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First Time Camper? What to Expect…

IMG_9312As we head into our 88th summer, it’s incredible to think that over 25,000 kids have started their lives at Robin Hood. That’s a lot of first-time campers! Families can trust that from the moment they say YES to Robin Hood they will be taken care of with the best care and attention, that which can only be found in a family. With over 50% of our staff being alumni, it’s clear that Robin Hood is a family and at it’s core are the people who have become part of our incredible legacy. With more than 250 combined summers at Camp Robin Hood, our Leadership Team understands the unique responsibility of preserving the Robin Hood experience that shaped us each as individuals, and we are dedicated toward providing that same experience for our campers. You’ll see it in the assistance we provide before camp, the care and attention we devote during the summer and our dedication even after the season has ended.

Before Camp

  • Our comprehensive Parent Handbook is available online and is your one-stop shop for everything Camp Robin Hood.
  • Get to know Camp Robin Hood through our online videos!  When we find ourselves missing camp (which is pretty much all the time,) we schedule an evening activity of “Night at the Movies” and watch our online videos. They truly paint a picture of what “life in The Realm” is all about which is a great way for the whole family to get ready for camp!
  • Parents of newcomers appreciate the fact that our office staff is always available to answer questions and offer friendly advice. If you have a question, call us.  We’re here to help!
  • “Dear DC” letters and our Parent & Camper Questionnaire allow families to address camper goals and parental concerns/goals for their child
  • Robin Hood’s Big Sister/Little Sister Program pairs older campers with newcomers and our Boys side can write letters and correspond with Group Leaders if they have any questions about what to expect for their first time at camp
  • Campers and their parents can visit our FAQ page and stay connected through our various social network sites by following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and of course, The WoodChuck blog!

During Camp

  • As soon as your camper arrives at camp they will be under the care and supervision of our incredible leadership staff. Daily “bro-sessions” and “girl talk” with each Division and their GL (Group Leader) allows campers to talk about the good and bad of their day, both as individuals and as a community
  • Campers live in bunks with both specialty staff and GC’s (general counselors.) GC’s are all returning campers who know first hand what your child is experiencing and provide support and leadership throughout the summer as your child participates in various activities throughout the summer.
  • Regular staff meetings and check-ins ensure our Head Staff, GL’s, GC’s and specialty staff are all working to meet the goals set forth by your family in your “Dear DC” letter and Parent & Camper Questionnaire.
  • Homesickness is normal for campers (first-timers or not) and is healthy. It means your child likes being at home and that is great! We encourage families to send letters to camp so that there is mail waiting for your camper when they arrive. Remember to keep your letters positive and upbeat.  Of course you can tell your child you miss him/her, just don’t go on about how miserable it’s making you. Camp is the time to instill confidence and independence in your child. Mentioning things he/she can’t control can lead to homesickness, anxiety and depression, which we are trying to avoid. Not to worry, your campers will be sending you mail too! Once a week, their meal ticket is a letter home, so don’t forget your stationary and stamps.
  • There are no strangers at Camp Robin Hood, only friends we haven’t met yet. Campers at Robin Hood are from all over the country and the world, making our community geographically diverse. With the help of older, experienced campers, it’s easy to make friends in The Realm and new campers feel welcomed and accepted.
  • We know how difficult it can be transitioning to an overnight camper so we make sure to keep our campers busy throughout the day!  From the minute they wake up to lights out, our days are filled with programs that are fun, energetic and engaging.  At Robin Hood, there’s something for everyone!

After Camp

  • The friendships you make at camp are ones that will stay with you for a lifetime.  Memories of Robin Hood will be with you forever and we work hard throughout the year to help keep you connected.  Our newsletters keep our campers in touch with Letters from DC & Woody, What’s New at Camp, Camp Robin Hood Congrats and more.  There’s nothing like getting something in the mail from camp and it’s fun to read too!
  • Reunions are scheduled in the fall and winter in both NYC and Cleveland, respectively, and are great ways to reconnect with your friends from the summer. Campers, staff and families are invited to reminisce about camp and is a great way to keep those friendships alive

Night Time

There are millions of kids that experience bedwetting, often lasting until they are teenagers.  However, doctors say that it is often a natural part of development, and in most cases not a sign of more serious medical or emotional issues.

Bedwetting can be extremely stressful on the family.  The child often feels embarrassed and is nervous about spending the night at a friends’ or at sleep-away camp.

As the summer approaches, communicate the issue to camp so a set of guidelines can be established to mitigate stress on the counselors and most importantly, the child.

  • Set a time each night that the child will stop drinking.
  • Make sure the child goes to the bathroom just before getting in bed.
  • Ask the camp to designate at least 2 counselors (rotating schedule) to wake the child once each night.
  • In the event of an accident, the child should understand the importance of notifying a counselor. They should establish a secret code at the beginning of camp (i.e. hat on the bed), so the bed will be changed during first activity period when everyone is out of the cabin.

Parents can choose among different behavioral conditioning devices, including a buzzer or sleep pad. Additionally, there are several medication options, including anti-diuretic hormone nasal spray and the anti-depressant, imipramine.

While the ultimate bedwetting plan is going to be family-specific, all parents must establish a solid plan with the camp that will insure the child’s wellbeing and happiness.

http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/bedwetting

http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/sleep/enuresis.html

http://www.phantomstress.com/index.html

Preparing the Family For Sleep Away Camp Series is contributed by Phillip Romero, MD.  Based in New York City, Dr. Romero is a relationship stress specialist and brain coach. For twenty-five years he has worked in private practice with families, couples and individuals and trained Fellows in Child Psychiatry as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell Medical School.

In 1988 he created Logosoma Brain Training (LBT) by incorporating recent advances in brain science and Buddhist mindfulness techniques to help people master their relationship stress. As a medical student Dr. Romero studied at the Yoga Institute in Bombay and received training in Buddhism & Tibetan Medicine in Dharamsala, India where he met with the Dalai Lama. He is a life-long practitioner of both Tibetan and Zen meditation techniques, and is currently developing Logosoma Brain Training seminars for the public.  Dr. Romero can be contacted through http://www.phantomstress.com/.