In operation since 1922, Camp Waziyatah in Southern Maine knows that kids can be as nervous about attending their first multi-day, overnight summer camp as they are excited. If your child will be attending camp for the first time this summer, the following suggestions can help you prepare them for what to expect and ensure that their nervousness is the only thing that gets left behind.

Involve your child in the choice of camp. Kids who have played a role in choosing the camp they want to attend are much less likely to be nervous about the experience. Looking at photos or visiting the camp, if possible, can also help remove the anxiety that results from fear of the unknown.

Have a practice session. Before dropping your child off for two weeks at camp, make sure they are comfortable spending one or two nights away from home. A sleepover with friends or a stay with relatives can be a safe and easy way to get kids used to sleeping in a new room and spending time away from you. 

Pack together. Camps like Camp Waziyatah will typically have a comprehensive packing list. Check over the list, purchase supplies, and pack everything together. This is not only a way to build excitement about going to camp, but it also helps your child to know firsthand that they have everything they will need.
Set on 130 acres of land in Southern Maine, Camp Waziyatah is a coed summer camp for children who range in age from 6 to 16. Camp directors Gregg and Mitch Parker oversee a group of skilled counselors and activity supervisors. Counselors participate in extensive pre-camp training and many are graduates of our two-year C.I.T. (Counselors in Training) program.

Most counselors are in their 20s, and they come from varied backgrounds. They are teachers, guidance counselors, and childcare professionals, the camp directors say. Many are former Camp Waziyatah attendees.

What makes a successful camp counselor? Gregg and Mitch Parker list the following qualities:

-- Enthusiasm for working with children
-- Patience and maturity
-- Experience and interest in the activities under supervision
-- Leadership skills and confidence
-- Ability to build relationships
-- Integrity and strong character

All Camp Waziyatah counselors are background checked, trained in safety, and certified activity coaches. Waziyatah counselors come from all over the United States and international locations such as Australia and Europe.