Apr 19, 2022

Posted by: Katelyn Skeen

In Anticipation of Summer

So far, I’ve spent 13 of the 24 summers I’ve been alive at Ranch Camp. Even after all this time, I still get butterflies in my stomach and tingles in my fingers leading up to the first day of the summer. It’s hard to capture the magic of camp in words, but its existence is evident in the consistent feelings of anticipation I experience every spring. 

As an Assistant Director, I experience this in a whole new way – and I’m happy to say that the anticipation of summer is officially here! You can feel it energizing the air in the Ranch Camp office, hear it in the voices of parents during phone calls, and see it in the eyes of campers even over Zoom. The anticipation is electric, but with it comes the waiting. Each day of waiting that passes has us wishing more and more that we could jump through time to the first day of summer 2022.  

Though the waiting can feel torturous, the weeks leading up to the first day are perhaps the most important weeks we have until summer begins. During these weeks, our team is working to shape each moment of what will undoubtedly be the best summer ever. We’re hiring our final staff members, registering campers, developing new and revamping existing staff training, and talking to parents about preparing campers for camp, all while feeling the excitement for summer build. 

But these next weeks aren’t only important for our team, they are equally important for campers and their families. We know that getting your camper ready for camp (and mentally preparing yourself)  is not always a walk in the park. I remember my mom spending weeks before camp helping me plan what I should pack to then spend hours actually packing and labeling everything. This was topped off with her then making sure everything was perfectly in line leading up to our annual two-day trek from New Mexico, where we lived, to the Black Forest in Elbert. Despite our oftentimes tearful goodbyes, she helped me get excited for camp by reminding me of the friends I would make and sharing how excited she would be to hear about everything once I got home.  

As a caregiver, talking to your camper about what they can expect at camp is one of the number one things you can do to help them prepare. When your camper knows how excited you are to hear about their experience and can feel how proud you are of them for going to camp, they are more likely to succeed, have fun, and come back for future summers. For first time campers, seeing camp either virtually or in person can ease worries by getting them to look forward to some of the activities they’ll get to do.  Similarly, talking up their counselors (who will be the coolest people in the world to your camper), helping them to learn how to make their bed, fold their clothes, and pre-addressing letters to you are small, but important steps to set them up for a smoother transition. No matter what age camper you have, please know – you aren’t alone in preparing your camper for camp! Our team is here every step of the way to give you resources and guidance as you need. 

Over the years, I’ve called Ranch Camp my home, and know it to be a place where I truly am the best version of myself. My hope is that your campers feel the same during their time at Ranch Camp. We absolutely cannot wait to welcome everyone with open arms and open hearts when they cross our gate for Summer 2022. It will be here before you know it.  

With love,