Preparing for Camp

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Going away to camp for the first time can be daunting, but your daughter will grow and gain confidence every step of the way. There are lots of ways you can prepare for her first summer at Greystone before she even leaves home!
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Prepare together:

  • Watch some camp videos. Check out our Cabin Tour video to show your daughter what a cabin will look like, and our Camp Tour video to show her what camp looks like overall. Let her see our Day in the Life video to experience what it’s like to be a camper. We also have a great New Camper Welcome video on our First Time Campers page that is a warm welcome for your first summer at Greystone. You can see these and many more videos on our Vimeo page.

  • Read our Honor Code together, and talk about how to thrive in a close-knit community. For many girls, camp is the first time they experience living in close quarters with other girls their age, and it is a great opportunity to learn and grow in this area! We don’t expect any of our campers to be perfect, but you can help your daughter have a successful session by talking about and starting to practice these skills before she arrives: treating others with kindness and respect, sharing her counselor’s attention, participating in group activities, and controlling her emotions when things don’t go her way. Our Honor Code is a great place to start these conversations!

  • Talk about food. We serve a huge variety of food at camp, giving even the most selective of eaters a wide array of options. If you know your daughter is more selective in her food choices, talk to her about the food ahead of time. Read up on all of the many ways we work to provide food options and make sure your daughter knows she can always tell her table counselor or cabin counselor if she feels like she isn’t getting enough food.

  • Talk about emotions and problem solving. When living in a big camp community, things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to go. Talk to your daughter about this. Help her know what to do when she is feeling sad (talking to her counselor is a great place to start). Explain what to do if something happens that hurts her feelings or what to do if she needs help (such as talk to a friend or find her Group Leader). Give your daughter the tools to be an advocate for herself (and read our blog on this exact topic) so that we can then help her to have the very best summer!

  • Pack together! Help your daughter to know what items she has at camp by having her help you to pack. It’s amazing how many girls don’t even know what is in their trunk, so they have no idea if they even have a specific item or not.

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Prepare as a camper:

  • Look over our camp schedule and explore our class options. She can read descriptions and see photos and videos of the many different classes available to get excited about what she might want to take!

  • Practice quiet times and taking care of herself. Girls enjoy our one-hour Rest Hour every day, but for some, it is difficult to stay quiet. You can help by practicing quiet periods of time before she even arrives, and planning ahead about things she can do during these quiet times at camp. Your daughter will also need to take a shower by herself, brush her own hair, put her hair up each day, dress herself, put on her shoes, and make her own bed. While her counselor can help, your camper will need to take responsibility for many of these things on her own. Work on these different skills now so she is ready for the summer!

  • Write her Penpal. Our Penpal program is a wonderful way to make a friend before you even arrive. Make sure to write your camp Penpal multiple times!

  • Prepare for sleep at camp. Practice spending the night with a friend and make sure she can sleep without a noisemaker!

  • Work on taking care of her personal things. At camp, your daughter will need to be responsible for her own things and will need to keep up with them around camp. Help with this before she arrives!

  • Read over our list of skills that campers should be working on. We have a great list of skills that girls should have before coming to camp. Quite a few of them are listed on this page already, but check out our full list to see what else you need to work on before the summer.

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Prepare as a parent:

  • Talk to other families who attend Greystone. If you know any families who attend camp, talk to them before you come! Many parents say this is the best way to gain some insider scoop on Greystone. Connect your daughter with their daughters so she can ask questions as well. We also have city Facebook groups for many of our larger cities; check out the one from your town to connect with fellow Greystone families in the area. (If you don’t know anyone, don’t worry! We have a great Parent Penpal program for our new camp families that we will email you about in the spring.)

  • Have a positive attitude and speak with encouraging words when talking about camp. Many times parents are more nervous than their daughters and that can impact how the girls feel about camp. You can help tremendously by being conscious of how you talk about camp! Tell her how excited you are about her camp experience. Let her know that you think she is going to have a great time and will love it. Your attitude and what your daughter hears you say will go a long way.

  • Share the camp address and set up some guest accounts for close family to email your daughter. You can write letters ahead of time (before she even arrives!), drop pre-written letters in our mail bins on Opening Day, and email her for free.

Need any more pointers or have questions on how better to prepare your daughter? Contact us!