Parents: Keep out! Please

(until camp is over, anyway)

Everyone loves getting visitors at camp. But visits can be disruptive to camp routines and activities, and can trigger or renew feelings of homesickness. That’s why most camps discourage or simply don't allow visitors for campers staying two weeks or less.


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Campers staying one month or longer are usually allowed one short visit. Dave Graham, a director with the Canadian Camping Association and head of Camp Kandalore near Minden, Ontario, says camps are not required to adhere to any rules and regulations regarding visiting, however the general consensus among Canadian camps is to limit visits and phone calls.

To minimize disruption, visiting day is often a casual affair and parents are asked to take campers off-site. Favourite foods from home tend to be a visiting day highlight.

Occasionally, it can be difficult for parents to understand the philosophy behind the limitation camps place on visiting, says Graham. "Parents have to let go a little bit. We are trying to develop some independence, some self-reliance. Constant contact (with parents) undermines that."

For the most part, once campers get into the groove, they are having too much fun to be concerned about whether or not parents will be visiting. But it’s never a problem to talk with camp staff about visiting policies and recommendations.

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