Preparing Your Child (and Yourself) for Summer Camp
It's time to send your precious child away... to overnight camp. You did the tours, you found the perfect camp for your kid and now it's the final countdown. Before you know it, you will be kissing your child goodbye and putting him or her on a bus or a plane off to have the time of their life!
There is so much you have to do to prepare- physically, mentally and emotionally. By now, the trunks should be mostly packed and ready with all the items neatly labeled with your child's name inside. But just in case you are still working on getting everything together, here are some great tips from Jill Tipograph, the summer camp expert, straight from her book, Your Everything Summer Guide & Planner:
• Stick to the lists that camps provide. If your child has a tendency to lose or damage clothes, you might want to add some extra necessities like socks, underwear, towels and eyeglasses - but DO NOT OVERPACK.
• "Containerize" smaller items. Put similar things together in see-through travel bags, zip-locks or plastic units. Bunk storage can be very limited so consider packing collapsible baskets for bulky items (check with camp policies first). • Put stationery/stamps/mail in large plastic envelopes or in a clipboard with a storage compartment; you'll want to read letters again or in years to come, as your kids mature.
• Send nothing expensive with your child. Pricey mp3 players, cameras (if you do, you need to remove all video capabilities) or other devices may break or disappear - and many camps do not allow electronics at all. (Especially in Maine, where your child really has a chance to be "unplugged.")
It's not easy to just let your kids go, both figuratively and literally. But parents need to trust their decision that they picked the right camp and feel confident their child will feel right at home. After speaking with a few Maine Summer Camp Directors, they wholeheartedly agree. They are in the business of making children happy! The Maine Camp Experience is a community of premier American Camp Association accredited Maine camps that are dedicated to providing children with the highest quality summer camp experiences. They offer a very safe and nurturing environment where kids will gain independence and self confidence, make lifelong friends, learn new skills and most importantly - have fun! That is what parents need to hold on to as they feel the butterflies in their stomachs; you don't want to pass along that nervousness to your child.