Nervous to Excited: Preparing for Overnight Camp

Camp MYWCountdown to Camp

We want campers to have the best time ever at Mini-Yo-We — that’s why we created the Countdown to Camp video series. It presents helpful info and tips for first-time and returning campers. Registered families receive an email with a new video every Sunday at 2 PM. So far, we’ve covered:

There’s still more to come on the Countdown in June, including camp tours, summer staff introductions and packing tips!

In This Week’s Video…

Anna “Marsalis” Temple, Mini-Yo-We’s Team Development Coordinator, hosted this week’s video about preparing kids for Camp. In her role, Anna trains summer staff members to ensure campers have a good experience. She has a few tips to help parents prepare their kids, too. Read on to find out how to turn the natural nervousness about being away from home into excitement for a great week away!

Our Top Tips

Pre-Camp nerves are totally normal — for kids and their families! This is true for first-timers and returning campers. Here are six tips to get ready for a great time at Camp:

1. Try a Sleepover
Before heading to Camp, plan a sleepover or two to help your camper get used to being away from home overnight. Choose a fun, safe environment with a trusted family member or friend to set them up for success. Find out how it went and address any concerns to make sure your child will be comfortable sleeping in a cabin.

2. Play the Camp Game
Whenever you have a few spare minutes together, play what we call the Camp Game! Describe a scenario and then ask what your camper might do. For example, “You can’t find your toothpaste. What do you do?” Or “Two of your cabin mates are playing together and you want to join them. What do you do?” Hint: Encourage them to ask their cabin leader for help! Keep playing in the lead-up to Camp to increase your kids’ confidence and problem-solving skills.

3. Bring a Buddy
If you know someone who’s coming to Mini-Yo-We, we can place you both in the same cabin! We do our best to honour mutual cabin mate requests. Note that campers are separated into cabin groups based on their age and sex. Placements are made before arriving at Camp, so please make requests when registering or contact the office to add requests in advance. Thinking of inviting a friend? Be sure to use your referral code to take advantage of our promotion! Find out more on the Referral Program webpage. No worries if you’re coming on your own: it’s our goal to help you make a whole bunch of new friends!

4. Don’t Worry About Bed-Wetting
Our staff team has two weeks of training at the start of the summer. It includes ensuring cabin leaders know how to navigate bed-wetting with campers of all ages. Pack pull-ups if needed and assure your child that they’re not the only one with them at Camp. If an accident happens, staff members will be discreet. We’ll wash bedding and clothing during the day and have it ready for bedtime. No big deal!

5. Handling Homesickness
It’s natural to be concerned about the potential for homesickness. This is another area in which our summer staff are specifically trained. Let your camper know they can share their feelings with their cabin leader or section head anytime. They know how to acknowledge and then de-escalate homesickness. Mini-Yo-We strives to create a supportive and nurturing environment — your kids are in good hands!

6. Fill In “My Camper’s Story”
No one knows your camper better than you do, so we’d love your help! A “My Camper’s Story” sheet will be mailed in your “Get Excited!” package a couple of weeks before arrival. Use it to provide background info and tips that will help our staff team take care of your child. Bring the sheet with you to Camp and leave it with the cabin leader. Bus captains can also deliver it on your behalf!

Help For Parents

We want to help parents feel prepared, too! If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out. You can call the office at 705-385-2629 or email We also have a few tips just for you:

  • Follow along with your camper’s week on social media. Mini-Yo-We is on Facebook and Instagram. We post photos and videos daily and you might just spot your kids! You will definitely see the activities they’re enjoying as well as plenty of program highlights.
  • To stay connected, leave mail to be delivered to your kids on specific days. You can also send messages online! We print these emails daily and deliver them along with the rest of the camper mail.
  • New this year! Purchase a camp care pack and it will be delivered to your camper mid-week. This fun care package includes an activity booklet, glow sticks to share with cabin mates, candy treats, a limited edition holographic MYW sticker — and a surprise gift! Stay tuned for more details and how to purchase them leading up to Camp!

Up Next on the Countdown

Who’s ready to meet the directors for their program? You won’t want to miss next week’s Countdown to Camp video, which introduces the staff team leading Junior Camp, Boys Camp, Girls Camp and our leadership camps. We have an awesome lineup for Summer 2024 and they can’t wait to meet their campers! It’s not too late to sign up — register today with just a $1 deposit.