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10 Questions to Ask Your Kids About Their Camp Experience

You’ve just dropped your kids off at camp and are now waiting out the week anxiously — well, maybe just with partial anxiety as you also enjoy some well-deserved peace. Saturday rolls around and you head back up to camp, traveling down the Muskoka roads and rushing with anticipation to your child’s chalet. You finally see your little one, wrap them up in a bear hug and load everything into the car. You drive off, turn around towards the back seat and inquire:

“How was camp?”

Expecting the flood gates to open, you’re instead met with the brief, non-descript response, “it was good,” followed by… crickets.

Even though the impact of summer camp is still fresh in your child’s mind, it is often difficult to draw that out of them in words.

Here is a list of reflection questions that can help you journey with your child as they come out of such a full week. Hopefully this can be a launching pad to invoke some sharing on the drive home, over a meal or while looking back at pictures.

  1. What was one highlight about camp for you? An experience, someone you met, etc.
  2. What was the story in theme?
  3. What activities/games did you get to do and what was your favourite?
  4. What was the weirdest or wackiest thing you did?
  5. What were the bible studies about?
  6. What’s something new you learned about God?
  7. What ideas do you have for how we could learn from this as a family?
  8. What did you learn about yourself?
  9. What were the names of the people in your chalet? Who else did you get to know?
  10. What were the names of your leaders and what were the things that you appreciated most about them?

For younger kids, try using ‘Rose, Buds and Thorns.’ This is a discussion game that chalet leaders use at the end of the night to encourage reflection and sharing.

  • Rose: What was your favourite part of camp?
  • Thorns: What was something that was frustrating, disappointing, or not what you expected?
  • Buds (you can take this one in two directions):
    – What are you looking forward to the most about coming home?
    – If you went back next year, what would you be most excited about?

Remember to choose the timing carefully. I know that, with my son, right before bed and at the dinner table are the prime times for great conversation. Also listen well. Let them take the conversation while you affirm and ask questions.

Camp is an experience that can be so impactful, but it can also be temporary. These kinds of conversations can make the impact life-long.

Nathan Thompson  

 

Nathan lives in Hamilton, is married and has three little campers of his own. He is a lover of all things summer camp and has been involved in Christian camping for 15 years. He currently works as the National Marketing Manager for Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and resources their nine summer camps and 65 University campus ministries across Canada.

 

 

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