Camp is the best place to make new friends! Year after year, children make new friends at summer camp, and there are many returning campers who like to book into the same camp session together each year.
Camp can be an exciting, fun holiday away from your parents, which you get to enjoy with your new friends.
How do I start making new friends?
There are many different ways for you to make friends at summer camp.
The first one is to introduce yourself – your new best friend could be sitting next to you already! You won’t be the only one whose first day it is at camp, there will always be another camper in the same position as you, why not introduce yourself while you’re waiting for everyone else to arrive, and team up with them! I know it can be scary to introduce yourself to someone but you can do it!
How will camp staff help me to make friends at camp?
Your camp counsellors or team leaders will organise games and activities for you to get to know each other and make new friends straight away. Your very first day activities will be playing team building and ‘get to know you’ games or, another term for them which you may hear is ice breakers, this will be common for most camps!
The staff here are helping you settle in to camp and are encouraging you to get to know them, and each other too. We add in extra challenges to help you remember your camp mates and new friend’s names!
You may play these with your new bunk mates for residential camp, or in your activity groups for day camps.
What if I don’t have friends to go to activities with at first?
Camps like Altitude have set programmes, so everyone is doing the activities together in their group, and you don’t need to worry about this!
Some camps you will get a free choice of activities, and maybe you don’t know anyone who is going to the same one as you from your cabin! Don’t worry, as soon as you get to an activity, the staff will make sure you’re involved in whatever they’re doing that day.
Activities at camp usually involve working or playing as a team, so by joining in with activities you will make friends. At Altitude, you will be in a group of other campers of similar age with your own camp leader and tend to stay with this group at camp. For example, if you go to an activity like shelter building, you’ll soon find that you need to rely on your fellow campers to complete the activity. It’s way more fun to do these activities in a team!
What if I can’t remember everyone’s names?
Camps come in different shapes and sizes, so for really big camps, you might not know everyone’s names, and that’s OK! You don’t need to worry about not knowing everyone, because you will know the others in your dorm or bunk room, and you will know campers who are doing the same activities as you, or those you meet during mealtimes!
For small camps like Altitude, you will usually end up knowing everyone’s name especially if you’re a residential camper, as everyone does activities together in the evenings.
If you’ve forgotten someones name, just ask them, and they won’t mind telling you again!
What if I speak a different language?
Don’t worry, at international camps or language camps, this the case for lots of campers. When campers come from all different countries, it has the added advantage that you can make friends with other children from all over the world!
But if there are children from all over the world, what if they don’t speak the same language as me?
Well, it’s hard to have a conversation with someone if you’re all speaking different languages! Many camps will take this into consideration when they are designing their groups/programmes. For example, at out camp we have children who speak a whole range of languages but we encourage all children to speak English together so that no one feels left out.
If you don’t speak English and want to go to a camp in a different language you may find one near your home, or if there is a language that you’ve always wanted to learn, you can see if there is a camp which has lessons in your chosen language. There are also lots of camps who offer language programmes, if there is a language that you want to learn you may be able to do this at summer camp!
How can I help my child to prepare to make friends at camp?
Encouragement is key! Put yourself in your child’s shoes; going to a new camp, especially for the first time, can be really scary. However, once they’ve gone for the first day and made new friends to enjoy activities with, they’re going to feel more independent, and be so proud of themselves!
Talk to your child, find out how their feeling about it. Words of encouragement and helping them get over any pre camp nerves will definitely help prepare them and make them feel more confident.
Come to our summer camp and you’ll have made new friends before you know it!