March 2, 2012

OMG, I Registered my Kid for the Wrong Camp!….and other mistakes to avoid when registering your child for summer camp.

Posted by Melissa Elkins, Office Manager at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp

Sending your child to summer camp, especially for the first time, can be a momentous and emotional experience for any parent. Let’s face it. You pack their gear, drop them off and it is very unlikely that you will hear from them until the day you pick them up. With that in mind, the last thing a parent wants to do is make a mistake that could negatively impact your child’s summer camp experience.

Mistake #1 – Waiting!
If you are like many parents you are already mapping out your child’s entire summer
week by week. And believe it or not, the time to plan – and register – for summer camp is now! Countless parents have already completed registering their children for summer programs and camps. Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp, like many other Long Island summer camps, opens registration on January 1and while it may seem difficult to make that final decision – it really needs to be done now! Please don’t wait! If you are thinking, “Summer is months away. Why would I register now?” Camps, whether on Long Island or elsewhere, fill up fast! Many sessions at Peconic Dunes begin to fill to capacity as early as April. Chances are if you wait until late April or May your child could easily end up on an extensive wait-list and may miss out on getting into camp altogether. Our mantra here is: Don’t wait!

Mistake #2 – Using Paper Registration
Peconic Dunes and most other summer camps have easy-to-use on-line registration…use it! The best thing about registering online is that in doing so your child’s place at camp is immediately reserved. Once you have completed the registration you can have 100% peace of mind knowing it is done and your child is in. Online registration also eliminates the possibility of lost, incorrect or delayed delivery. Each year at Peconic Dunes there are parents who incorrectly believe their child is registered for camp only to find out that we never received their application. By the time they realize it, there are no spaces left for their child at camp. Another huge upside of on-line registration is ecology. When registering online you are saving several pieces of paper. If all families register online you’ll be a part of saving the environment approximately 11,250 sheets of paper and envelopes! That’s equivalent to 1&1/2 trees as well as less toxic production waste going into the atmosphere. So, help yourself (and our planet) by registering online!

Mistake #3 – Mom! My BFF was supposed to be at camp with me and wasn’t!!!!!!
Attending camp with a buddy can make the experience even more awesome. However, if you plan to reg
ister your child so that he or she is coming with a friend, be absolutely positive that the other parent is on board and ready to register at the same time. There is nothing worse than the anticipation of going camp with your BFF only to find out your child’s friend ended up on a wait list or their parent changed their mind and forgot to tell you. At Peconic Dunes, we see this happen each summer. Equally as important as registering at the same time as the best friend, is being unequivocally positive that you are registering your child for the correct camp. While this may sound unlikely and it may not occur often, it does happen and believe me…it’s not pretty! Tears will ensue and while the admin team here at Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp will make every effort to correct this kind of unfortunate situation, due to maximum allowable capacities it is not always possible to remedy.

Mistake #4 – Too Many Ca
bin Requests
“Mom, I want to go to camp and be in the same cabin with Amanda, Mykaela, Katie and Emily.” So what’s the big deal? Well, it actually can be a big deal for us here at Peconic Dunes as well as other Lon
g Island summer camps. Our admin team works very hard to place groups of kids together at camp. After all, we are in the business of making kids happy. Unfortunately, we can’t always please everyone. The above mentioned scenario only involves five girls. How hard could that be? Well, if the cabin fits six campers and two counselors, just stop and think how awful it would be for that one child that would have to be put into a cabin and be the odd one out of a group of five 12-year-old girls. Any child in that situation would have a miserable camp experience.

And don’t forget, kids coming to camp with a large group of friends tend not to make new friends. New friends made at camp historically last for years. Seeing that “camp friend” each summer bestows upon children special memories and experiences shared only with their fellow campers creating that magical camper bond that can last a life time. With all of the above in mind, make decisions and don’t wait!

No comments: