Maximizing the Experience
As parents, it’s not easy to send your children off for a week or more into the wilderness. For many families, time away at a summer camp may be the longest they have ever spent apart. For the child and the parent, there is anxiety about what the days will bring.
We want to assure you that at HoneyRock, we do not take our responsibility lightly. We are committed to, and passionate about, developing the hearts, minds and lives of our campers in an environment that is safe, but challenging—an environment that encourages them to take spiritual, relational and physical risks to help them mature in a Christ-like mold. It is a level of character and spiritual development – not to mention fun – HoneyRock has brought to young people for more than 60 years.
In addition to this page, we ask that you review the Pre-Camp Checklist to make sure you and your camper are ready for HoneyRock. The Parents' FAQ page answers many of the most commonly asked questions.
Getting ready to come to camp can be a stressful time for parents and campers. Sometimes what should be a time of excitement is overshadowed by a cloud by anxiety. Here are 5 simple things parents can do to prepare their children for camp and lower the stress level:
Talk to your child about camp and what it's all about. Watch the our program specific videos on the website dedicated to campers. Talk to other families who have been to HoneyRock before. While you can't prepare your children for everything, you can give them some idea of what to expect. It will also give you a good opportunity to set some goals for camp.
Some sample goals:
- I want to become friends with 3 new people - kids not from my school or church.
- I want to get an intermediate in Archery this summer.
- I want to do Solid Rock Club.
We highly recommend this for new campers who are going away to camp for the first time. Have your child do a couple of nights away from home at Grandma and Grandpa's house or another close friend's house without you. This will give them some experience in being away from home before they head off to camp.
Set aside some time at meals or before bed to pray about camp. Pray for your child's cabin mates, their counselors, the bus ride up to camp, the Bible studies they will participate in, the activities they will do, and for safety while they are at camp.
As parents we often make little promises to our children in order to alleviate their fears before they leave for camp. It can be devastating to a camper if those promises aren't met. Some examples:
- Don't tell your child you will talk to them on the phone.
- Don't promise you'll be at Family Day if you really can't make it.
- Don't tell your child they have $100 in their Beehive account when they only have $30.
- Don't promise they will know everyone in their cabin.
- Don't tell them it won't rain and that there are no bugs.
- Don't tell your child you'll come pick them up if they don't like camp.
The Information Packet contains packing lists, instructions on how to access your account, as well as forms to have ready before you arrive for bus check-in. We recommend that you download and print the PDF packet for your child's session as this is your primary reference for all things camp.
Here are some ways to connect with your children after they have had a powerful camp experience:
Below you will find two separate conversation starters that you can use to connect with your child on their camp experience. The first questionnaire was created by HoneyRock parents and the second was developed by the HoneyRock staff. Click on the following conversation starters for great conversations with your children.
Maybe your child learned how to make a campfire or they learned how to kayak for the first time. Allow them to show you what they learned by engaging them in that particular activity. This will show them that you are interested in what they learned at camp. This method is particularly useful for children who have a hard time talking about things.
This will help your children connect with the cabin mates that they became so close to and encourage them to remember the things that they were taught about the Lord.
HoneyRock hosts a Round-Up celebration each year. Your attendance as a family will trigger memories of your child’s experience at camp and will give you the opportunity to spend some time having fun with your children.
During Christmas break, high school campers and counselors return to HoneyRock to enjoy winter fun, build on the spiritual growth begun in summer, and bring in the New Year HoneyRock style at ReGroup.
Before departing HoneyRock, encourage your camper to gather contact information if they wish to keep in touch with new friends. HoneyRock cannot share this information.