We are truly heartbroken that we won’t be able to come together in person this summer, and we are sorry that many of our families may be experiencing a similar feeling. We have compiled some resources for parents to help guide their campers through this disappointing time.
Dr. Tina Payne Bryson: “Helping our Kids Manage Disappointment Over Cancelled Camp & Summer Plans”
Childmind.org: Supporting Kids During the Coronavirus Crisis
Childrens.com: 4 Tips for Coping with Disappointment during COVID-19
Each of the materials above ultimately emphasizes letting campers be honest with their feelings, keeping active, and staying in touch with others.
Dr. Bryson identifies that the difference between a difficult situation having a detrimental impact in the long run versus serving as a learning experience, comes from the support system beside them. As parents and camp people, we must give children a safe outlet to talk about their feelings openly, without any worry they will be corrected or criticized for doing so. Simply listening and being present is enough and campers will look back on this time, remembering that you were there for them above all else.
As an outdoor sports program, we will always advocate for our campers to stay active. Not only does it help campers feel accomplished during the day, staying on the move also serves as a positive distraction from the situation at large. Whether it is the Workout Wednesdays on our social media pages, or games you can play at home posted for Feel Good Fridays, creating a routine that involves elements of ISTC will help campers in touch despite being away.
Lastly, encourage your camper to reach out to camp friends. The classic saying “more, the merrier” truly applies to getting through these unprecedented times. Invite your campers to talk about their favorite sports sessions, recreation events, counselors, coaches, and more, as speaking positively can help everyone keep an upbeat energy for the months to come.
We’ll be thinking of our families each day and we are already counting down the days until we can all be back together again.