Whether your child is attending one of YMCA’s day camps or heading to YMCA Camp Elphinstone for an overnight camp experience, there’s always the usual list of must-bring items you’ll want to make sure are in their backpack. You know, things like extra pairs of socks, a swimsuit, a water bottle, sunscreen and, just in case Mother Nature is having a tough day, a waterproof jacket. But what about all those things that can’t be found on any packing list, but are just as important? Not sure what we’re talking about? Here are four items on our Unofficial Packing List that will make your child's camp experience extra special.
An adventurous spirit
At many of our camps, kids can test their archery skills, navigate the exciting low and high ropes courses or sail the waters of Howe Sound. There is no shortage of opportunities at YMCA camps for participants to expand their horizons and step out of their comfort zone. So even though some activities or programs may be a bit more challenging or new, if your child keeps an open mind and brings an adventurous spirit, we have no doubt that by the end of their camp experience they will have developed a wealth of valuable skills, grown as a leader and accumulated many wonderful memories that they will be telling you and the rest of your family about for a long time.
Willingness to meet new people
There’s no better place than camp to not only strengthen old friendships, but create new ones too. With lots of opportunity each day to interact with other kids, and participate in activities that relate to their interests, it’s easy to see why kids leave their camp experience having formed new bonds. Make sure you remind your child to take time on day one of camp to say "hello" to their fellow campers and get to know them. The worst thing that can happen is that they meet a bunch of new people who they can have fun with during camp, and the best thing that can happen is that they meet someone they click with and spend time with in and outside of camp for many years to come.
Love for the outdoors
Regardless of the camp you choose for your child this spring and summer, the Y knows the importance of giving them as much time as possible to be engaged in activities that take place outside. Ensuring your child connects with Mother Nature is a big focus of our camp programming. So whether it’s going on a hike, spending an afternoon kayaking, heading outside to play sports and games or working on their balance and cardio while paddle boarding, we encourage all campers to pack their love for the outdoors—they’ll be so glad they did!
A healthy curiosity
For our camp staff, working at camp is much more than just a job. Our passionate, talented and dedicated team of counsellors want your child to have a one-of-a-kind experience where they develop new skills and have an amazing time—while in a safe and friendly environment. Not only is our camps team ready to guide participants through activities, they are also open and looking forward to getting to know your child and answer any questions they might have. We never wants kids to be afraid to ask the camp staff about what they love about camp, how long they have worked at a YMCA camp, what some of their hobbies are or even what their fears are. And encourage your child to find out as much they can can about the other campers. Asking questions is always a great way of breaking the ice and a perfect first step to making new friends. The more curious your child is at camp, the more they’ll discover; and the more they discover, the more meaningful their camp experience will be.
Registration for YMCA's 2018 spring and summer camps is now open! Our wide range of day, overnight and specialty camps (for kids ages 5 to 17) take place throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast. Don't forget to register your child with a friend who did not attend a YMCA camp in 2017 and both families will receive 10% off the summer camp fees.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR 2018 CAMPS AND TO REGISTER!