By Guest Blogger Hannah Baucom, Office Manager at Merriwood Christian Camp in Clemmons
Spring is the time of year where parents begin finalizing summer plans for their children, if they haven’t already. For some, this means just one week away from home. For others, each week might be scheduled with different activities, camps, swimming lessons, sports, and playdates.
Some parents are so ready for things to be back to their pre-COVID routine, while others are still hesitant about exposure and their comfort level hasn’t quite returned.
Parents are wondering if it’s possible for their child to attend a summer youth camp this summer safely, while still maintaining the essence of the camp experience without compromising the quality of activities offered as well as social interaction opportunities. All of this is understandable.
Consider Results of Parent Survey
Christian Camp and Conference Association (3CA) conducted a nation-wide survey in February, of parents who have sent their children to Christian summer camps. One question asked was concerning what parents thought was the most important thing in the camp experience this summer. The top answers, in this order, were: 1) a place to unplug, 2) a place for my child to connect with others, 3) an outdoor setting, 4) a faith-based environment, 5) a place to get exercise, 6) a place to meet child-care needs, and 7) safety.
Camp programs that can incorporate all these aspects are so needed!
Merriwood Christian Camp, in Clemmons, runs a program that will, as always, will aim to keep campers as safe and healthy as possible while still maintaining the camp experience with fun, outdoor adventure, social connections and relationship building, biblical lessons, and a quality program.
Consider the Mission of the Camp
Merriwood’s mission is to help campers find and pursue life in Jesus. Their structured program keeps campers from getting bored, lonely, or homesick and focuses on the camper/counselor relationship (as opposed to just supervision from afar). Age-specific programming enables the camper can attend camp from their rising 1st grade year through their graduating senior year and experience new things at new levels each time. Because Merriwood is located on 68 acres of their own land, campers attending enjoy a true camp experience with all that nature and the outdoors have to offer.
Consider What Activities the Camp Has to Offer
Younger elementary day campers will rotate through activities like hayride, nature trail walks, balloon animals and face painting, fishing, swimming, chapel, paddle boat rides, kickball, parachute games, and playground time. Snack and lunch are provided.
Overnight campers will experience cabin unity time/team building, chapels, skills classes options (archery, riflery, canoeing, outdoor cooking, model rocketry, outdoor survival, acting, high ropes course, soccer, volleyball, 9-hole disc golf), recreation time (kickball variations, volleyball variations, gaga, arena soccer, blob and water trampoline/water obstacle course, swimming, boats, and gym games) and more!
Consider Further Research
Parents with specific questions should be able to find COVID-19 protocol on the summer camp’s website as well as general details about the program, a sample schedule, and frequently asked questions. Those with questions relating to how special diets are handled, homesickness issues, exceptional needs, roommate or buddy request questions, or other specific concerns should contact the camp office to get their questions answered and to determine if that camp is a place that can adequately meet their child’s needs. Campers who are hesitant (or deciding between a day or overnight camp) might benefit from a private tour so they can see the lay out of the camp, talk through a tentative day schedule, visit the cabin housing, and see all the activities they can partake in.
Don’t Wait Too Long
If you are considering a camp experience for your child this summer, check out Merriwood Christian Camp today online and on social media to see what we’re up to! Weeks are filling up, so plan to register soon!
*Sponsored by Merriwood Christian Camp