Around the Campfire with Laurie: Anxiety is a Call to Action, Not a Sign You Can’t Cope
Happy New Year to all! Can you believe it is January of 2022 already?! It’s amazing how time flies – sometimes very slowly and sometimes at lightning speed. While we at the winter office are bursting with excitement about having our entire camp community back together in Warrensburg this summer, we know that as camp approaches and begins to feel more “real” it sometimes causes nervousness to mix in with excitement for both new and returning campers. Here are a few things to remember…
Nervousness is ok. As Karen Young says, “Anxiety is not a sign they can’t cope. It is a call to action. A call to courage. Sometimes it could be a call to retreat but most often, it is a call to move forward. Supporting children through anxiety isn’t about cutting out their worries, but adding in – adding in your certainty, the felt sense that they will get through this, and the capacity to rest in your strength. Because when we can’t make their worries smaller, we can make our kids bigger.” We could not agree more. When your child expresses anxiety about camp, give them information about camp that will help them feel a sense of control, remind them of all the fun activities, great friends, and supportive adults that are waiting for them at camp, and most importantly, let them hear and borrow YOUR confidence that they can do this and have a phenomenal summer at camp. If you are feeling nervous about camp, call us. We are happy to validate your concerns and reassure you that both you and your child can do this. We’ve got you!
Get them excited about our upcoming camp events! For our New Campers we have our Virtual New Camper events on February 6, they will be hearing from their Camp Big Brother or Big Sister in March, and we have our New Camper Picnic on May 1! For New Parents we have our New Parent Night in April as well. For our Returning Campers we have our outdoor Winterfest Reunion on Saturday, March 12 in Westchester. Details to follow soon. It is also a great time of year for Returning Campers to reach out to camp friends and connect through Facetime and get togethers! All of these events are structured with CEL fun and will be great touchpoints for campers and parents to feel more connected to and excited about camp.
Re-watch our online videos (https://campecholake.com/videos/). Go to our Summer Site on the Parent Dashboard and on our website to look at pictures and videos from Summer 2021. Remind yourself and your campers why you chose Camp Echo Lake, what looked or was fun in the videos, and talk about what they are excited to do at camp this summer! Returning campers can pull out their 2021 Summer Yearbooks and look at familiar faces, fun activities, and spirited special events. Hear your campers worries and help redirect them to excitement as well.
Growth happens just outside your comfort zone. Stepping outside your comfort zone is, by definition, sometimes uncomfortable. But by taking that step and feeling a little discomfort, that is how you grow, learn, and build a strong sense of self efficacy. There is so much to be excited about for Summer 2022… a more “normal” camp experience, friendship, counselor connections with kids, learning new activities, and having an absolutely amazing time! Yes, there may be some worry mixed in there but that is normal and the way we build courage and grow. Your child(ren) can do this. You can do this. Happy New Year to all. Happy Summer to all. We are here for you and can’t wait for our entire camp community to be back together in Warrensburg this summer for a phenomenal seven weeks together!
Warm and Fuzzy Hugs and Kisses,