Summer is just around the corner and lots of parents are sending their kids to summer camp – either day camp or sleepaway camp. If your child is getting ready for a summer to remember with fun-filled days at camp this coming season, before shipping them off, there are a few things to plan for in advance to ensure things go smoothly, and fun is the #1 result.
All your child is probably thinking about is getting outdoors and playing with friends at camp, but as a parent, some preparation is in order to make the summer as great as it can be. These 3 pre-camp tips will start the summer off on the right foot.
Get the Right Clothing and Gear
Summer camp means getting down and dirty, so make sure you have plenty of comfortable (and easily-washable) T-shirts and shorts your child can frolic around in. Last year’s clothing may not fit anymore, so be sure to do a fit check if you think you have enough clothing already. Don’t forget about socks, baseball caps, headbands, swimsuits, and underwear. A new pair of sneakers and flip flops may be in order too.
Some overnight camps will require you to pack toiletries, towels, sunblock, sports equipment, etc., and they will usually provide you with a list of items your kid will need for camp. If you don’t have such a list in hand, contact the camp office and inquire.
Camps may also have clothing and other gear with the camp name and logo on it for purchase or given to your child as part of your camp enrollment fee. If you don’t already have these items, inquire with the camp and they’ll be glad to help you out. Camp spirit is the name of the game!
Meet Some Kids Before Camp Starts
If your child is going to camp for the first time, or will be attending a new camp this summer, you may want to consider connecting with parents who have kids the same age who will be going as well and set up play dates so they can get to know one another before the camp season begins.
There will surely be other new kids in the same boat who will be glad to meet some kids before camp starts so they have a buddy from the get-go. Of course, your child will meet lots of other kids at camp too, but it may be calming to come in with at least one friend to help with confidence and companionship.
You can contact the camp to inquire about hooking up with likeminded parents in order to set up the playdate. Or just ask around the neighborhood and you’ll be sure to find a way to connect.
Talk About Safety
Camp faculty does their best to comply with rules and regulations to ensure safety for all their campers, but parents can further ensure their child is as careful and safe as possible by discussing safety measures with their child.
Topics to include are pool/water safety, to stick with the group at all times, to be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, to alert someone if a camp counselor is behaving in an improper way, to get along with the other kids and never resort to fighting, to wear sunscreen all day long, etc.
Make sure your child knows to always tell the camp counselor if they are not feeling well, if there is a problem with another camper, or if they are not comfortable with participating in a particular activity. Camp is meant to be fun, so staying safe will ensure it will be as wonderful an experience as possible.
Is your child going to camp this summer? Do you have any tips to share with other AMC parents?
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By: Melissa A. Kay