Summer Camp: Tips for Parents and Children

It is the night before, their suitcase is packed and they are all ready to go.

Or, are they?

What have you forgotten? Did you send the correct emergency contact phone numbers?

Sending your child to a summer camp can be a rewarding and sometimes, challenging experience. Children are unique in their own way and choosing the right camp can be tough, especially with so many camps now offered. Researching and gathering the correct information is very important, as the camp you choose will have a lingering impact on your child.

1.Browse through various camp brochures with your child. After selecting a few of choice, allow your child to select the camp he wants to attend. It is important for your child to feel included, as well as respected enough by you, to choose the one for him. While looking over the brochures, make sure your child is familiar with the different activities each camp offers.

2.Prepare ahead of time. Use a checklist so you will not forget the essentials. Make a few copies just in case you lose one. Hang one on to the refrigerator and ask your child and/or other family members to add items as they see fit. Maybe an older sibling experienced camp earlier on and could share some light on what your child may or may not need.

3.Perhaps share your experience going to camp when you were growing up. Give some positive thoughts, however it is also important to be honest about any anxieties you may have had about going away. Sometimes sharing these can help your child relate more to the situation.

4.The night before your child leaves for camp – Sit down with your child and share some quality time together. Assure them how much you are going to miss them, however be positive about their new and upcoming experience. Make sure you have reviewed the camp rules about writing letters and phone calls. Your child needs to know these rules before leaving.

5.Don’t let your child leave without a camera! You both will want lots of pictures for the photo album.

6.Upon returning home from camp, ask lots of questions about what they did and what they learned. Inquire about the new friends they made. Did they write down addresses and emails to keep in touch? What were their favorite activities? Would they like to go back next year? Hopefully so!

7.Most importantly, drop that camera off to get the film developed.

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