Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
Good weather often brings about thoughts of Martial Arts camps and the excitement of taking your training in to a new level. First off, Martial Arts camps are different from say Summer camps or camps associated with dance, music, cheerleading, etc. Martial Arts camps are often not more than a week at a time and often just spans the weekend. In part, unlike other extracurricular activities, Martial Arts is not often bound by ďseasonsĒ which coincide with the academic year Ė Martial Arts is continual.
When the Martial Arts camps are sleepovers of some type, this can be a great opportunity to give your children the chance to experience something on their own. For a parent of a student, though, this can be both rewarding and scary. Here are some tips to get you through the camp season.
1. Find out where the camp is at and the events.
As with anything else, itís always wise to know exactly where your child will be as well as what is the course of events occurring. Most Martial Arts camps will have a fairly rigorous schedule of classes to try to pack as much into the weekend as possible. Knowing what your children will be doing along with when will help you in the event you need to contact or reach your child.
2. Never give the child money.
Because of the short timeframe of Martial Arts camps, thereís rarely things to ďbuyĒ during the camp. Most purchases youíll need to make occur at the start of the event and thus allow you to purchase the item when you drop your child off. Thus, aside from maybe some emergency money or spare change for snacks, they should not need a lot of money.
3. Be prepare for the outdoors.
Most of these camps occur outside. So with all outdoor activities, remember to pack proper protection. Good sunscreen, bug repellant, and a water bottle will help your child get through the event. If you donít trust your child with that sort of medication, let one of the instructors know and even give them the materials. Most instructors will make sure people are properly prepared and call students out if they arenít. Itís all part of the discipline system Momís so donít worry.
Make sure to pack a LOT of clothes. Martial Arts camps are notorious for making you sweat and itís very common to go through 2-3 shirts and socks in a single day. Make sure your child has proper footwear as well. In the dojo, you may do your Martial Arts barefooted; but at the camp your child may be asked to put on shoes to practice outside. As the instructor just to be certain.
4. Get a contact number.
Even if your child has their own cellphone, try to make sure to get a contact number of someone else at the camp. Often the camps are nonstop activity and even if the schedule has down time, your child may not be near their cellphone. In fact, itís encouraged they are not as cellphones can be distracting while training and training often happens quite spontaneously during these. Regardless, there is almost always at least one person, be it a chaperon or another instructor, who will have a cellphone at hand or a means to be contacted for the very reason of if there is an emergency.
Martial Arts camps arenít normally long, drawn out, multiple week events. Thus, they are perfect for trying out letting your child stay away from home for a period of time. For the students, they can be rewarding and often a very memorable time in their Martial Arts training.
So, train hard and enjoy the good weather!