Knowing how to make friends at camp is an important part of your summer camp experience.
Whether you’re going to day-camp in a local park or headed out to a week-long camp experience, the recipe for making friends is much the same as you will see.
How to Make Friends at Summer Camp
Take a look at the steps below to make things easier for you:
1. Introduce Yourself
Smile, say hello, and be friendly – but not pushy. If someone is looking upset, ask them if they’re OK.
Some kids have a hard time on the first day of camp, especially if they have never been away from home before.
Your smile and friendly attitude could be just the element that can help that other person have a good time during this summer camp event.
2. Be Polite
This goes beyond saying please and thank you, but those are good words for helping keep everything friendly.
If you’re sleeping in a cabin or canvas tent, talk over who should sleep where with your tent mates. Check to see if they want to do something rather than insist that they do what you want to do.
Being polite includes the way you behave toward the camp counselors and the supervising adults. Many of them are volunteers who are donating their time to make your camp experience enjoyable.
3. Respect Other People’s Space
Every camper should have received a list of what to bring to camp, as well as what to leave at home. Therefore, your equipment and your fellow camper’s should be similar.
Mark everything you take to camp with your name. This includes the contents of your first aid kit, personal hygiene kit, and even your underwear. Make sure you’re using your own gear, and keep it neatly put away in your designated space.
There’s nothing so miserable as a personal property dispute with a tent mate or cabin mate. Using your own things, and keeping your space neat is a way to respect those who are sharing your space. It will go a long way toward keeping a positive environment in your living quarters.
4. Listen to Others
Listening makes other people feel as if they are important. It can help you understand what your new friend might enjoy.
This way, you’ll be. able to assist them if they need something. Ask before you help with something. Some people would rather struggle through doing things themselves.
Listening isn’t always easy, and you might have to work at it. But it’s a skill that will help you in many places – not just at camp.
5. Follow the Camp Rules
Summer camps have rules to help keep you safe and to make everyone’s stay more enjoyable.
Some of them might seem odd to you or unfamiliar, such as walk, don’t run down the steep slope. But the odd rule was probably established because something happened that made people realize that they needed that rule.
6. Take Part in the Activities
Camp counselors and supervising adults went to a great deal of trouble to plan fun activities for you and for the other campers.
Help keep the experience fun for everybody by participating without complaining or fussing.
If you see something happening that you think is a real problem, tell your camp counselor or the nearest responsible adult about it. But otherwise, do your part to make an activity happen the way it should.
7. Volunteer for Your Share of the Camp Duties
No one loves a slacker, and that’s especially true at camp where you’re supposed to be learning about many things. Cheerfully do your share of the chores, and help others who might be having a problem with an activity.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help or an explanation if you don’t understand something, but do it in a polite, cheerful sort of way.
8. Let Your Enjoyment Show
Look for ways to have a good time, even if the camp routine seems new and perhaps a little difficult for you. If you’re having a good time, let your smile and your actions show it.
That can help others to have a good time, too. It will also make the people who worked hard to make your stay pleasant feel that they have done well.
9. Offer Support and Help
Everyone has trouble with doing something. Some people have problems that they find embarrassing.
Don’t tease or make fun of people if they are afraid or if they have some sort of personal difficulty. Be supportive, offer to help, and be understanding.
Sometimes, that can even mean looking away or ignoring something, rather than commenting on it. It can mean cleaning up a mess or helping take care of a problem.
10. Don’t Insist on Being Friends
There are usually many people at camp. If someone doesn’t want to be your friend, look for someone who’s willing to be friends with you.
You and your willing friend will be much happier for it. Trying to force someone to be your friend will only make you both miserable.
11. Exchange Contact Information
Not everyone will be comfortable with exchanging addresses or phone numbers. Sometimes it’s not even a good idea.
An easy way to stay in touch is to write your troupe number and the address of your organization and to ask for similar information from your friend.
That way you can stay in touch without giving out your home address and phone number.
12. Remember the Golden Rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Fancy language aside, if you treat other people nicely, they are likely to be nice back. The reverse is equally true.
So how to make friends at sleepaway camp? Making friends at camp is a lot like making friends at school. Camp is a great place to meet people you might otherwise have never known.
You might want to keep in touch with your camp friends, or you might prefer to say good-bye at the end of the trip.
Having a friend with whom to share the fun can make it better. But if friendship doesn’t happen, focus on enjoying the event. You can always try again the next camping season.
How has your experience been making new friends at campsites or outdoors? We look forward to hearing from you below.