Sunday Snippet: Tips for Camp Prep Success!
With school nearing an end and the first session of Camp WeHaKee less than a month away, this is the time for campers and their parents to begin preparing for a successful camp experience. There is a lot to think about and it can become a bit overwhelming, so that is why we have put together these tips to help every camper be prepared for all camp has to offer! We provide all of our camp families with our WeHaKee Camp Guide to help answer many concerns and offer information to be better prepared for the WeHaKee experience. Just in case, you can download your own WeHaKee Camp Guide by clicking HERE (In Espanol?? Click HERE).
Deciding What to Bring~
It can be hard to figure out exactly what you’ll need at camp, but the most important thing is you will want to bring comfortable clothes and have what you will need for the activities you will be enjoying. And don’t forget to bring what you will need in the showerhouse! We recommend bringing some sort of shower caddy (an ice cream pail will work well!). And you will want to do this without overpacking! We’ve put together a check-off list for ‘what to bring’ and you can get it by clicking HERE.
It can be hard to know exactly what to bring, so that is why we have put together a ‘What To Bring’ list in our WeHaKee Camp Guide. It covers not only what clothes to bring, but what will she will need for the beach & pool, various activities, for the showerhouse and more. For a printable checklist, click HERE. To help avoid overpacking and last minute anxieties, you may wish ‘practice’ packing a week or so before she arrives. Then go discuss what she will really need and what she can do without.
Communicating Between Home and Camp~
It may seem like an unreasonable sacrifice, but being without a phone, ipod or computer at camp is really pretty easy to do. There are so many things to do that you can’t usually do at home that you’ll be too busy to miss them! If you have do social media, you may want to create a clever post letting your virtual friends know that you’ll be offline for a bit, but will return with many new tales to tell! But you can still communicate with your friends and family by writing letters! Maybe practice a letter or two at home before you leave – try writing your parents about how your day wnet and what you hope to do tomorrow. You’ll find it’s pretty easy and acutally kind of fun! And if you’re not sure how to address and envelope, check with your parents – they’ll be happy to show you!
With our hyper-connected world, camp provides some very necessary unplugged time away from cell phones, tablets, ipods and computers. But communication can still happen. Letter writing has become a lost art, but camp is a great place to learn this valuable skill! Consider having the camper write a ‘practice’ letter home (perhaps have them write about their day at school). Don’t forget to teach them how to address and envelope, too! Not sure how that’s done, click HERE for a refresher! And don’t forget to pack envelopes, paper and stamps to help encourage letter wirting behavior!
Staying Healthy & Safe at Camp~
We have a wonderful health center at camp called the BandAid! You will have a chance to visit there your soon after you arrive when our nurse will check in with you. The nurse will also keep any medicines you may have and make sure you get what you need when you need it! And if you are not feeling well or perhaps have experienced a bump or bruise, the nurse will be there to help you get back to normal. We do our best to make sure you don’t miss out of all the fun at WeHaKee!
Our health center (the BandAid!) is staffed day and night to provide care as needed for all of our campers and staff. All camper medicines are kept safe in the BandAid and our nurse will dispense them as directed or as needed. If you daughter experiences an illness or minor scrape or bump, the nurse will evaluate the best course of action. If the illness or injury appears more than tummy trouble or bumps and bruises, we will be in contact with you to keep you informed and updated.
Missing Home and Adjusting to Camp Life~
If you feel sad once in a while at camp, that is normal – it means you love your family! And that’s a good thing! Most campers will miss there family now and then, but as you adjust to camp life you will realize that your family wants you to have a great time and with all the fun activities that usually isn’t very hard to do. And our counselors will help you work through those sad feelings so you can realize they won’t last and soon you’ll be out having fun with your camp friends!
Most campers will feel a bit of sadness now and then as they think about missing home and family. And as we said, that is a good thing. If a camper has a more difficult time overcoming those sad feelings, our staff our equipped to help them work through the sadness. But more importantly, we create a culture where our counselors help each child acquire a sense of belonging the moment they arrive which reduces homesickness at WeHaKee tremendously!
You can help prepare her by acknowleding her fears and anxieties, but focusing more on the fun and excitement she will experience. Avoid telling her she can come home or call if she doesn’t feel happy, this tends to significantly increase the chances of homesickness. And know that if your child has difficulties adjusting to camp life, we will call you sooner than later so that we can strategize together to help your daughter work through the challenges of thos feelings and have a happy and successful experience!
Some Other Things to Consider
Before Arriving at WeHaKee
Where will my daughter stay at WeHaKee Camp for Girls?
If we say so ourselves, we have some of the nicest and most comfortable cabins found at any camp. They have each been remodeled inside and out. They are well lit, well ventilated and even have a ceiling fan! The main area contains four bunk beds (with twin-size mattresses), room for up to eight girls along with the adjacent CP (counselor area) where your daughter’s two counselors will live.
What about bathroom and shower facilities at WeHaKee Camp for Girls?
We have four completely modern shower houses within a few steps of each cabin. Showers are private and each shower stall has a private individual changing area. They are professionally cleaned daily.
What is the weather like at WeHaKee Camp for Girls?
It is exceptionally pleasant and comfortable throughout our summer season. Highs generally are in the low 80’s (26 C) and evenings may cool into the low 60’s or upper 50’s (14-16 C). We may see a few days in the 90’s (30+ C) as well as a night or two in the 40’s (10 C). June through August is generally dry and sunny, but an occasional shower or storm may occur during your daughter’s stay at camp.
What if there is severe weather at WeHaKee Camp for Girls?
When storms are forecast, multiple weather web sites are monitored by the directors day and night to allow us to have plenty of time to prepare and react. Weather radios are placed in several locations throughout camp.
The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department also includes us in their automated calling service alerting camp when severe weather may be approaching the county. WeHaKee is also equipped with several below-ground storm shelters which can easily and safely shelter all of our community when necessary.
What about bugs at WeHaKee Camp for Girls?
Yes, we are in the north woods of Wisconsin so mosquitoes, flies and other annoying insects can appear. However, camp’s location is kept well-groomed, reducing the areas for insects to thrive. In addition, we are located on a ridge allowing us to experience frequent breezes, keeping the bugs away! None-the-less, we do recommend that your daughter pack a repellant spray or lotion for occasional use in the evening.
Can I talk with my daughter on the phone?
It is important to remember that camp is an ideal place for your daughter to increase her self-confidence and independence. Phone conversations can significantly impede this growth and development. Parents are always welcome to call or e-mail the camp directors at any time to check on their child’s well being. So, if you miss your daughter or just want to know how she is doing, feel free to get in touch with us. However, despite best intentions, direct phone contact with campers nearly always escalates or intensifies homesickness and is generally discouraged.
Can we send food or candy to camp?
Candy and other snacks may seem like fun items to have at camp, but their presence creates challenges in maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all of our campers. With food sensitivities and serious allergies, many snacks can pose a significant hazard to many of our campers. These items can also be very attractive to insects and other pests – we really do not want uninvited ‘guests’ in the cabins.
We consistently hear from our campers that there is plenty of food at our meals including snack and dessert items. And each camper has access to snacks and beverages each afternoon at the Snack Window at the Trading Post (at no extra charge).
By sending your daughter to camp, you are providing her with a gift that will help her grow in remarkable ways, ways that will positively impact her life when she heads to college and even in her chosen career. We cannot guarantee that every moment will be perfect and several will definitely challenge her. And camp provides many opportunities for healthy and safe risk taking, such as trying things never done before, meeting new people, doing things in front of others, and so on. All of this leads to great growth and development. And through that your daugher will achieve greater independence and resilience that will only enhance her abilities to thrive beyond camp! Congratulations on giving your daugher one of the best experiences of her life!