Sending your kids to summer camp can be stressful and worrisome (usually more for the parents than the campers). The best thing you can do is assure yourself that your child has everything they need to have a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable camp session. We created some tips and tricks to help you prepare!
The most important thing to do is make sure you plan ahead. Don’t leave your preparation to the weekend before camp starts. Last-minute planning and packing is never a good idea. Trust me. You’re almost guaranteed to forget something. Capture-124
Every camp has its own regulations: camp rules, expected clothing, and even communication with parents vary from camp to camp. Ensure that you’ve read all the documents and checklists our camp sends you so that you comply with their rules. Go over these with your camper so they’re aware of the rules they’ll have to follow ahead of time.
LABEL EVERYTHING! It’s imperative to ID your campers belongings so they don’t end up lost or in another camper’s trunk. Kids are infamous for losing things in their rooms. Now imagine hundreds of kids in camps and tents in the woods. Having your campers name or initials on everything from socks to sunscreen will help your camper come back with (almost) everything he or she left with.
Break in any new shoes/sandals or equipment that will be used during camp. Nothing puts a damper on activities like blisters and sore feet.
Sending letters comforts you and your camper. If the camp permits letters from parents, send yours a day or so before camp starts so your camper will receive it mid-week.
Slip an encouraging note or surprise item in your camper’s luggage for them to find while they’re unpacking. Here are some ideas: a picture, some candy to share (remember to check camp regulations), a book or a magazine.
SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN & SUNSCREEN. You can never be too careful when it comes to sun protection. A bad sunburn can put your camper out of commission for a couple days. If your camp offers water activities like boating or swimming, then your child should be applying sunscreen multiple times a day. It’s recommended to purchase a waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
If your camper requires any medication, ensure that you pack enough for the duration of camp. It’s better to hand any medication (along with a note indicating dosage and administration) directly to the camp director or your child’s camp counsellor. If your camp uses a camp management software then they most likely know of any medical needs ahead of time but it doesn’t hurt to be overly cautious.
Try some camp activities ahead of time. If you know what activities your camp offers, try some of them with your child ahead of time. If your camper has any fears or apprehensions, you’ll be able to work through them and build their confidence before camp starts. This also gives you a chance to advise the camp director or counsellor so they can be sensitive to your child’s fears and hesitations.
Give your camper camp chores. Most camps require campers to make theirs beds, pick up after themselves, and take responsibility for their personal hygiene. Foster independence ahead of time to ensure your camper is accustomed to doing the chores they’ll be responsible for at camp.
by Ashley Wood