There’s a special bond that develops between camp best friends. When a group of people spend all their time with each other for a full week (or even a whole summer), learning to swim, making crafts, telling stories and experiencing new and exciting things, a bond naturally develops that can last a lifetime. As wonderful as it is to have a friend this close, it can make the time spent apart between camp sessions difficult. As a parent, it can be hard to see your child miss their special friends. Luckily, there are lots of ways that campers can stay connected and keep close, so share these with your little camper to get the ideas flowing.
The easiest way for campers to stay connected is to use a few of the many social media tools available. It’s so easy to drop a quick message on Facebook or check out some amazing vacation photos on Instagram. By keeping up to date on each other it will be like no time has passed at all! If your kids are younger, just be sure to keep close tabs on their social media use.
Live chatting through Facetime and Skype is probably the closest situation to actually being there with each other. The best part is that some apps have fun picture features and effects. If possible, set up a specific time your child can chat with their buddy on a weekly or monthly basis. If they’re older, don’t worry – they’re probably already pros.
Write a Letter
There’s something to be said about getting a hand written note in the mail. It somehow makes the message more personal than a simple text. The thought that someone went to the trouble of getting an envelope, choosing the paper, buying a stamp and putting it in the mailbox is really special. Letters also make an excellent keepsake, and are really fun to read even years down the road.
Postcards are another great idea, especially if the campers live far away from each other. Along the same idea as a mailed letter, postcards show that some extra thought was involved. When you’re traveling with your family over the winter help your child pick out a few neat postcards for those special friends. You may need to help the younger ones mail them, but it’ll make a great learning experience.
Try to Meet Up
This may not be possible depending on where everyone lives, bit it’s definitely worth a try! If they’re really missing their friend and you’re planning a family vacation, why not try to make it work? Attempt to pick a spot in the middle to make it fair. Getting camper friends together outside of camp can solidify the friendship even more, plus the family may get to experience a new city or state that you may never have thought of.
Pick a Show to Follow
Do they share a favorite TV show? They can all watch it at the same time (you can even FaceTime or text while it’s on). Check online for apps like Rabbit that lets you stream and video chat while you watch.
Start a Book Club
Sure, they may not be able to sit down once a month face to face to chat about their favourite books, but an online book club can be just as fun. Each month, have one friend choose a book. Then at the end of the month, have an online chat about it. In any friendship it’s important to have shared interests and continue to create memories together. A book club can keep both those ideas alive between camp sessions.
Remember Their Birthday
Don’t let their special day go unnoticed! Reaching out on someone’s big day is a great opportunity to let them know you’re thinking of them! Social media makes it super easy to remember the date and send a message or they can pick up the phone for a quick chat! It means a lot to appreciate a friend’s birthday, and sends the signal that the friendship is important.
Play Online Games
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone! Even when they can’t play games sitting across from each other doesn’t mean they still can’t have fun! There are plenty of online game apps that offer head-to-head options with friends. Words with Friends, Scrabble and The Game of Life are just a few.
Send a Care Package
Remember how excited they were to get a care package from family or friends while away at camp? Imagine how excited their new friends would be to get a special surprise package from them in the mail! Help your child pick out items that remind them of their days away at camp. Include things like favorite treats, handwritten letters, stickers, crafts, pictures and books.
Just because the summer is over doesn’t mean your child has to say goodbye to their new camp best friend. There are plenty of ways to stay connected. All it takes is a little time and imagination. Then, when the next camp season starts, that bond will be stronger than ever.
In the meantime, get organized for next summer and sign up today so they don’t miss out! Have questions? Don’t be afraid to get in touch.