When it comes to planning for your first time at Camp Erin© Santa Cruz, it is common for campers to be excited -- and a little nervous! -- about attending this adventure-filled, sleepaway camp. Our team put together this helpful guide for parents and campers, to make the Camp Erin prep process simple and easy.
Tip #1: Camp preparation can be a collaborative, bonding experience with your child or teen.
Prepping for camp can be an engaging and positive experience for soon-to-be campers and their parents or guardians. We recommend including them in the planning process. Once you receive the packing list from our team at your individual Camp Erin Family Orientation, you can go on a “camp shopping trip” with your child. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top; it can be a few simple items: a new tube of toothpaste, or a hat, or an outdoor-friendly clothing item to commemorate the experience.
Tip #2: Review the camp adventures that your child will experience.
In most ways, Camp Erin© Santa Cruz is like many other sleepaway camps. Poised in the rustic Redwoods, the weekend is full of activities, including archery, swimming, zip lining, and arts & crafts. Campers stay in a real 8-person cabin with bunk beds, which are grouped by age, so they will be among peers and two Camp Buddies per cabin.
Tip #3: Make friends in advance... Meet other campers at the pre-camp party!
“Will I make friends?” is among the top questions we receive about Camp Erin Santa Cruz. The answer is: Absolutely. Both shy and outgoing campers will find many opportunities, and support, throughout the entire weekend. Through this experience, campers realize that they are not alone in their grief. Sometimes, when processing a loss, one can feel lonely or removed from their classmates or peers. Camp Erin provides a safe and expressive outlet for mourning; they can honor their loved ones, find healthy ways to express their grief, build their emotional toolbox, and make friends who understand.
Tip #4: If your child has never slept away from home, try it out in advance.
For children who have never been away from home, consider encouraging them to experience a sleepover outside of their home before camp. They can spend the night at a friend’s house, or a family member’s house, which helps build confidence and secureness for campers
Tip #5: Pack together.
You’ll be provided with a full packing list after your Family Orientation. Working off that list, you can pack with your child. It helps to make sure clothes have been worn and washed so they are cozy to wear. If your child has a comfort object, they are welcome to bring it to campRemind them that they will have lots of support at camp, and a Camp Buddy will help them out, too.
Tip #6: You may be grieving too.
For many parents and guardians, it can be difficult to find time to take care of yourself. This weekend may be an opportunity to connect with friends, talk a walk and reflect on what the impact of the loss is for you. We always have resources and people to talk to in our Grief Support Program too..
Tip #7: If you have questions, ask away!
We are here for you. Our team is here to address your concerns, and to connect you with the right resources. We also have helpful grief support programs, such as individual therapy, that are tailored to children and teens in grief. You can call us at 831 430 3000.
Camp Erin is an uplifting, unforgettable weekend of fun, friends, and healing.
Sign up your camper today!
To access our application, click here. For more information, please call Julie Lockwood Gray at (831) 430-3090 or email CampErin@HospiceSantaCruz.org.