickness with you on the phone. Make sure that your child knows that it is ok to be homesick and that you understand. Support your child’s feelings. Share your optimism that they will be able to cope with homesickness. Explain how great it will feel after overcoming homesickness. Remind your child what a growth and maturing process it is.
Don’t worry if your child sounds a little sad during phone time. It’s a very emotional time and it can bring up all kinds of strong feelings in you and in your child. Often, a very happy child is teary and emotional at phone time; and then fine moments after the call when you can’t see them. If you are worried about your child, call Alyson.
Do remind your child that they are not cut off from home. You will talk once a week on the phone, and you will be maintaining frequent contact with Alyson in the office.
Do encourage your child to talk about the things they love to do at camp.
Do call us if you have any concerns about your child’s adjustment to camp.
Our Promise to you…
Do let us know if any phone call of yours is not returned within (the time given to you, usually within 24 hours). We pride ourselves on being very responsive and we know how frustrating it can be to not get a quick return call. If we do not respond promptly, it is important that we know about it.