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Preparing for Camp

Parents and first-time campers experience a wide range of feelings as the first day of camp approaches. Along with excitement and anticipation, there may also be a feeling of anxiety. The following are suggestions to help make the most of this important transition. 


Tips for a Successful Week at Camp
  • Use positive messages about camp and discuss the daily routine, expectations, and any concerns your camper may have. This is a good time to go through the camp website to look at pictures and useful information.

  • Practice overnight visits with friends or relatives to help your camper be more comfortable staying away from home.

  • Packing together can provide a special time to talk about the wonderful opportunities camp has to offer. It also helps make the camper feel more prepared for the week ahead and gives them a sense of independence.

  • Pack pre-addressed letters for your camper to send home to make communicate with friends and family easy.



Homesickness is a natural feeling experienced by many campers. The key is to support your camper in staying at camp even if they are worried about missing home. When parents promise to pick their camper up at any time, the camper tends to focus on that rather than overcoming their homesickness. For most campers, homesickness passes after a day or two. Occasionally, a camper will write a distress letter the first or second night of camp before they are really engaged in the camp program. These letters are common and are usually followed by a brief “Camp is great” postcard, or no letters at all because they are busy having a great time! If you receive a letter from your camper expressing homesickness, please contact the Camp Director for more information. The Camp Director will check in with your camper’s counselors and let you know how they are progressing. If your camper is homesick for a consistent 24-hour period, the Camp Director will call home to update parents on the situation and to collaborate on a plan. 

Mudhike Clothes

The mudhike is a chest-deep swamp of thick mud that is the embodiment of Camp Manitou’s activities! We find that old swimsuits work the best but old clothes can be worn as well. Old shoes are the best option for footwear but many people use sandals with straps. Footwear should be inexpensive since they are often lost in the mud. Let your camper know if you would like them to keep any of their mudhike clothes otherwise they will be thrown away. 

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