Selecting a summer camp

You and your child have decided that summer camp is an option this year. Bedwetting may be a complication when deciding on which summer camp to attend. Keep in mind that your child is not alone in their struggle; approximately 6% to 15% of Canadian children aged 5 to 8 years old wet their beds at night. In fact, bedwetting is so frequent that most summer camps have a complete section on their website that details an action plan for campers who don't have a dry night.

Part of the training for a counsellor is to be compassionate, sensitive, and discreet when dealing with bedwetting. Formulating an action plan ahead of time is essential to help your child feel in control. If camp staff and counsellors are aware, they can privately work with your child. Letting the camp know in advance about bedwetting concerns will allow them to have a staff member equipped with an action plan that includes having your child sleep close to the bathroom. Together, children and staff can devise private signs to let counsellors know when an accident has happened. Bedding can be quietly changed when children are away from the cabin.

Talking to the camp director before you commit will give you a good reading on just how experienced they are in dealing with bedwetting and how they put this expertise into practice. Most camps are so familiar with bedwetting they equip every cabin with an extra sleeping bag and pillow as a matter of course.

Other things to consider when sending your child to camp include background and qualifications of the camp director and the age of the counsellors. Have they been trained to deal with sensitive issues like bedwetting and bullying? What percentage of campers returned from past years? If it's a high number, you can rest assured the kids really are happy campers. Is the camp accredited by the Canadian Camping Association or an appropriate provincial camping association? Are all employees trained in first aid? What are the camp's policies for health care and first aid? Is there always a nurse on site? What is the ratio of counsellors to campers? The ratio is key in determining if your child will actually be able to have some private time with their counsellors if an accident happens. Most importantly, ask for references. Camp directors should be forthcoming about supplying you with references.

Before starting camp, gather all the information you can about it. Give your child a map of the camp. This way, your child will have a mental blueprint of the camp when nature calls. A prepared camper is a confident camper, and doing your homework will really help your child feel in control so they can just relax... and enjoy those long summer nights.

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