Sending your child to sleep-away camp is a big step, let alone sending them to camp in another state! It’s totally natural to worry about being far away in the case of an emergency or worrying about your child feeling homesick. Fortunately, at Pali Adventures, we host campers from over 42 states, so chances are that your child will quickly and easily bond with other kids over their shared experience of being away from home.
Rest assured that camp counselors and staff at Pali Adventures take your child’s health and safety very seriously, and our are on duty 24/7. Your child will have a blast exploring the new landscape of Southern California, and getting to know kids from all over the country and world! Here are three steps that you can take to prepare your child for attending an overnight summer camp in California.
As you decide between different sleep-away summer camps to send your child to, climate should be one of several important factors you consider. The weather at camp may be very different than your climate at home, so make sure you talk to your child about how to properly dress for the elements. To make things easier, Pali Adventures provides a handy CAMP PACKING CHECKLIST, so you can make sure you don’t forget anything.
Many overnight summer camps in California have mostly warm, dry weather all summer long, so make sure to pack a hat with a brim and plenty of sunblock, too. Talk to your child about the benefits of staying hydrated, especially if you are traveling from a more humid area. Pali Adventures is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, which boasts average temperatures of around 89-96 degrees in June and July.After sunset the temperature tends to cool off a bit, so make sure you pack something cozy to wear around the campfire.
Switching time zones to attend an overnight summer camp in California may be the last of your worries as you prepare everything for the big day. If your child is traveling across the country, they will inevitably experience some jet-lag. Overnight summer camps, like Pali, are generally very understanding when it comes to giving kids time to adjust from jet lag, so talk with your camp ahead of time to see when your child should arrive.
If your child is traveling from the East coast they may need a day or two to adjust to West coast time. Since everyone has the same bedtime at camp, this means that kids quickly get adjusted to their new schedule. At Pali, we recommended sending your child to camp for a minimum of two sessions — oftentimes, the first week is more of an adjustment period where kids are getting acclimated with their new surroundings and settling into their new routines. Plus, if your child is traveling far, it might make more sense to stay a little longer!
When attending a sleep-away summer camp that is out of state, you have to decide whether it makes more sense to drive or to have your child fly. Start by assessing both the distance and the time it will take for your child to arrive at camp, in addition to talking with your child about how comfortable they are traveling alone.
If you decide to drive and are traveling for more than six hours each way, you may want to consider finding overnight accommodations in San Bernardino. When attending an overnight summer camp in California there are lots of places for you and your family to stay before and after camp, so consider making a vacation out of your drive to pick up your child. Visit the Pali Adventures blog for accommodation suggestions. [link when blog is live]
If a road trip is not in the cards, you may find that flying is actually the best option. If your camper is flying, try to make the experience as easy as possible. Book a direct flight to reduce the stress of layovers, quickly having to navigate unfamiliar airports, and the possibility of missing a connection. Depending on how frequently your child travels, you can also leverage TSA pre-check to help them expedite their way through long security lines.
Sending your child to camp in another state definitely adds an element of adventure to your summer camp experience! With just a little bit of planning, you can make sure things go smoothly come departure day. Pali recommends booking flight/travel accommodations as soon as you enroll your child in camp, that way you’re not scrambling to book a last minute flight or hotel – which can definitely get pricey!
For more tips on preparing for summer camp, check out the PALI BLOG.