Page 8 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • March 25, 2009 SCHOOLS & CAMPS Millions of children will get their first taste of independence at a resident or day camp this summer. More than 12,000 camps across the country are preparing to give children the experience of a lifetime—and parents should be doing the same. Preparation is the key to a successful summer at camp. Not only does a child need to be prepared, parents also need to prepare themselves. “Sending your child away to camp is a major milestone for most parents—one that is often marked by excitement, anticipation, and perhaps even some anxiety,” states Bob Ditter, licensed clinical social worker, specializing in child, adolescent, and family therapy. Parents think that if their child is far away from home, he or she will be more anxious. In reality, it is usually the parents who suffer concern for having their child away from home. Most children come into the camp setting and immediately begin to develop a support network—and the distance from home simply doesn’t matter. “One of the most important things parents can do to help prepare children for camp is to talk with them before they go,” says Ditter. Ditter makes the following suggestions to help families prepare for camp: Prepare for camp together. Decisions about camp — like where to go and what to pack — should be a joint venture, keeping in mind the child’s maturity. If a child feels a part of the decision-making process, his/her chances of having a positive experience are improved. Talk about concerns. As the first day of camp nears, some children experience uneasiness about going away. Encourage children to talk about these feelings. Communicate confidence in the child’s ability to handle being away from home. Have realistic expectations. Camp, like the rest of life, has high and low points. Not every moment will be filled with wonder and excitement. Encourage children to have a reasonable and realistic view of camp. Discuss both the ups and downs they may experience. Ask the hard questions. Ask the camp director as many questions as you need to before camp begins in order to feel comfortable. For more information. Read Bob Ditter's complete article "Talking With Your Child About Their First Time at Camp." Preparation is key to successful summer at camp When families make the decision to offer their children the benefits of a camp experience, they are giving them the opportunity to grow and develop in a caring, positive environment that is safe and fun. With careful planning and preparation, a camp experience can be an experience of a lifetime. The American Camping Association helps families find ACA-accredited camps that can serve almost any interest, ability, budget, age, and personal schedule through a widely used Online Camp Database and an annually published Guide to ACA-Accredited Camps. Visit for a complete listing of questions to ask, what to pack, and more information on preparing you and your child for camp. Parents can also speak to representatives for advice on finding the right camp by calling 800-428CAMP. The American Camp Association works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-accredited camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. 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OPEN STUDIOS & WORKSHOPS see top menu of our website SUMMER CAMP RETAIL STORE Register for Summer 2009 7:30 AM - 6 PM M-F Flexible Hrs. Half and Full Day - 2½ - 6 Years Arts & Crafts, Games, Theme Projects, Music, Outdoor Water Fun Owner/Director/Teacher Maria Cancelosi NJ State Licensed Call 201-512-3313 ����������������� Our ANNUAL STUDENT ART SHOW is on Sunday, May 31 All PAST and PRESENT students are invited to participate! FOOD • LIVE MUSIC • SLIDE SHOW Stop by or call for details! CALL or REGISTER ONLINE: 201-444-6155 Space available for Fall 2009 2 Godwin Plaza (directly behind 644 Godwin Ave) • Midland Park (top menu for information)