It’s that time of year! Summer Camps all over the US are preparing for camper arrival in just a few short months. For many camps this means hosting open houses, and giving parents and campers alike an opportunity to come and visit camp before the summer season is in full swing. Whether this is your camper’s first or tenth summer going away to camp, there are some good reasons to make room on your calendar to attend some of these pre-camp events.

Meet Camp Staff
Attending a summer camp’s open house means that you will get to actually meet your camper’s potential counselors face to face. If your camper is at all nervous about being away from home this summer, making a connection with a staff member before the summer begins can help ease their anxiety. Also, unless you attended a camp fair, an open house is one of the rare times that you’ll be able to converse with the camp administrative team in person (If you thought you’d be able to have an in depth conversation with the admin team on check-in day, you were mistaken. Check-in days at camp are some of the busiest of the season and directors, assistant directors, and nurses are all up to their ears in making sure that everyone has their paperwork, and gets where they need to go). At an open house, camp directors and other admin members are primed and ready to have one on one conversations with you and your camper about their summer camp experience.

See Facilities
Although many camps have photos online of their cabins and program areas, you’ll never really know the quality of a facility until you see it first hand. Open Houses at summer camps usually come with camp tours, and while you will not always be able to see everything you want to during an open house you’ll leave with a pretty good idea of the general upkeep in which the camp keeps their facilities.

Get Your Questions Answered
Many of your packing questions will be answered as soon as you see the camp property. You’ll be able to see what type of beds your camper will be sleeping on, what the terrain of the trails looks like, the general distance your camper should expect to walk in a day, and more. Lots of useful information! Plus, camp staff will be on hand to answer any other questions you may have about programming, safety procedures, etc.

The Lay of the Land
When you arrive for check-in on your camper’s first day of the summer, you’ll know where to go. And when your camper comes home at the end of the summer with great camp stories you’ll have a better picture in your head about where they were actually doing all those super cool activities!

Start Conversations
If this is your camper’s first time going away to camp, attending an open house is a great way to start some conversations about their upcoming summer experience. Seeing where they are going and who they will be with can help ease anxiety in new campers, and you will have an opportunity to speak to your camper about what to expect from a week away from home.

Have Fun!
Having the opportunity to get outside and talk with your camper about their expectations for the summer is FUN! Also many camp open houses have more than just a walk around camp planned. From camp crafts, to s’more making stations, attending an open house could just be a great way to spend an afternoon.

All three of the Girl Scouts Peaks to Piedmont Summer Camps will be hosting open house events on April 15th, 2018 from 1pm-5pm. We hope that you will join us for an afternoon of camp crafts, egg hunts, and more as your take the time to explore our camp facilities!

Elise’s summer camp journey began as a camper at Girl Scout camps in New York. As she got older, she worked her way from Junior Counselor to Waterfront Director with a Girl Scout residential summer camp in Vermont. Elise attended the University of Maine at Farmington, where she dual-majored in English and Psychology. Elise has worn many work hats, having been a Youth Advocate, Behavioral Health Professional, Education Technician, a Volunteer Coordinator and most recently the Executive Camp Director for non-traditional co-ed day and resident camps in Massachusetts. A former women’s rugby player and Zumba instructor, Elise currently spends her spare time moving and grooving outside, painting, playing with her animals (three dogs, two cats and a bird!) and watching reruns of Star Trek. Her favorite foods are campfire s’mores and mac and cheese.