Going to Camp
Don't leave home without these tips!
Fill 'er up. Fill two bottles half full with water and freeze overnight. The next morning, fill the remainder of the bottles with water to provide refreshment during the day. To keep your child's face and body cool in the hot sun, send along fan misters, spray bottles, and frozen sponges.
Rested and refreshed. Make sure your child gets ample rest each night and leaves home with a good breakfast, so he's energized and fueled for the day's activities. Younger campers may have a rest time and mid-morning snack, but older ones may not rest or take a food break until midday.
It's a scorcher! Apply sunscreen before leaving home and send along the tube for later reapplication. Avoid tanning lotions with little or no SPF or ones that contain glitter, as they can reflect light and cause sunburn. Likewise, steer clear of two-in-one sunscreen-bug repellent formulas, as your child may not need repeated repellent applications. Include a hat and sunglasses for extra UV protection.
Bug off! If your child is going to be in a natural environment, apply insect repellent. Look for a lotion that is safe for children; avoid sprays. Follow up each day with a tick check.
All decked out. Dress your child for comfort, safety, and appropriate temperatures. Consider lightweight clothing that wicks away moisture. Proper shoes are important, too. Avoid strappy sandals, flip flops, or crocs; opt for tennis shoes.
Name it and claim it. Label all items with your child's last name and first initial in case something gets lost or left behind. This also avoids confusion, if identical items are brought by two children.
Time out from tech. Leave electronic games and cell phones at home. They are a distraction from planned activities and may become a liability issue, if they are lost or stolen. If your child must have a cell phone, inform the staff and abide by the camp's rules. Cell phones today provide access to the internet, television, and email and make it hard for camps to control what campers share with other kids.
Pills, pains, and other problems. Inform the camp of medications your child is taking as well as dosage changes from the school year to the summer, as this can effect moods and behavior. Also, make counselors aware of insect and food-related allergies. If your child is experiencing stress due to a recent death or other domestic situation, inform the staff, so they are equipped to handle any emotional needs that arise.
Help is on the way! Designate an emergency contact person and inform her of this role. Every year, camps call the emergency contact person listed on the form and find out she didn't know she had been designated as such.
Beef yer' brain. If you haven't done so already, read the policies and procedures manual, so you know what to expect and what is expected of you and your child. Stay abreast of planned activities, too. If for some reason your child cannot participate in an event because of health reasons, make sure you (not your child!) inform the camp.
Keep talkin'. Each day after camp, find a block of uninterrupted time, so you can listen as your child shares his adventures. Ask what he did and didn't like about the day, his favorite activity, and new friends he made. Every morning before he leaves, encourage him to do his best, obey the rules, respect others, and have a great time.