One of our most beloved staff members, Miss. Erin has the important and rewarding job of working with our tiniest campers. We asked TP1’s Miss. Erin to share the some of the most important things you should know before sending your child to camp for the first time, as well as what they will do on a typical day at Frogbridge.
Q. What is Something You Think The Parents Should Know Before Sending Their Children Off To Local Summer Camp For The First Time?
A The most important thing for the parents to know is that their children are in good hands. All our head counselors—and most of the Frogbridge staff in general—in Tadpole are adults, we are all adults with teaching degrees. We are professional educators, very well versed in caring for young children. We will all have children that may cry at some point throughout the day. Whether it’s because they miss mommy or because they don’t like a lunch item that day, we’re all so well prepared for these scenarios. And we’re more than ready to handle that!
Q. What Comfort Would You Offer A Parent Who Is Nervous About Sending Their Child Off For The First Time?
A. Dr. Lisa Polvere, our pre-k and kindergarten division leader, who is also the Tadpole Village Preschool principal throughout the year, is a great resource if you’re ever feeling uncomfortable. You can always call and Lisa will come and check in on your child and let you know how they’re doing. She will come and stay with our group for some time. She makes sure your child is getting acclimated and adjusting well to their new surroundings as well as their new friends and team leaders.
Q. What Is a Typical Summer Camp Day for TP1?
A. The children get off the bus or get dropped off directly in front of our camp home. As soon as they come into our room, most children will run up to us for a big morning hug! Then we will help them get changed to swim in our lifeguard supervised pool complex. We always do sunscreen, right away.
Because we don’t have an outdoor morning assembly with the older kids, we have some playtime in our room as we prepare them for their day. We’ll take their orders for lunch so we know what they want to eat before we get there. Then we leave for our first activity!
We typically have our outdoor activities at the beginning of the day. This way, when the sun is at it’s hottest we’re all inside. We do two fun activities back to back, and then we go to lunch. Of course make sure we all go to the bathroom and wash our hands! Then we get to enjoy whatever fabulous lunch Chef Will has prepared for us that day. One thing you should never be concerned about is, “what if my child is a picky eater?” There are so many options that we will always have something that your child will like. Our head chef will go to great lengths to make sure each and every child has eaten a delicious, full meal!
When we’re done with lunch we take the campers to the bathroom once again, and get them all ready to go to our next activity, which will be followed by swim. Campers have swim twice a day. During the first period we have daily swim lessons and we have a certified lifeguard teaching our campers how to swim. Then, they have a second period of free swim in the pool in the afternoon!
I’ve had some campers in the past who initially did not enjoy swim time and others that absolutely loved it. While some children may swim like a fish, and love swimming underwater, others are not as advanced. Each swim instructor will tailor their teaching style to fit every child’s needs and adjust the swim lesson accordingly. Everyone is working at their own pace and having fun while doing it.
One thing about Tadpole swim that should be mentioned is tha they are always supervised. Every single teacher and team member is sitting by the pool watching their group. Whether they are in the pool with the kids during free swim or sitting with their feet in right alongside, your child is never out of someone’s sight.
Once swim is complete, we have a snack and changing period, and then we have one more activity. Once they’re all done with that we pack up and make sure everyone uses the bathroom one last time. After, we walk them to their busses and go home for the day.
Q. What Is Your Favorite Part About Working With Frogbridge’s Tiniest Campers Every Summer?
A. I think they’re the best kids at Frogbridge! They’re adorable and so much fun to work with! Seeing Frogbridge through their eyes is a whole different experience because they’re experiencing everything for the first time. It’s much different than a child that has done the zip line a million times. I’m looking at a three-year-old who is looking at this giant rock wall (in their eyes) for the first time. Then watch his little face go from hesitant and nervous to overcoming their fears and screaming, “this is amazing!” It’s awesome and it’s so, so rewarding because everything is incredible to them and everything is brand new. They bring me joy!
Frogbridge Day Camp is NJ’s premier summer camp for all ages. We’ve earned this reputation because of the extraordinary care of our highly experienced and caring team members. Come to one of our open houses and discover the hoppin difference for yourself!
For a magical childhood experience they’ll never forget