Are your Kids Ready for Camp?

Kid Camp Summer

How do you know if your kids are ready for summer camp?

It’s an important question to ask, especially if you have a younger child who’d be new to the experience. Most discussions of this question focus on whether or not your child is outgoing and ready for the social component of camp. The idea here is that once a child makes friends at camp, they’ll enjoy the activities and be fine away from home. In fact, it’s often hoped that the camp program will help a shy child become more outgoing, more self-confident and independent. It’s true; camp is great for this reason.

Talking with Sarah, the Director of Rockbrook, she also cautions parents to make sure their child is honestly interested in attending camp. “It’s best for it to be her idea,” she says. As parents fondly remember their own summer camp experience, or hear that camp is “good for kids,” they can sometimes push a little too hard and talk their children into the idea, perhaps before they are really ready. “Research camps together and find one that sparks her interest and makes her really want to go. Learn about camps together; listen to her concerns, and with gentle encouragement, you’ll find the right camp,” Sarah suggests. You’ll know she’s ready for camp when it’s her idea and she’s excited to go.

Summer Camp Makes Kids Talented

Summer Camp Kids at Rockbrook

OK, what do these people have in common: Larry Page (co-founder of Google), Condolezza Rice (U.S. Secretary of State), Bob Dylan (musician), Drew Carey (television actor), J.D. Salinger (author), and Katie Couric (journalist)? You might guess, but it’s true; they all went to camp as kids. The list of other famous and influential people who attended or worked at a summer camp is a pretty amazing list. The talent and abilities these folk now famously show, is impressive.

What’s interesting about this is to think how so much of what we become springs from our experiences as kids, how the people we meet, the activities that challenge us, and the accomplishments that validate who we are, can so profoundly inspire who we might become. As summer camp was a part of these talented people’s lives, and as it continues to be for scores of children today, it played some, perhaps even crucial, part in making them so.

How to Play Dizzy Lizzy

Outdoor Kids Game Dizzy Lizzy

Here’s how to play Dizzy Lizzy, a great outdoor game for kids to try. It’s actually a relay, a game where two or more teams race each other while completing some challenging task or overcoming some kind of obstacle.

In this case, members of each team line up and one by one run a ways out to a baseball bat on the ground. There they have to put their forehead on the bat, and keeping the other end on the ground, spin around the bat a few times (usually 3, 4 or 5 times). Needless to say, this makes you quite dizzy, and then comes the most difficult part— running back to your team so the next person can go. It’s always pretty funny to see a dizzy person try to run in a straight line, and pretty fun to try it yourself!

Next time you need a fun outdoor game for kids, give it a try!

P.S. One safety note: Be sure to play on a level, open patch of grass. You don’t want to run into something when you’re that dizzy!

Kindergarten Camp

Kindergarten Children’s Camp Lodge

Rockbrook is a camp for kindergarten children too. How old are the youngest children that attend Rockbrook? That question does come up now and then, and at times the answer is surprising. If a girl has completed kindergraten, she can come to camp, assuming of course both she and her parents are ready for camp. An outgoing and social personality, an excitement for trying new activities, a growing sense of independence and self-conifidence are all helpful qualities. And with encouragment from their parents, there are always a few kindergarteners in our camp sessions. This is why the youngest campers, who we call “juniors,” can be six or even five years old. Rockbrook has a long tradition of camp activities and programs specially suited for children this young.

The stone building in the photo is the Junior Lodge, our assembly building for special Junior Line programs.

Kids Camp in NC

Kids at camp in North Carolina

Rockbrook is a kids camp in NC, that’s for sure, but we have so many kids that come to camp from other states far and wide. Of course, most are in the south— South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Florida —but campers come from the midwest (e.g. Ohio!) and the northeast (Washington, DC and Brooklyn, NY for example) as well. Most campers drive to camp with their parents, so being within a day’s drive is the norm. Still, plenty of kids end up flying to camp when they live too far away to drive (like in California!). North Carolina is just a great NC location for a kids camp, even if (and especially if!) you don’t live here.

Take a look at our location page, and learn even more about this area of North Carolina.