Top 14 Things to Prepare You & Your Kid for Summer Camp


Top 14 Things to Prepare You and Your Kid for Summer CampSummer camp can be an exciting time for both the kids and the parents but there are a few things to keep in mind before you start packing.  Most camps will provide you with a list of items that are needed but the following list has 14 suggestions from former campers and camp staff that you should be interested in.  


1.  Label everything with a fabric marker or iron-on label. This includes all clothing, towels, footwear, flashlights, disposable cameras and toiletries. Put the markings and labels on the inside or in a non conspicuous place. You don’t want it to look like a “HELLO my name is” sticker.



2.  No electronics. Think of it as rehab for the computer generation. This includes watches, cell phones, mp3 players, hand-held games, video cameras and portable televisions. The camp will provide a more “interactive” program than any electronics can offer.



3.  Unless instructed to, do not send your kid with a knife of any type including Swiss Army. If your child needs to be armed, you’re probably sending them to the wrong camp.



4.  Footwear: Rain boots and flip-flops are an excellent idea. A good pair of running shoes is a must. Make sure they aren’t brand new since you don’t want them suffering blisters. And don’t expect them to come back in any usable form. You may have to burn them.



5.  Insect repellent and sun screen. Don’t buy the cheap stuff and make sure the sun screen is water/sweat proof. It’s very easy for the kids to get excited and overdo it on the first day so give them a good coating before they get on the bus and remind them to put it on themselves before they go outside.



6.  Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, bath soap in a plastic container, wash cloth. An inexpensive travel kit to hold everything is ideal. A bath towel for showers (if available) and beach towels (if there’s a swimming area) are needed. Instruct the kids to hang the towels up to dry after use.



7.  Disposable cameras may be limited to the amount of photos they can take but they are more durable and can take a lot more abuse. A disposable camera with a flash would also be ideal for camp fires and evening activities.



8.  Follow the camp pack list and make sure all health forms are completed. It is IMPORTANT that you provide them with ALL information including potentially embarrassing things such as bed wetting and sleep walking.



9.  Homesickness happens but usually goes away in a day or two. DO NOT offer to remove the child if they get homesick or else they will take you up on it, guaranteed. Slowly get your kid excited leading up to camp. Talk about the activities they offer and how much fun it will be. Talk about the new friends they’ll make and the new experiences they’ll have. If you went to camp, tell them about your experiences (hopefully they were good) and how much it meant to you.



10.  Send them with a sketch book, crayons, comic books or a deck of playing cards for those rainy days. Remember: No electronics.



11.  Any medication should be placed in a clear plastic bag with the child’s name clearly marked. The kid shouldn’t have any medication with them unless instructed by a doctor and with the camp’s consent. This includes items such as Aspirin and Tylenol. All medication must be handed in to the camp nurse or director.



12.  Send them with an inexpensive flashlight and an extra set of batteries. Keep in mind that like everything else, it may not come back.



13.  Provide your kid with self-addressed stamped envelopes, writing paper and a pen or pencil. This will provide them with a great rainy day activity as well as record all of the fun they are having.



14.  Don’t expect to get all the towels and clothing back, especially socks. Designer and expensive clothes may not survive and don’t be upset when they come back looking a little different. After all, this is camp!