Resources for Families & Campers
By now you have received the official announcement from Marc Koch, our Executive Director, that we have canceled our sleep-away camps at Fairview Lake for the summer of 2020. Along with our camp families and friends, we share the disappointment and sadness a summer without camp brings.
We also recognize you will need to break this difficult news to your family, and we want to help support you as a parent. You know your child best, and you are the best person to talk with them about what this summer will look like.
Here are some resources and tips to help guide you:
1. Acknowledge their feelings.
Your child may experience a range of emotions – anger, sadness, grief and disappointment should be expected. For many children, these feelings may be overwhelming and frustrating. It is perfectly normal and okay for them to have them, and your reassurance and acknowledgement will help them tremendously.
2. Ask them what would help.
Their initial reaction might be to say “nothing” or “I don’t know” (we’ve all been there). Once they do open up, some suggestions might be: Participating in a virtual campfire or event hosted by Fairview Lake; sharing with you some of their best memories or skills or making a camp meal (grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch is a big favorite); looking at photographs from past summers or connecting with camp friends. Remember that it may take time for your child to process their feelings, so let them lead.
3. Check-in with them.
The loss of camp may not set in immediately, so don’t be afraid to check in and see how they are doing in a few days. Some kids might react immediately, while others will not acknowledge the loss for a few days or weeks. If you’re worried that this is bigger than you feel you can handle, reach out to their doctor or another health professional for more ways to help them cope.
4. Look for more resources for your whole family.
Camp is not just an activity for kids, and we know that you’re hurting too! Here are some trusted resources from experts in their fields:
- How to Talk to Your Children When Bad Things Happen: This article offers help with one of the biggest challenges of parenthood, explaining bad things in the world.
- Supporting Wellbeing During the Covid-19 Crisis: The Center for Wellbeing in Children and Families at the University of Washington has put together a big resource for parents.
- Supporting Families During COVID-19: The Child Mind Institute shares supportive and comprehensive resources for parents on a number of coronavirus-related topics.
- Parenting in a Pandemic: Tips to Keep the Calm at Home: These tips from the American Academy are designed to help families through the current crisis.
- Teens & COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak: The American Academy of Pediatrics offers information to support parents of teens during a time of crisis.
- 51 Mindfulness Activities for Kids: These tips and activities can teach elementary-aged students how to practice mindfulness.
What’s next for Camp?
We are working diligently to create opportunities for families and campers both virtually and in-person! We are excited to announce that we are launching a new Family Cabin Rental program this summer – you can enjoy camp as a family for a week or more when you stay in one of our cabins. We will have a variety of activities, and your child can also attend Blue Mountain Day Camp, right here at Fairview!
Finally, we want you to know that we remain dedicated to providing support, love and camp magic to our families and friends. Hearing from our camp families brightens our days. Feel free to reach out to say hello. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to camp!
Yours in Camping,
The Fairview Lake YMCA Camp Staff,
Marc, Jennie, Alison, Matt, Emily, Michele, Liam, Don, Shawn, Buddy, Kevin & Sunshine