As departure day approaches, you may be wondering how to prepare for summer camp. Sending your child away to sleepaway camp may feel like an emotional rollercoaster, but there are things you can do and steps you can take to make the whole process a lot easier and more manageable.
Summer camp is an amazing opportunity for your child to become more independent, make lifelong friends, learn new skills, and gain confidence – and all of that can happen in a fairly short amount of time. Whether your child is going to camp for one week, one month, or the whole summer, your child will inevitably return home from camp with a new take on life.
The effects of summer camp reach far beyond the timespan of camp, so we’ve compiled a list of tips that embody the lifecycle of camp, from preparation through to welcoming your child home.
Preparing for summer camp doesn’t have to be stressful. The best thing you can do to make sure both you and your child feel confident about the camp you’ve chosen is to do your research (and start early)! There are hundreds, if not thousands of summer camps out there, and allowing your child to help with researching camps will help them feel as if they have some stake in the decision making process. Ask for their input and allow them to do their own research so that they feel involved right from the start. If you’re researching a number of camps, a spreadsheet can be a handy tool for helping you to stay organized.
Once you’ve chosen a camp, you should review the camp packing list about a month in advance so that you don’t have to scramble to buy necessary items at the last minute. Some items may need to be specially ordered—such as luggage, or water shoes.
Let your child help pack their duffle so they know where items are located in their bags. Kids will be kids, which often means they are inclined to wear whatever’s in sight – which is often what’s packed on top. Also, before your child leaves for camp, talk to them about how to avoid and handle common situations like bug bites and sunburns. Of course, camp counselors are here to help! For more sleepaway camp tips on how to pack, read our blog post about how to pack for summer camp.
For many parents, the most stressful part of summer camp is not the preparation, but wondering what your child is up to while they’re away. You should take solace in the fact that your child is safe and being well taken care of by camp staff and counselors. In fact, they are probably having the time of their life!
Daily life at Pali Adventures consists of nonstop activities designed to keep kids active, having fun, and making memories. After breakfast, your child will participate in their specialty, followed by a series of electives, and evening activities, all broken up by delicious meals cooked by our expert chefs. At meal times, campers will have the option of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free entrees. We can also cater to any other special dietary needs — the possibilities are truly endless!
After dinner, kids will participate in a special nightly activity before having some down time, washing up, and then heading to bed for a restful nights sleep.
To keep up with daily camp life, you will inevitably find yourself checking the Pali Portal throughout the day where literally thousands of photos are uploaded multiple times each day. Pali’s media staff is on-site to by your eyes, capturing lifelong memories through their lenses. Photos and videos are available for you to see your child participating in their specialty, electives and evening activities, and view them with new friends and smiling faces.
By the end of your child’s camp session, they may be excited to come home, but they also may miss their new camp friends and the daily adventures that camp life presents. Every child’s transition back home will be different, so try to give your child some room as they adjust back to everyday life.
Try to make the shift back to homelife feel as special as being away at camp. Small gestures such as making a “welcome home” banner, or cooking your child’s favorite meal will make them feel happy to be home.
Ask your child about their favorite camp experiences, but avoid asking them if they “miss camp”. Give your child a buffer period to get acclimated—don’t be alarmed if you find your child wearing the same t-shirt 2 days in a row, or going to bed at a later bedtime — this is completely normal. After a few days, your child should be back to their normal daily routine. Make sure to get a pulse on their camp experience, so that you can begin planning for next summer!
For more sleepaway camp tips visit the PALI BLOG where you can find resources on everything summer camp related!