It’s that time of year again—days are getting longer, temperatures are rising, and kids and parents alike are starting to get excited for summer. As parents, we do everything we can to prepare ourselves and our children for camp. Summer camp—and the friends and experiences that summer camp affords—is one of the biggest gifts we can give to our children. And while as parents, we know that sleepaway camp is ultimately an amazing adventure for kids, it’s totally normal to feel a little unprepared at times.
If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably scoured the internet for summer camp tips to make sure you don’t miss anything important. Below are 4 tips you may not have thought about that can make the entire process, from registration to that goodbye hug, go as smoothly as possible. By following these easy summer camp tips you can rest assured that you’ve done everything you can to prepare for the big day.
One of the biggest mistakes that first-time camp parents make is waiting to the last minute to complete the summer camp registration. Nothing is more stressful than getting your child excited for a camp session only to find out that the session or their specialty choice is already full. As you do your research, consider relevant timelines to assure you don’t face disappointment.
Keep track of important dates and deadlines pertaining to registration, health information and medical records, and dietary needs. Prepare a timeline to shop and pack, send letters to meet your child at camp, and order items from the camp store for a special arrival care package.
As a concerned parent, you may feel the urge to pack your child with enough supplies for every possible scenario – but try to overcome this urge. Many camps provide a detailed list of what to bring and how best to pack. Don’t worry about packing a wide variety of clothing for your child; if your child is staying more than 3 weeks there will be laundry services available on site.
Summer camp is so busy and exciting that your child won’t be worrying about what he or she is wearing. In general, kids at camp don’t have a problem with repeating outfits. However, if you do forget to pack something important, the camp store at Pali Adventures has clothing available for purchase. For more summer camp packing tips read our blog post about summer camp packing hacks.
The big day is here, the bags are packed, and now it’s time to say goodbye. While you may have lots of mixed feelings about saying goodbye to your child and being apart, chances are your child is more excited than nervous. Don’t be surprised if there isn’t a teary goodbye like you had expected on departure day.
You may actually find that you miss your child more than they miss you, and that’s okay! If you did your research and selected a camp that meets your child’s needs, you can feel confident knowing that your child is well taken care of and having a blast. Instead of worrying, take this extra down time to do something enjoyable for yourself. If you feel the need to connect with your child while they are away at camp, send a care package, letter or email to let them know you are thinking about them and hoping they are having a great time.
Talk to your child not only about obeying camp rules, but also about some of the responsibilities that may be expected of them while away at camp. These responsibilities include making their own bed and keeping the cabin and their area clean, among other things.
Most importantly, make sure they are prepared to make new friends and have a great time. While it’s important to abide by the rules, let them know that they should use camp as a means to explore their interests, try new things, meet new people – all while making lifelong memories!
For more summer camp tips and information, visit the Pali Blog.