May 29, 2024 Category: Our Programs

5 Things to Know Before Starting Summer Camp 

Summer is right around the corner – that means only a few weeks until the first day of camp! For many, going to sleepaway camp, away from home, can be a big transition. We want everyone to be as prepared and excited as possible! Here are five tips to help children feel ready for camp. 

1. Prepare for all types of weather and environments 

Make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes!

One of the biggest differences between Fresh Air Fund camps and New York City is the environment. Instead of busy streets and tall buildings, you’ll find hiking trails and forests. With that, it’s important to pack carefully. Bring clothing that you’re comfortable moving in and don’t mind getting a little dirty. Prepare for all types of weather, such as sunny afternoons or rainy mornings!  

2. Be open to trying new activities 

The high ropes course is a favorite new activity for many older campers.

At camp, we encourage children to step out of their comfort zones and try new things! We offer many different activities that will allow you to push yourself. From archery to playing the guitar, you can certainly expect to find a new hobby or passion this summer. Maybe you’ll pass the swim test to move to a higher level or complete an obstacle on the high ropes course! 

3. Get ready to meet people from around the world 

Friendships made at camp are ones that will last forever!

Making lifelong friends is one of the most important elements of summer camp. Many campers stay in touch with their cabinmates years after they finish camp. At The Fresh Air Fund, children make friends from all over NYC and even meet counselors from all around the world! We hire counselors from over 20 different countries – meaning you’re guaranteed to meet someone from outside of NYC. 

4. It’s normal to feel homesick 

Your counselors will be there to cheer you up!

We understand that leaving home for sleepaway camp can be a nerve-racking experience and that home sickness is very common. However, your counselors will be your biggest supporters. Many of them know what it’s like to be away from home at camp or college and will work hard to understand how you feel. We also encourage children to write letters home to their parents. A lot of campers who start camp feeling homesick always finish wishing they could stay longer! 

5. Make the most of every moment 

Time flies when you’re having fun!

Your first two weeks at camp will fly by – we hope you enjoy every second of it! Your days will be so jam-packed with different activities and meeting new people that before you know it, it will be time to go home! Bringing a journal or a disposable camera is one of the best ways to capture the memories. 

It’s not too late to sign up for camp this summer! Learn more here.