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A 10-year-old's tips for overnight camp
"Mom and I had a special deal that we would both go outside at 9:30 every night and look up at the stars and say goodnight. When I looked up, I knew that she was looking up, too."
-- Hannah Alper

by Hannah Alper

Last year I went to overnight camp for the first time. At first I was really nervous about being away from home for 10 days. I won't lie and tell you that it was all easy. But I will tell you that after the first two nights, I started to get comfortable at camp.

I was supposed to be there for 10 [days], but you know what happened? I loved camp so much that when my parents arrived, I asked if I could stay for another 12 days.

Here is some advice for people who are going to overnight camp for the first time:

Make friends with the people in your cabin. You will make new friends starting from the bus ride up there. Introduce yourself to everyone. Not just my friends in my cabin but other people in my camp were my friends, too. It is always good to have a lot of friends to get you through the lonely or homesick times.

If it's your first time at overnight camp, it's probably also the first time for most of the kids in your cabin. You are not the only one. It will make you feel better to know that.

I was mostly nervous about the nighttime. My mom's advice to me was "all you have to do is make it through the night and then you will have so much fun in the day." The days are so much fun at camp. Remember this at night.

Try talking to your counselors if you're feeling homesick. It feels good and they can make you feel better. They were also first-time campers - a really, really long time ago, though!

When you're packing for camp, collect some pictures of your family and bring some tape so that you can have them on the wall at your bunk.

When it comes to clothing, bring extra T-shirts BUT ... don't take your favorite T-shirt. You will probably lose it.

Mom and I had a special deal that we would both go outside at 9:30 every night and look up at the stars and say goodnight. When I looked up, I knew that she was looking up, too.

Take a notebook so that you can write down the phone numbers and email addresses of your new friends to stay in touch until next year.


Make the most of every day. It goes so fast, you'll be home before you know it. And instead of wishing you were home, you'll be wishing you are back at camp.

Hannah Alper is a 10-year-old from Toronto, Ontario, who offers advice through her blog at www.CallMeHannah.ca
Republished with permission.

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