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Children playing tug of war at summer camp

Preparing for Summer Camp

Summer camp provides many opportunities to learn and grow, and to develop lifelong skills like confidence and independence. Here are a few tips to get your children started off on the right foot.

Do Not Procrastinate

Most summer camps, whether it be an overnight camp or day camp, will require some sort of paperwork, such as, application forms, immunization records or notarized forms. Some may even require a physical. Get these things out of the way well before camp starts so when the time first day comes you and your child are prepared and the day is less stressful.

Attend Orientation

Your child’s camp orientation will cover drop-off and pick-up details, and provide an overview sense of what your child will be doing and who will be working with your child. It will help both you and your child to be familiar with camp ahead of time, so on day one, you both know what to expect.

Packing for Camp

Consider packing old clothes and label everything. Kids tend to lose their belongings. Labeling will help the camp counselors identify who the item belongs to. Don’t be surprised if they do not come home without a piece of their own clothing or end up with someone else’s T-shirt or pants.

Pack extra clothes. Kids tend to get dirty, and camp is a great place for that! of course and Doing laundry may not be an option.

Don’t forget sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and bug spray to protect against the elements if outdoor activities are scheduled.

Include your child. Let him or her help you pack so they know what’s in their bag.

Prepare yourself so that you can prepare your child.

On your child’s first day of camp, be organized, calm and excited for their new adventure. If they see you are anxious or stressed, they will become anxious and stressed too.

Be aware of the drop-off details and be sure to communicate them to your child so they know what to expect.

Understand the camp’s communication policy.

Make sure the camp has several ways to contact you in case of an emergency. An additional emergency contact is also a good idea.

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About Michele Tryon, CCLS

About Michele  Tryon, CCLS Michele Tryon, CHKD community outreach coordinator and parent educator has worked with children and families for 30 years, providing services in the hospital, home, school and community setting. Michele is a Certified Child Life Specialist, a Certified Positive Discipline™ parent educator, a nationally recognized trainer/consultant for Nurturing Parenting Programs™ and co-author of The Nurturing Program for Parents and Their Children with Special Needs and Health Challenges©.