Summertime is upon us, and many children will be embarking on a new adventure, going off to summer camp for the first time. Summer camp, in many ways, is a rite of passage in most children’s lives. Yet, many parents often become frazzled and stressed out when choosing and sending their child to summer camp.
When should you arrive? What do they need to pack? Here are some great tips to help make that summer camp experience a great time.
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Are you considering enrolling your child on a Summer Camp in 2021?
Choosing the Right Camp With the Right COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
2020 was a terrible year for group activities amid Covid-19, and this year is still feeling the effects of the pandemic. Children, in general, tend to be less affected by Covid-19, but they can still catch it, and they tend asymptomatic, which means they spread it better than adults. Therefore, if you are thinking of sending your child to a camp, look into their Covid-19 safety policies and procedures. Make sure they have a good hygiene plan in place, are limiting the number of campers mingling, and know what to look out for so your camper will be safe and you won’t be anxious the entire time they are away.
‘Extra research into the camp you are choosing never goes amiss,’ says Glenda Burns, a writer at Phdkingdom and Write My X. Ask all your questions, read the information packs, talk to other parents who send their kids to summer camp. Anything that will help put your mind at ease.
Speak Positively and Calmly About Camp
Your child will pick up on any anxiety you have about preparing and going to camp. It’s essential to stay calm and positive when talking about going to camp. If you are excited and calm about sending them, they will feel more at ease about going and are less likely to be sad and anxious about their experience. If your child expresses any anxiety over making friends or missing you, ease their worries and reiterate that they are fully capable of overcoming both.
Follow the Packing List and Get Your Child Involved, Too
When you have chosen a summer camp, the camp will send out all the relevant information and forms that you will have to fill out. They also include a packing list. It’s super important that you follow this list, and getting your child involved with the packing is important. They will glean ways on how to pack their bag for going back home by helping you pack their bag on the way there. Make sure the clothing is all play clothing that can get dirty. Do not skimp on sun protection, as you are outside a majority of the time. Also, depending on what part of the summer the camp is running, the evenings can get a bit chilly, so bring a couple of warm sweatshirts to cozy up at night.
‘Label all of your belongings that you are bringing, or you will come home without some of them,’ explains Diana Weber, a parenting blogger at Australia2write and Britstudent. Many campers are usually in a cabin, and stuff will get mixed up and borrowed by their friends, so labeling will help them sort out whose stuff is when it’s time to pack up and go home.
Arrive on Time and Leave on Time
Know when you need to get your camper to the site and when you can check-in. Make your goodbyes short and sweet not to cause too much upset, and don’t forget to hand in the required paperwork. The same goes for picking them back up, be sure to be on time, so no one gets held up.
At some point, your child might feel homesick, which is perfectly normal. Be sure to empower and encourage your child that they will see you soon enough and to have a great time without you. They will usually bounce back once they know they can have fun without you.
These tips and tricks will help you, the parent, send your kid to summer camp well-prepared to have an amazing summer camp experience.
What Are the Benefits of Understanding Different Cultures?
Today, the world is fast becoming a global village, with many countries enjoying a multicultural environment. Understanding different cultures is not only critical, but it also promotes ample coexistence.
As we learn about diverse cultures, worth noting is that all of us are individuals. Rather than generalizing, treat each other as an individual. Doing so will go a long way in creating a better environment where we can all thrive. In this article, we shall discuss culture and determine why understanding diverse groups is critical. Read and learn.
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The best way to experience the benefits of different cultures personally interacting at multi-cultural events or camps.
Find out more about Les Elfes international summer or winter camps.
Culture is everything that describes a particular group of people. The group can be; a family, a religious group, or people from a different town, neighbourhood, country, or city. It can also be people who share a similar ethnic background, life dynamics, or work culture. Culture is often used to describe the features exhibited through history, language, food, arts, geography, family values, and beliefs.
One person can have diverse cultures such as; family culture, religious culture, age group culture, or work culture. When all these cultures are combined, they give each individual their unique culture. There are various ways that both children and adults can learn about different cultures as we shall learn.
What Lessons do you Gain from Interacting with Diverse Groups?
Spending time with people from other cultures allows you to know what they struggle with and their traditions as a community. Further, you also get a chance to rethink any assumptions you have had about your practices and daily life. Such knowledge promotes personal growth while enabling you to learn new things about your culture.
You can learn about diverse cultural groups in various ways. For example, you can conduct research or ask your peers on different social sites about their cultural norms. Remember, to understand other cultures well, you can opt for practical methods like traveling and camping.
By doing so, you get cultural awareness and a real-time experience of what it feels like to belong to another culture. Here are some of the most effective strategies you can use to learn about other cultures.
Study a Native Language
Being conversant with a native dialect enables you to interact and engage with people from diverse cultures effectively. This ability is also known as cultural competence. The simple act of learning new words and phrases helps you connect with others deeply. By learning a new language, you acquire robust cross-cultural communication expertise when speaking your native language with people from different cultural backgrounds.
Diversify Your Reading Habits
Rather than reading books written by people you identify with, adopt a practice of reading books written by different people from different cultures. This helps you learn numerous facts about the culture. Further, you’ll be able to identify with the culture better.
Understand Different Geography and Economic Practices
The economics and geography of any country are critical and closely associated. You can begin by establishing the following.
What are the trading practices of this culture? Do they use trade or money?
Does the culture have any resources?
Does the culture specialize in exports? If they do, what do they mainly export?
What role do these things play in terms of their cultural practices and beliefs?
Interact with People who come from Diverse Cultures
This is one of the ideal ways of learning and understanding other people’s cultures. One way of achieving this is going for international camps. The advantage of attending these camps is that you meet people from different countries and races. Not only do you learn about their culture, but you also teach them your culture.
Having a one on one interaction with people helps you hear their stories first hand. Leverage this opportunity to ask questions about the culture and teach them everything they want to know. This way, you learn from each other.
Sample Food from Other Cultures
Food plays a critical function in human existence. Further, the food we all consume is connected to our culture. You can learn and understand a specific culture by sampling their food. There would be no way of comprehensively defining culture without evaluating its cuisine.
Food is an extensive need, and regardless of where you are or where you come from, you need food. The chances are that many of our social cultures emanated from food. In the past, for instance, people would wander through the land to hunt and gather food. While food practices have changed in the modern-day, it remains one of the uniting factors for people worldwide.
Other Ways Include:
Participate in local celebrations and events with an open mind and heart.
Art is a critical part of understanding a new culture. Consider visiting history museums, cultural performances, and art exhibitions in various areas. By learning new things, you can appreciate considerable cultural differences.
What are the Benefits of Learning Different Cultures?
In today’s ever-changing world, people worldwide are fast realizing the importance of learning, understanding, and appreciating diverse cultures. Why is this necessary? It plays a significant role in developing communities that excel in problem-solving and enhancing varying conditions. Let’s discuss the benefits of understanding different cultures.
You get to understand the World Better.
The world comprises people with diverse cultures. Where possible, being exposed to different cultures helps you embrace and appreciate people that are different from you. Further, the more your children interact with other children from different cultures, the more they respect and value them.
Going for summer camps is an excellent way of exposing your children to diverse cultures and practices. Whether they interact with other children from different countries or regions, they will learn something new during camp.
When your children learn about people and their different cultures, they’ll be less likely to classify them depending on stereotypes. Remember, everybody is different, and what one person does shouldn’t define an entire community.
Helps Prevent and Overcome Ethnic and Racial Divisions
Ethnic and racial divisions can hurt society. For instance, it could lead to a lack of opportunities, misunderstandings, and in the worst cases, violence. Communities marred by ethnic and racial rivalry often suffer from both financial and human resources. These vices distract communities from finding concrete solutions to their budding issues.
Enhances Effective Communication
Language is a critical part of human communication. However, it’s not the only contributing factor to effective communication. Understanding different cultures enhance communication in varying ways. For instance, culture can influence speaking tendencies such as; figurative language, speed, and presentation.
Culture also contributes to the way people depict their gestures and body language. Meeting and interacting with people allows you to diversify your communication and look at the world from a different perspective.
Benefits of Communication Among People from Different Cultures
Communication boosts your credibility and trust and makes you vocal about your culture and beliefs. There are numerous benefits of communicating with people from different cultures. Connecting with people from other countries helps you build an appropriate personal life.
Mastering the art of effective communication makes you more productive while allowing you to maintain healthy relationships with your friends and peers. Again, understanding other cultures promote your intelligence, verbal fluency, and awareness.
Communicating with people from different cultures exposes you to various essential skills like problem-solving and stress management skills. You may want to meet people from other cultures to connect with the fast-evolving world, learn their practices, acquire new methods of executing tasks, and understand them from a personal point of view.
Creates Opportunity to Meet New People
There are different ways of meeting new people. For instance, participate in various celebrations, attend camp, visit people from diverse cultures, and celebrate special days. This enables students, especially, to meet, interact with, and make new friends. This is an ideal way of expanding a student’s social circle and creating room for them to learn about different cultures.
Exposes you to New Experiences
Interacting with different cultural backgrounds allows you to understand and appreciate other people’s ethnicity. What’s more, you will also learn invaluable stories from one another and master the art of appreciating your own culture from a different perspective. Engaging in multicultural experiences allows you to participate in new activities, taste new food, and experience a vast range of things away from your comfort zone.
Children can get exposed through; sampling new cuisine, participating in different cultural celebrations and listening to stories from their peers from other countries. Further, engaging in various activities such as art or learning how to play a new musical instrument. Exposure to new things helps children to explore the world better.
Why Should You Learn Different Cultures?
Learning and understanding different cultures are critical in day-to-day life. Here are the reasons why you should be conversant with diverse cultures.
They are Interesting
Learning about other cultures is fascinating. Today we live in a digital world where children spend most of their time with their gadgets. To discourage a sedentary lifestyle, expose your children to different cultures from an early stage.
Sending your children to camp is one way of achieving this. While on camp, your children will be exposed to various culture-promoting activities. Having hands-on experience is better than reading or even watching the same on television.
It Stimulates the Mind
Being exposed to culture-learning opportunities stimulates your mind and helps you think in diverse ways. It’s an ideal way of challenging your thought development and enhancing how you refine information.
It Promotes Understanding
Lots of problems can arise from misunderstandings, especially because we live in a multicultural world. By learning and understanding different cultures, you understand why people do things the way they do. When you identify with other people, you sympathize with their situation. This facilitates understanding and prevents misunderstandings.
You understand various ways of doing things.
Cultural practices shouldn’t be the reason why people oppress one another. While discarding some practices is impossible, some sections of different cultures need to be renounced. Learning about diverse cultures helps you realize that there are numerous approaches to life, and you may not be the best.
Many times, interacting with people from different cultures helps you view life from a different perspective. When you learn about other cultures, you establish new ways of thinking and approaching and solving problems.
You become more prepared to cope with the Ever-Changing World
In today’s techno-savvy times, the world is rapidly becoming smaller. As people travel far and wide, there are high chances that you will encounter people with varying cultures. You’ll need to master the art of tolerating each other. Remember, you’ll also want people to handle you, and the best way of achieving this is by understanding.
This plays a significant role in living in an all-around community and making you a versatile human being. If your children are going to camp, they’ll need to learn about other cultures to avoid misunderstandings. Learning about other people’s customs and cultures gives enriches the children’s experience everywhere they go.
What’s the Relationship Between Language and Culture?
Language enables you to express your feelings and thoughts, facilitates communication, and allows you to exchange knowledge with others. To fully master a different language, you’ll need to understand the culture. It’s worth noting that to understand a different culture, you should strive to study the terminology associated with the culture.
This is attributed to the fact that language is highly dependent on various factors. They include the ever-changing customs, values, and views of the people who speak them. Remember, language mirrors the beliefs and values of a culture and our perception of the world. The difference between two cultures can be expressed through their languages, and understanding the differences helps you relate with people better.
Does Understanding Different Cultures Promote Growth?
Yes. Knowing a particular culture helps you become connected to a community. You may want to support this community by:
Engaging in new experiences away from your comfort zone
Learning their traditions and beliefs
Applying the skills you learn in various aspects of your own culture.
By learning about other cultures, you will have:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity
Learning about other cultures is similar to understanding diverse languages. Once you make an effort to learn and connect with a specific culture, you will have an easy time improving your skills on the go.
Having cultural sensitivity to a particular culture enables you to be more aware of a wide range of cultures. Cultural awareness encourages you to gather more information about diverse communities and inspires you to discuss your culture with interested parties.
Ability to Re-assess Biases
A cross-cultural experience makes you more conscious of your actions, such as the words you utter, your thoughts, and your dressing style. It also enables you to rethink your background and establish where you may have learned culturally insensitive opinions and habits. By admitting personal biases and being ready to change your views, you start appreciating people from diverse groups for who they are.
Remember, adopting cultural diversity is critical for societal and personal development. Understanding etiquette rules from various parts of the globe allows you to connect with others better.
Whether you are visiting New York, Japan, or any other aspect of the world, these rules will come in handy to help you connect with others better. They will also facilitate effective decision-making practices.
There are various cultures, practices, beliefs, and norms in the world. Teaching children how to be culturally conscious and respectful of others prepares them to face the world. It’s an ideal way of reminding children that what they are conversant with may not always be the right way.
By interacting with diverse groups from different cultures, children will have an easy time interacting and making new friends. Further, they will be able to solve culturally-based issues before they crop up.
Guidelines in Place to Guarantee Safety in Summer Camps During Covid
These safety guidelines are applicable for both overnight and day camps. Every camping facility should adhere to the CDC safety protocols. Remember, these safety measures will help lower the spread of Covid-19 among camp staff and campers. According to the American camp association in Georgia, all camp administrators should strive to reduce risks for all attendants. These guidelines include:
· Wearing Masks Properly
If any campers or camp staff have been fully vaccinated, they will not need to wear masks during summer camp. However, this depends on the state, federal, tribal, territorial, or local laws. Campers above two years should always wear masks indoors and outdoors unless they are eating or swimming. All camp staff, especially those that facilitate camp activities daily, should wear double masks. Doing so lowers the risk of spreading Covid-19.
· Focus on Outdoor Activities
Covid-19 is a high-risk respiratory disease whose chances of spreading increase when people are stuck indoors. As a result, world health experts and professionals from the American academy of pediatrics recommend outdoor activities to lower the risk of Covid-19. Spending time outdoors allows campers sufficient space to guarantee physical distancing while creating a safer environment for the kids.
· Maintaining Physical Distance
According to the CDC officials, summer camps should adopt the “cohorting” system. Here, staff and campers are placed in pod-like classes and remain there whenever possible. This system helps reduce risk among large groups. In addition, everyone inside the cohorts must maintain a 3-feet physical distance from one another.
· Adoption of Testing and Monitoring Practices
Some summer camp facilities conduct testing and monitoring examinations on the staff members and campers. These assessments include temperature checks every morning. CDC officials say that people who are not yet vaccinated should get regular Covid-19 tests.
· Enhanced Hand Hygiene
Summer camp organizers should provide various handwashing stations complete with soap and running water. Campers and camp staff should clean their hands regularly where possible. In addition, the use of hand sanitizers should be encouraged during off-site activities.
· Thorough Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Facility Maintenance Practices
All shared rooms and surfaces such as the dining hall, cabin bunks, and game rooms should be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned daily. Facilities should be well-arranged to facilitate sufficient ventilation and social distancing where possible.
Additional Guidelines for Campers Attending Overnight Camps
Camp organizers request attendants to isolate or quarantine for fourteen days before embarking on the summer camp trip. Campers traveling from abroad through rail, air, or buses should follow the set local travel regulations. Remember, some countries require travelers to have additional preventive Covid-19 tests and adhere to isolation, according to the New York Times.
· Adopt a Contingency Plan to handle Emergency Sickness
Some campers may use shared transport services which may expose them to the Covid-19 virus. As a result, camp organizers and supervisors should have a laid down quarantine plan to handle possible emergencies.
· Contact Tracing
Should the camp experience Covid-19 infections, the camp administrators will need to contact and work together with the local or state public health officials to facilitate:
The isolation of people with Covid-19 related symptoms
Testing of people with Covid-related symptoms
Quarantining of all close contacts of individuals with Covid-related symptoms
Alert family members of all kids attending camp
Remember, fully vaccinated people with no Covid-related symptoms do not require quarantine. However, this depends on the local, state, or federal regulations.
Is Sending Your Child to Summer Camp During the Pandemic Risky?
The possibility of campers contracting Covid-19 depends on the viral level of the infectious disease within a specific area. Leverage the following tips to determine the risk level of your preferred summer camp facility before the trip.
· Understand the Prevailing Limits on Crowds
The CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is against large crowds. Remember, these regulations may vary from one region to the other. Determine the safety measures within the summer camp area and get details about gathering sizes before sending your child on a summer camp trip.
· Determine the Coronavirus Cases in the Area
What is the Coronavirus situation in your locality? Are the numbers dropping, increasing, or stagnant? Even when your locality has not been affected by the virus, you want to consider the summer camp region, especially if your child is going abroad. Contact the health department within your locality to obtain this information. You may also want to check different resourceful websites and local newspapers for detailed information.
· Ask Questions With an Emphasis on Safety
Whether you want to send your child to your favorite summer camp or want to try a new location, emphasize safety and consider the cons and pros. Before choosing your ideal summer camp facility, you want to understand:
The number of campers allowed in the facility.
The regulations on group sizes? How many campers will be in one group? Will small groups have the same supervisor?
The camp’s operating program. Is it running under full or partial capacity arrangement? Does it offer both day and sleep-away camp services?
What about physical distancing? How does the facility plan to achieve the three to six feet apart from a physical distance during naps, activities, and mealtimes? Does the facility have sufficient areas and rooms to maintain the social distancing rules?
What are the pickup and drop-off arrangements for day campers?
Determine steps the camping facility has in place to prevent the spread of the virus while campers are in attendance.
Health Monitoring Practices
How do the facility monitor staff members and campers during the camping period? What procedures do they have in place to isolate ill individuals? What communication method will they use to alert you if your kid falls sick?
What to Lookout for in Summer Camps Amid the Pandemic?
Seek answers to the following questions before sending your child to a summer camp facility during the pandemic.
· What Measures has the Camp Adopted to Ensure Campers Adhere to Covid-19 Safety Regulations?
Camps should adopt age-appropriate strategies to ensure campers practice social distancing, hand hygiene, and wear masks when necessary. Maintaining these practices can be a difficult task for young kids, and camp staff members should be ready to remind them often.
· Will most Activities Take Place Outdoors or Indoors?
Outdoor activities allow campers to enjoy the fresh air and give them enough room to adhere to physical distancing rules. Further, they lower the risk of spreading and contracting Covid-19—further, the outdoors enabling campers to experience nature which boosts their overall and mental health. However, camp organizers should clean and disinfect playing items and surfaces every day to prevent kids from contracting germs.
· What if a Camper or Staff Member Gets Sick?
Camps should adopt a robust plan for measures to take should anyone start experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. The program should align with the state or local public health regulations and policies on responding to and reporting possible Covid-19 cases.
· Is there Ready Support for Campers who require Specialized Health Care?
Camp directors and organizers should strive to meet every child’s needs. If your kid requires specialized health care, consult your pediatrician and the camp organizers to determine the ideal accommodation package for them.
· How will Meal and Snack Times Work?
Where possible, kids should carry their own meals, especially if they will be attending day camp. Camps should have separate eating areas for different small groups. This arrangement is less risky than eating in cafeterias or dining halls. Campers should always carry their own water bottles.
Considerations to Make Before Sending Your Child to Summer Camp Today
With the advent of vaccination, this summer promises to be better than last summer, especially now that campers above 12 years old can get the Covid-19 vaccine. What are some of the things that parents should consider before releasing their children for summer camp? Read on to find out.
· Understand Safety Protocols the Summer Camp has Adopted to Protect Campers from Covid-19
Recently, the CDC announced a detailed and updated guide for overnight and day summer camps. The guide highlighted various fundamental principles. For example, it recommended that all eligible camp staff members and campers should get the Covid-19 vaccine.
If some camp staff and campers are unvaccinated, the CDC recommended enhanced physical distance and outdoor activities, reduced capacity, and enhanced ventilation in indoor areas. Further, the CDC recommended wearing masks indoors and within some outdoor situations.
Determine the strategies that your preferred camping facility has adopted to adhere to these requirements. Remember, many of these regulations apply for overnight and day camps.
· Determine Risk Factors and Get the Vaccine
Parents should think about the specific risk factors for each potential camper and organize vaccination for eligible children. Remember, if your child is ineligible for vaccination and has underlying health complications like congenital heart illness or asthma, they may be at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19. If your child has a weak immune system and has not been vaccinated, then remaining at home would be ideal for protecting them from the virus.
· Find Out How Camp Activities during the Pandemic Will Differ From Pre-pandemic Times
Some camp practices will not be applicable during summer camp, especially for unvaccinated campers. For example, health experts have advised against full-packed rooms where campers converge and engage in song and dance. While campers will be allowed to sing, they can only do so outdoors.
Parents and other outsiders may be barred from the camp premises, while camp staff may have to remain within the camp premises until the camp is over. Some of the fun and exciting activities involving campers competing against one another will be highly discouraged. Camps will need to modify various camp activities to meet the requirements of various health organizations aimed at reducing the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Many camping facilities have canceled day camps, and you want to confirm the arrangements in place before planning a trip for your child. Understand how the camp intends to ensure that campers maintain the required physical distancing while at the facility.
· Find out what will Happen Should Your Child Get Sick
Camp policies will vary from one facility to the other. For example, should your child develop covid related symptoms while on day camp, the facility will isolate them before alerting you. Covid-tests under such circumstances are highly recommended, and if the child tests positive, they will only return to the camping facility after 10-14 days or when the symptoms have subsided.
If the child has contracted Covid-19 at the camping facility or other people in your household have contracted the virus, the kid may need to stay in quarantine for approximately 14 days if campers develop Covid-19 symptoms while in an overnight camp, the camp staff should isolate them immediately and organize a Covid-test.
Should the results turn positive, camp staff should transfer the child to a dedicated facility where they can receive specialized medical care. The camp staff should alert you immediately and allow you to either pick your child or allow them to remain at the quarantine facility until they recover.
Remember, campers will still have a fun camp experience regardless of all the set regulations.
· Determine Sleepaway Camp Regulations
If your child is attending a sleep-away camp, be sure to seek answers to the following questions.
Does the camping facility have medical staff, and do they have specialized training to handle Covid-19 related complications?
How will you contact me in case of an emergency?
Is there a hospital or healthcare facility nearby?
Will campers and camp staff require quarantining before and after camp?
Making the Final Decision
Remember, you hold the decision on whether to release your child for overnight hor day camp. Consider the child’s unique risk factors before making the final decision. If your family has a higher risk of Covid-19 and related complications, you may want to suspend any summer camp plans until the situation improves.
If your child requires specialized healthcare, consult their pediatrician before sending them to camp. If you choose to send your child to summer camp, ensure they understand the following:
Thorough hand washing practices. Train them child, and have them practice handwashing with soap and running water.
Teach them how to wear masks properly and understand the importance of having them on for extended periods.
Demonstrate how physical distancing operates.
Remind them of the importance of proper respiratory etiquette. Children should sneeze or cough into a tissue, discard it, and wash their hands.
Teach them the importance of following the directions set by the camp supervisors.
If your child is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination, let them get fully vaccinated before embarking on the summer camp trip.
Ensure the camping facility has adopted safety protocols to reduce the spread of Covid-19 within the facility.
Ensure the camp has in place robust measures to handle any Covid-19 cases should they arise.
Campers will still have fun despite the strict regulations aimed at protecting them against the virus.
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