Some of the most special summer camp memories kids talk about are of the “summer” friends made during the long, hot days of swimming, sailing, crafts, campfires and cabin shenanigans. If it’s your first summer away at camp, you may be wondering just how easy it is to make new friends at sleepaway camp. Of course, there are plenty of variables to the question, including whether you already know a friend or neighbor at camp, how outgoing you are and how willing you are to go to a camp counselor for a bit of advice.
Your Counselor is an Important Friend
One of the first people you’ll meet at camp will be your cabin counselor. He or she will be in charge of your little group and will be an important first friend at camp. Best of all, counselors are not just people who enjoy working with kids, they are very likely also former campers and are also well-trained in helping kids adjust to camp and meeting new people. Get to know your counselor and, if needed, ask for advice on how to meet other campers more easily. They’ll love to help!
Smile and Say Hi
As you may find all through life, just smiling and saying hello can get you far. It gives an impression of a happy, friendly person who is fun to be around, and the other person will very likely smile back and start chatting. It’s a good idea as well to have some sort of conversation starter in mind after that first hello. Depending on what’s going on at the time, you could, for instance, ask if they’re as scared as you are about scaling the high ropes course, whether they know when the first campfire is going to be or how the swimming program figures out levels. Since you’re both campers, there’s plenty of common ground to explore.
Use your time at camp well and participate in as many electives and games as possible. From theater to Gaga ball, camp is full of activities and programs perfect for making new friends. Being a part of a play or skit, for example, means you’re automatically a vital cog in the wheel of pulling together a cool production, a great way to bond with new people. Camp games and sports, which emphasize everyone playing and having a good time, are also a super way to get to know other campers. Many budding friendships start over cheering each other on, helping a teammate improve a skill or just laughing over crazy mishaps during color wars or softball tournaments.
Be a Good Friend Yourself
If you want to make lasting new friends, make every effort to be a good friend yourself, whether at summer camp or school. Be kind, loyal and supportive. And be that person who’s always willing to reach out and help someone else, no matter if the kid is “cool” or “popular” or really “shy” and haven’t quite found where they fit. By summer’s end, you and your new camp pals will have tons of amazing shared memories, from daring canoe explorations to campfire hilarity and giggles in the cabin long after dark.
If you’re considering sending your child to an overnight summer camp, be sure to visit our site to learn about Camp Walt Whitman. Located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Camp Walt Whitman offers a safe, nurturing environment in a beautiful mountain setting. Our camp is a coed sleepaway camp, with separate areas for boys and girls. The kids have a blast, and make friendships that can last a lifetime.