It’s school camp time! I love camp and have even been known to volunteer to go on a few unpaid. Not everyone feels like that though, so I thought some ideas to make the camping experience more enjoyable or endurable might help.
Camp can be a difficult experience if you are not prepared adequately. Find out as much as you can about the area you are attending, facilities, activities, camp resources, sleeping arrangements, expectations of teachers and even the food. I’ve worked out over the years that I can put up with pretty much any camp condition except the food, so I find out if there is a fridge I can use and I take my own. It has perplexed a few campsite managers but I don’t care, it’s about helping me to enjoy the camping experience far better.
Here’s what I always make sure to pack in my gear:
- Book or magazine
- Spare paper and pens
- Any medication, insect repellent and sunscreen
- Sunglasses and hat
- Enough really super warm clothing
- Comfortable shoes
- A fun toy or activity to play with the kids during free time
- Phone charger
What to expect
The bed won’t be comfortable, the food won’t be ideal, the children will refuse to sleep, someone will vomit, you will get little sleep and the kids will sneak out of their rooms sometime in the night but you will catch them!
You will learn great things about your students that you didn’t know, you will have fun, you will have new experiences, you will learn something about history and your bed on return will feel like heaven.
Parents will NOT thank you for looking after their child, going above and beyond your responsibilities and for nurturing them. They will complain about the lollies you confiscated, the items their child lost (unnamed of course), the roommates you forced their child to bunk in with and the state of their clothing.
So why do I love camp?
I’m prepared, have realistic expectations and absolutely LOVE seeing kids in a social context and in a different environment. I look at it as a bit of a holiday from home and routine. Have fun!