Summer camp provides children with scheduled activities that help them stay healthy and active all summer long. As excited as your little one is about making new friends and spending time away from home, he or she is likely nervous and worried too. There are some simple things you can do to ease those worries and help your child prepare for camp.
Take a Tour First
Before sending your child off to camp, take a tour of the facility. Even if you visit during the off-season, your child will have the chance to see the cabins, learn more about the activities available and even check out the cafeteria. Many camps have multiple sessions in the summer, which means you can take a tour while other campers are there. This may get your child more excited about going to camp and making friends with some of those campers.
Let Them Pack
The summer camp will send you a list that shows you exactly what your child should bring. Give your child a copy of that list and your little one pack his or her own belongings. This makes your child a part of the process and takes his or her mind off actually going away from home. A packing list might include clothing, shoes, sunscreen and books. You can even give your child a small amount of money, stop by the store and let your son or daughter pick out new things to take to camp.
Ask About Pen Pal Programs
Some camps now offer pen pal programs that help ease the worries that children have before getting to their cabins. These programs let kids know which children are in their cabins and provide them with phone numbers and addresses that help them get to know each other before they live together. Other camps have pen pal programs that pair new campers with those who stayed there before and the counselors in charge of their cabins too.
Being positive is one of the best ways you can help your kids prepare for camp. Even if you feel yourself tearing up at the idea of your baby going away for the summer, put a positive spin on things. Talk about how much fun the campers will have swimming in the lake, taking horseback rides and learning how to boat or canoe. The more positive you are, the more positive your child will be.
Summer camp can provide kids with friendships that last for years and skills they will use during their high school and college years. Being positive, letting your child pack, taking a tour and using a pen pal program can help prepare your child for camp this summer.