In a previous blog, we’ve talked about how parents can help their children prepare for the first day of camp, by helping them review their schedule, listening to their worries, reminding them they aren’t alone, creating a goodbye ritual, and taking your time in the morning. Anxiety of the unknown, however, is still very real, and so we’d like to walk you through the Monday morning welcome at Camp Tournesol!
When you first arrive on-site, you’ll see a sea of counsellors and likely other campers, getting ready for the day ahead! Counsellors will be holding a sign with the different groups, and you can use that to approach who you think your child’s counsellor is. Alternatively, you can look for the person with the “Chef D’Équipe” on their back – they are the Coordinator and can point you to your child’s counsellor.
Once you meet their counsellor, they will greet your child: introducing themselves and getting to know your child. Common questions we ask campers is what they did on the weekend, what their favourite camp games are, and what they look forward to during the week. We will also introduce your camper to other campers in their group, to get them on track to making new friends at camp (for example: “Mina je te présente Jamie, qui aussi aime jouer au soccer!”).
Once campers are brought inside, we’ll go over the plan for the week with the campers and review some behaviour expectations. This is done every Monday, so that everyone understands the behaviour that is expected at camp, and what they are and are not not permitted to do. Then, campers will break off into their counsellor groups, who will give them a tour of the school: when they stop at the bathrooms, we’ll talk about bathroom rules; when they stop at the arts and crafts room, we’ll introduce them to the arts and crafts counsellor; when they stop at the badges table, they’ll learn about all the different badges they can earn throughout the week, including those for speaking in French!
After the tour, groups will decide on a group name that they will go by all week long, and decorate a poster for their table. They’ll then play a number of get-to-know-you games, to learn the names of everyone else in their group, and start making friends!
Everything that we do on the first day of camp is intentional, from the games we play, to the crafts we do, to what is said to the campers, which creates a sense of community for the campers that will engage them and make them feel safe while at camp. Once they’re comfortable with their surroundings, we can start having fun!
We hope this helps prepare you and your child for a fun-filled first day at camp. If you have anymore questions, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-888-892-1889.
Written by: Amanda Cloutier
About Amanda: A lover of the French language since her first French classes in elementary school, Amanda pursued her post-secondary studies all with a focus on the French language, completing an Honours Bachelor of Arts in French Studies from the University of Waterloo, a Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University to certify her as an Ontario Certified Teacher for French at the secondary level, and a Master’s of Education from the University of Ottawa. Outside of her schooling, Amanda has always sought opportunities to grow her fluency in French, ultimately leading her to join the Camp Tournesol team as a counselor in 2013. Since, she has grown with the company, seeing first-hand how the programming Camp Tournesol offers impacts campers, families, and our counselors. Now a Program Director, Amanda is pleased to give back to the French language community, supporting new initiatives within Camp Tournesol (www.campt.ca) and Great French Tutors (www.greatfrenchtutors.ca).
Contact Amanda Cloutier at email@example.com | 905-891-1889