Here’s a few parenting tips for planning for summer camp. Congratulations! Your little one is growing up and is about ready to have the time of his or her life. Summer camp can be a great chance for kids to stretch wings in a protected environment. Lives are changed at summer camp and memories are made that will last a lifetime.
While summer camp can be a wonderful experience it can also bring anxiety. You may have a lot of questions – especially if this is the first time your child has attended summer camp.
Here are ten tips to help you and your child get started on the right foot.
Summer Camp Tip #1 Prepare Your Child
If your child has never spent the night away from home don’t start on a 5-night summer camp trip. Gently begin with an overnight trip to a friend’s house or a lock-in. This will help you both build confidence.
Summer Camp Tip #2 Pick a camp according to your child’s interests.
An art student might not have fun at an athletic camp and vice versa. When looking for a summer camp pick one with activities geared toward your child’s interests.
Summer Camp Tip #3 – Buddy up.
Even shy kids can have fun at summer camp. If your child is shy see if he or she has a friend that is interested in going to the same camp. Taking a best friend along can more than double the fun!
Summer Camp Tip #4 – Ask around.
When selecting a camp ask other parents for recommendations. Find out what they did or did not like about the camping experience their child had. This can help you select a camp.
Summer Camp Tip #5 – Camp rules.
When you select a camp find out ahead of time what the rules are. A couple of things to keep in mind are: Can your child have a cell phone? Will your child be able to get a signal? If not, how do you get messages back and forth? Is there internet access? Also ask about any medications and procedures for illness.
Summer Camp Tip #6 – Talk to your child.
Ask if he or she wants to go to summer camp. Tell your child about the activities offered. Share any brochures that you may have about the camp. If your child truly does not want to go don’t force the issue. Give your child another year or two and then bring it up again.
Summer Camp Tip #7 – Homesickness.
Homesickness happens. Tell your child in advance that it is normal to be homesick the first night or two. Encourage your child to phone home if this happens. If you get the homesick call resist the urge to pick up your child. Don’t promise to do so. Reassure your child that the feeling will pass.
Summer Camp Tip #8 – Pack according to the supply list provided.
Most summer camps provide supply lists. Pack according to what is listed. Be careful about adding too much as it will only overburden your child. It is ok to add a comfort item or two as long as it is not too much for your child to carry. Put your child’s name on everything with a permanent marker.
Summer Camp Tip #9 – Sunscreen and insect repellent is a must!
Pack it and tell your child how to use it. If he or she decides not to then it isn’t your fault.
Summer Camp Tip #10 – Relax
Relax and unwind knowing your child is well prepared and probably having the time of his or her life. After all, that is what summer camp is for!