Opening Day of our summer is the highlight of the year. It is a culmination of months of planning, traveling and dreaming that is focused on creating the best summer for our campers possible. A week before campers arrive we gather our staff for training, team building and learning about each camper so that the experience for every person at Acting Manitou is filled with Joy, Creativity, Gratitude and a supportive Community. That’s what sets Acting Manitou apart from other theater camps in our industry. Our focus is not on the spotlight but on the process, the journey.
Campers are not the only ones who go on a journey during camp. We talk a lot about combatting homesickness for campers, but for parents, particularly of first time campers,“kid-sickness” is also a reality. After all, campers are involved in activities and theater making day in and day out while families and loved ones may be going about a routine schedule. While campers are surrounded by counselors and teaching artists and directors, all equipped to ease the sudden change of environment and routine that can bring about homesickness, parents aren’t given the same support system. So we would like to offer the following thoughts for those back home as we settle into our first (and beautifully rainy) night at camp.
It’s Not Just You. It’s perfectly normal for parents to experience “kid sickness” just like kids experience “homesickness.” That’s right, you’re not alone.
Keep in Touch. We have set up a Family Callboard for you to schedule an occasional call or send a message to your camper. Even better, take a moment to find a postcard or write a letter to your camper and send it via snail mail. We know the immediacy of email has become a way of life, but trust us when we say that your stationary or postcard will be much more vibrant and colorful than our standard issue copy paper and Times New Roman font. (We keep it simple, you need not.)
It’s a Gift. Remember that you are investing in your child and giving them the gift of camp. As one parent told us last summer:
“[Our daughter’s] heart found healing with you all. And she experienced love, welcome, belonging, silliness and JOY. I can’t tell you how much your gift means to our family.”
Why did you decide to give your child this gift this summer? What are the hopes that you share for the? Take a moment and write down that reason or hope and place it on a mirror or where you can see it while your camper is away.
Go to Camp! Ok, it may be a little late to find a program for yourself, but treat yourself to some downtime during periods of the day that may normally be focused on play practices, track meets or dance class. Use this time to refresh and recharge. We promise you your camper will love seeing a big smile on your face come show day!
Lastly, remember that we are only a phone call or email away and are happy to speak with you at any point during the session or summer. Make sure to check out our blog for daily insights into camp and for photos of the day before.