5 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Summer Camp
By: Jennie Bradford Curlee
Summer camp is so much more than just something to check off the list once school is out. Spending a week, two weeks or even a month at summer camp helps kids become independent, develop important life skills and make friends that last a lifetime. Whether your child is going to his first summer camp or is already a seasoned camp veteran, these five tips can help you prepare, so you can make best summer memories.
Researching camp may help you and your child feel better prepared for what lies ahead. Checking out the camp’s website or social media may help your child feel ready. Looking at pictures, watching videos and reading testimonials from other campers can be very helpful. Some of the anxiety that comes with going to camp for the first time may subside after seeing the smiling faces of happy kids, enjoying all the summer camp fun.
Once you’ve done your research, take it one step further and see if your camp has a family day or open house. Many camps offer new campers the chance to experience it before spending a week or more there in the summer. Visiting camp ahead of time will make it a familiar place when your child arrives for his extended stay.
Did you go to summer camp as a child? If you have fond memories of your time at camp, share these with your child. Tell him about the camp friends you’re still in touch with, share the memories you made together and tell him about the special activities you were a part of. Your child will love hearing your stories and will be even more excited to share his stories upon return.
Getting ready for camp usually calls for a shopping trip to make sure your soon-to-be-camper has everything he needs for time away from home. Letting your child help pick out things such as toothbrush, flashlight or swimsuit will give him another reason to be excited about all that camp entails. Bring your helper along to pick up camp supplies so he feels engaged in the entire preparation process.
Communicate expectations to your child and have him do the same. Don’t assume that your child knows everything he needs to know in order to be fully prepared for overnight camp. Double check that he can care for himself, make his own bed, pick out the appropriate clothing for different events, maintain basic hygiene, and more. Talk to him about eating the right foods and trying new things. Does your child take medication daily? Make sure that he has a process in place to keep up with his routine.
Summer camps build character in our children in amazing ways. Setting them up for success by utilizing these five tips will help you rest easy while your children are away making forever friends and memories.
Jennie Bradford Curlee is the public relations and international sales director for the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. She spent her summers at camp and still cherishes those memories to this day.