One of the things that we believe makes Camp W the premiere camp of all Long Island day camps is the importance we attach to regular communication between staff and parents. Understandably, parents have a great deal of concerns – they want to know that their child is safe, that they’re making friends, and that they’re learning new skills. They also want to be sure that counselors are cognizant of any allergies or medical conditions their child might have. And they want to be kept informed of upcoming camp events and special activities.So we make it a point to keep in regular contact and to be exceptionally responsive. Because we get it – we’re parents too – and we know how important it is to be kept abreast of everything that’s going on.
Each week, counselors touch base with parents just to inquire if there’s anything they need. They happily field questions about everything from sunscreen to the lunch menu to special performances and group contests. They’ll talk about how each child is faring at various activities, their likes and dislikes, and their social habits. What’s great about this, of course, is that it not only gives parents a tremendous amount of insights into the camp day, but also helps the counselor be even better at their job, since parents can provide a considerable degree of perspective into their child’s personal inclinations.
In addition to the counselor calls, there’s also a weekly newsletter that goes out during the summer describing the latest events and what’s upcoming. Parents appreciate this because it gives them something to discuss with their kids and lets them know if there’s anything they should prepare for, such as a dress-up day. Kids also appreciate seeing their picture on occasion or hearing their group mentioned.
Don’t worry, though – if you miss the newspaper, you’ll still know about our special events, since we also issue emails and texts to guarantee that no one is left out of the loop. And we post about the events on our web page and send notices home. The only thing we don’t do is employ carrier pigeons, though perhaps we’ll start that soon as well.
We place such a high value on communication because we never want to hear that there was something we missed or something a child missed out on doing. We’re in the business of making kids happy, and we feel we’re much more likely to succeed if we know everything there is to know, and that means working hand-in-hand with parents.
Even once the summer has ended, we keep in contact and are still pleased to talk with parents about anything that might be on their minds. We’ll call to checkup and let you know about all the things we’re planning and what to expect for the summer. This gets kids very excited, as it reminds them that, once they’re done working hard at school, they can expect another spectacular camp experience.
I also do a Facebook Live session once a month during the off-season, so that I can answer questions from both parents and kids. They’ll want to know what shows will be coming to Camp W, what new things we’re going to have, and how they can sign up for some of the many novel activities we’ve put together (and are constantly adding). I’ve gotten questions from grandparents and five-year-olds, and I answer them all. Sometimes kids just want to tell me that they can’t wait till camp starts, and usually I’m right there with ’em.
Unlike many other day camps on Long Island, we keep a staff year-round that is capable of answering any questions a person might have. And I make myself readily available, frequently answering phone calls and always prepared to assist parents.
It’s all about providing peace of mind. We make a point of making everyone feel welcome and important – parents included – and we’ll go to great lengths to be sure that your kids have the summer of their lives, and that you were a part of it.
By Evan Wofsy