If it's your child's first time at sleep away camp, you might feel a little uneasy about leaving your child with someone you've never met. Sometimes getting to know the person a little better will help to put your mind at ease. In this post, you will find seven questions that will help guide the conversation so it seems more natural and less like a crime investigation.
Here are the 7 Questions to Ask Your Child's Camp Counselor:
- Are you from around here?
- What did you learn at staff training?
- What's your background working with kids?
- How do you handle it if someone gets hurt or sick?
- How do you help a child who is homesick?
- What awesome plans do you have in mind for this week?
- What is one thing you hope to teach the kids this week?
1. Are you from around here?
It isn't really polite to ask too many personal questions, but finding out where someone is from is often an easy way to start a conversation. By asking if someone is local, it gives them the power to be as personal as they would like to be. If they don't want you to know too much, they can just answer briefly such as, "No, I live about an hour away." However, if they like to talk about where they are from, they might say something like, "No, I'm actually from England and came here as a summer internship because I love to work with kids." This is a great ice breaker question to get to know someone.
2. What did you learn at staff training?
By asking this question, it will give you a feel for the counselor's priorities. It will also tell you whether the person is more of a fun lover or someone who is more serious about the content your child is their to learn. It might also help you to find something you have in common with the counselor.
3. What's your background working with kids?
This is one of the questions for your child's camp counselor that I feel is most important. Hopefully, the counselor has had some prior experience or education, but if he or she doesn't, don't count them out. Teenagers and young adults need to gain experience and some of my very best counselors growing up were those who had little experience at all.
4. How do you handle it if someone gets hurt or sick?
This is basically a procedural question. A good camp counselor should be aware of the sickness and injury policy and should quickly be able to give you an answer to this question.
5. How do you help a child who is homesick?
This question let's you see the more tender side of the counselor, hopefully. This is also a great time to share your child's preferences with the leader. You can give suggestions about what might be the most helpful if your child begins showing signs of homesickness. Some ideas for how to deal with homesickness can be found here.
6. What awesome plans do you have in mind this week?
This is a great question because it let's the counselor know that you care about what your child will be doing. It's also good because it shows them that you have high expectations of them and that you aren't just paying for high priced babysitting. Hopefully, this will drive them to step up their game.
7. What is one thing you hope to teach the kids this week?
The answer to this question could include a wide range of things, but most likely it will have to do with the kind of camp your child is attending. If your kiddo is attending an outdoor team-building camp, then the answer might be something like "how to function as a team" or "how to build confidence." If the camp is specific to perhaps coding or another skill, then the goal would be to learn, improve, or master that skill.
Once you've had a chance to chat with your child's counselor for a bit, hopefully you will be more relaxed and ready to leave your child behind. Additionally, this conversation should allow you to share information about your child so that the counselor can better support your child. Building relationships is a huge part of attending such camps and our hope is that this conversation can be the beginning of something wonderful.
We are always striving to make your experience with Kwaddle a great one. Let us know what you would like to read about or whether or not our posts are helpful to you.