(PRWEB) April 23, 2015
The days are getting longer and warmer which means the school year is winding down and summer is almost here. For many families now is the time to make summer plans, from family vacation, to educational activities, to summer camp for the kids. Sleepaway summer camp is a rite of passage for many kids and can provide memories that will last a lifetime.
If this is a child’s first time away at summer camp there are a few things that parents should be thinking about to make sure the kids have a wonderful experience. Being prepared to send your child to camp will not only help their experience but will also help put your mind at ease knowing that they are safe and smiling while they are away. So here are a few simple things you can do:
#1 Get to know the camp
Most of the time it’s not practical to pre-visit the camp in person, but most camps have a website. Review the camp grounds and schedule of activities that your child will be participating in. Knowing how and where they will spend their days will help you pack the things they need and prepare them for what they might experience. You should also have a good understanding of how the camp handles communication. Is there adequate cell service, and does the camp have a communication solution to make sure they are able to be reached no matter what adventure they are having? If they do not make these details clear on the website be sure to call and ask.
#2 Talk to your child about their camp experience
This is especially important for first timers and it is still worthwhile for repeat campers. You need to discuss basics on how to be a good roommate, to respect each other’s property and privacy. Also discuss with them what types of activities are offered so that your child doesn’t end up in a canoe, or rock climbing if their preference is more ball sports or arts and crafts. Many camps will offer a choice of activities and knowing these choices ahead of time can make your camper feel much more at easy about what they will get to do during their camp days.
#3 Communication and homesickness
Many campers experience homesickness during their time at camp and it can turn a positive growth experience into a sour sad memory for your kid. To alleviate some of the homesickness it is wise to set up a communication schedule. For a child, being able to speak to a parent a few times a week is greatly reassuring. Set up times to connect that will work with the camp schedule. Most times the conversation will be 5 minutes or less since your child is excited to get back to their new friends, but you can both be comforted having exchanged a few words. Again, it is important to ask that the camp has proper cell reception, landlines, or satellite phones that will allow you to make these calls that you have promised your child.
#4 The all-important packing list
Packing for camp can make or break the experience. Make sure you have made a checklist and double check it before your little camper heads of. Here is a sample of a few basics; although, you may need to tailor your packing list to the activities of the camp.
- Long pants/jeans
- Shoes – athletic and ok getting muddy and possibly ruined
- Sweatshirt or sweater
- Sleep wear/pajamas
- Rain gear
- Swimsuit & Swim towel
- Sock and Underwear
- Athletic sandal “tevas”
- One nicer outfit for talent shows / performances etc.
Bedding / Cleaning
- Bed roll (sleeping bag or sheets)
- Bath towel and wash cloth
Bathing Personal Care
- Prescriptions and over the counter medications (including vitamins)
- Pack some fun snacks to share this is a great way to make friends!
Electronics and Communication
- Cell phone or Satellite Phone (these are easily rented)
- Device Chargers
- It may also be wise to send your child with small amount of cash in small bills to pay for extras as needed.
- If you are interested in renting a satellite phone for your child you can do so easily and affordably at https://www.satellitephonestore.com/rent/