Preparing children for camp

 

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Some of your primary school students may have never been away from home before and might feel nervous about what to expect. Teachers may need to help prepare children and parents to ensure that their first camp is a happy and rewarding experience.

 

Pre Camp Briefing:

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Remember that if it is the children's first time away from home, then it is also a first for their parents. The parents may be more nervous than their children.

 
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Be very organized and knowledgeable about all aspects of the camp. You want to inspire confidence and show parents that you are capable of taking good care of their children.

- Be very clear in your own mind about the educational goals you intend the camping experience will help their children to achieve. If you are convinced about the worth of the experience this will come across in your discussions with the parents.

 

Things to discuss:

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The camp itinerary and location.

 
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The staff attending the camp and any special roles, especially first aiders in charge of giving medication.

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Transport arrangements, especially drop off and pick up times.

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Catering arrangements and menus. Ask parents to let you know of any special dietary requirements in writing.

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Sleeping arrangements. e.g. The locality of staff in relation to dormitories, cabins.

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no thongs allowed at camp, the camp policy is that everyone must be wearing closed in shoes

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Showering arrangements. Suggest that children practice adjusting the water temperature, keeping hair dry etc. at home before the camp.

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Clothing and equipment required. Stress that all items must be named and that children must be able to carry their own bags.

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Discuss behavioural expectations and procedures for dealing with any problems should they arise.

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Policy on pocket money, lollies, valuables from home etc.

Allow plenty of time for questions.

 

Activities which can be carried out in the class room pre-camp:

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Setting the table and sandwich making

 
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Discuss the different ways that families may eat, where they eat and what types of food they eat.

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Emphasize that people do things differently and that there is not necessarily a right and wrong way

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Discuss what clothing might be worn on the various camp activities. This can be made into a game to discuss what clothing might be appropriate in various situations.

 

Problem solving. Sample problems:

* You don't like the food on your plate.

* You forgot your tooth brush.

* Everybody in your room is talking and you can't get to sleep.

* Someone in your room wants to sleep with the light on.

* You have to take medicine and Mum usually gives it to you.

* You usually sleep with your teddy and you’re scared everyone will laugh.

* You lose your new hair brush at camp and your scared that Mum's going to be really mad.
 

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