Community & Current Events

Sending the kids to summer camp: tips and a checklist

Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Sending the kids to summer camp: tips and a checklist

Sending kids to camp can be difficult for everyone, particularly if it is their first time away from home alone. Settle some nerves knowing they have everything they need.

If your child is anxious about the time away, reassure her that camp will be fun. You can also make the trip more comfortable by:

1. Going over the schedule together before she leaves: by reading over the list of activities and events, you can help your child understand anything she is unsure about. You can also show enthusiasm for all the fun things she will be doing and all of the friends she will make, which is sure to rub off.

2. Mailing a letter to camp ahead of time so it arrives mid-week during your child's stay: check in with the camp administrators to make sure mail will be delivered to campers.

3. Packing a special surprise in your child's luggage: this could be a note, a funny family photo, a new book to read or something your child can share with other campers, like a few small candies.

4. Trying out some of the activities ahead of time: If your child is afraid of canoeing, take her out yourself so she can experience it for the first time with you, building her confidence. You can also look up camp songs and teach her some lyrics so she will be ready for campfire sing-a-longs.

While most camps supply meals, it is best to ask them if anything else (like bedding) might be provided. Most often, children will need to pack the following for an average weeklong overnight camp:

• Any medication your child needs, along with instructions
• Emergency contact information
• Sleeping bag, pillow, stuffed animal
• Shampoo, soap and toiletries
• Swimsuit and towel
• Sunblock and bug spray
• Hat and sports clothes
• Band-aids (just in case)
• Flashlight with extra batteries
• A book, small game or deck of cards
• Rain gear
• T-shirts
• Shorts
• Pants
• Sweatshirt
• Undergarments, socks
• Pajamas
• Sun hat, sunglasses
• Water bottle
• A journal or plain paper and addressed, stamped envelopes to write home

Finally, don't forget to send them off with excitement and hope -- the more appealing you make the camp sound, the more eager they'll be to leave Mom and Dad behind.

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Community & Current Events

Sending the kids to summer camp: tips and a checklist