Adjusting to Camp

Can my child meet someone from camp before the session?

The Buddy Program is a way to be connected to another Camp family before the session so your child doesn't feel so alone.  We also encourage families to attend our annual Open House to meet the staff, see the facilities, and feel more comfortable knowing what to expect at Camp.

My child has never been away from home before. How can I prepare him or her for camp?

We would encourage you to bring your child to camp before the start of your child’s session. Open House or Mini Camp (for children ages 4-8) provide opportunities to see the camp, the camp facilities, and meet the staff.  Children will have the opportunity to see the camper cabins where they will sleep, the dining hall where they will eat, and the dispensary where they will receive diabetes related care. They will also have opportunities to participate in some typical camp activities (i.e. free swim, organized games). These opportunities to become more familiar with the camp environment and may help ease some of the child’s concerns. Other ways to prepare your child for camp can include involving them in planning for camp, talking openly about their concerns, having them spend the night at a friend or relatives home, talk about all the fun they will have at camp, and looking at the camp website’s Photo Gallery together.

We also offer the opportunity to register a same age-range sibling without diabetes.  Registration will open to siblings after May 31 1) if there is space available; and 2) the sibling without diabetes is age-appropriate for the session.  Please call to inquire about space before registering a sibling.  For some of the younger children, this option may help alleviate adjustment issues and make the transition to a new environment easier.

We strongly recommend that parents do not tell their child that they can call and come home if they don't like it. Children who are told this have an extremely hard time getting over their homesickness. We want all campers to enjoy their camp experience and feel safe, happy and independent.

 

How do you handle homesickness?

Missing home or being anxious about being away is natural for campers. Mild cases of homesickness are normal when a child is making adjustments in a new environment. The staff here at Camp Ho Mita Koda are well trained to deal with homesickness. Our staff training and orientation specifically addresses homesickness and how to respond appropriately. Staff encourages the campers to participate in ice breaking games upon first arrival in order to help form new friendships with other campers.

The staff deals with homesickness individually based on each campers needs. In unusual cases of persistent homesickness, the Camp Director will communicate with the camper’s parents to determine an appropriate resolution.

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Can I visit during the session?

Visiting is discouraged in order for every camper to have an independent camp experience.  Visits during camp can distract from the campers experience and often will trigger homesickness.  We ask that parents do not visit during camp. You may tour the camp, meet the staff, and see the program areas at Open House, check-in and on the day of departure.

Can my child call me?

We do not permit phone calls during residence camp. If you have a concern about your child during his/her session, please contact the Camp Director.  Calls may be allowed for a special circumstance, for example, a birthday.

Can I send my camper packages or mail?

Campers love to receive mail while they are at camp!  We recommend that you start sending letters or cards 3-4 days before your camper's session begins to ensure delivery while your child is at camp. Please be sure to include your camper’s session number on the envelope. Some parents prefer to bring mail with them to check-in. Mail brought to camp will be held in the camp office and distributed on the date(s) you’ve indicated on the outside of each envelope.

Care packages are permitted. Books, magazines, disposable cameras, stationary, playing cards, games, activity books, and journals make fun gifts.  Please do not send candy, food, gum, or electronic devices. These items are not permitted at camp. Parents can leave pre-made care packages and mail at the camp office during drop off that will be delivered throughout the camp session. Mail and packages can also be sent through the regular mail and will delivered to the campers when it arrives at camp. Parents can use services such as Sealed With A Kiss to order packages.

Can I call my child at Camp?

Phone calls from parents to campers are highly discouraged as this may distract campers from what they are doing at camp, and may lead to homesickness. Phone calls through the camp office are allowed for emergencies or special circumstances.

Who do I call if I have questions while my child is at camp?

Parents are encouraged to talk to the Camp Director through the camp office about any questions they may have about their child while they are at camp.  If parents have any medical questions concerning their children, the Camp Director can transfer them to the dispensary to speak to one of the medical staff members.

Camp Ho Mita Koda

Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

3601 S. Green Rd., #100
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: 216-591-0800 | Fax: 216-591-0320
information@diabetespartnership.org

 

 

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