Summer Camps and Bullying - How to Ensure Your Kids Are Safe

Tuesday May 28, 2013

By Sherri M. Gordon

Today, I spent a good part of the morning planning out my kids' summer camp experiences. But as I was writing out the checks and filling out the online forms, I started to wonder what the experience would be like for them this year. Would they have fun? Would they make some new friends? Would their skills improve?

Any parent who sends her child off to camp has visions of what the experience might be like. From late nights spent around a campfire, to hours spent practicing a skill or even days spent exploring nature, most of us view camp in a positive light. But not all camp experiences are positive. In fact, bullying can take place at camp.

Because camp situations are often more relaxed than school environments, the opportunities for bullying can be greater. But, don't let this keep you from sending your child to camp. Instead, research the camps you are considering. Ask the camp staff questions about their bullying policies.

By doing your research, you can find a camp that meets your needs and is safe for your kids. Then, after you have talked with the camp staff, talk to your child about camp bullying. Be sure he knows how to stay safe and what to do if someone attempts to bully him.

Remember, camp is a rewarding experience for kids. It's a chance for them not only to do something they enjoy but also to discover who they are outside of the stress of the classroom. And with proper preparations, your child can have a bully-free summer.

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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