Whether it's your first time sending your kids off to summer camp, or you've done it once or twice before, there will always be certain fears and anxieties that pop up. Sometimes it's the kids that will feel anxious about camp, since they'll be spending a couple of nights away from home. Other times, it might be parents that will wonder if their kids will be alright on their own.
This is why preparation is key. Being well prepared both practically and mentally can help ease you and your kids into the idea of going off to camp. In fact, good preparation may even excite them.
But what, exactly, should you do to make sure that both you and your kids are prepared for camp?
1. Be Well-Informed
Knowledge is power, they say. That's why it's important that you read through all the forms and memos that the camp directors handover, and attend and pay attention during orientation.
Checking the weather doesn't hurt as well, as this can help you prep and pack the appropriate clothing and items. Is there a chance of rain that day? Better pack a raincoat and umbrella just in case.
2. Prepare for Medical Emergencies
Does your kid have asthma? Are they allergic to certain things? Preparing the appropriate medications (and even backup medications) should be your top priority. Tucking in a backup inhaler in their bag, or handing it to a camp counselor might also be a good idea on the off-chance that your kid would lose theirs while doing some of the camp activities.
Another thing to take into account is first aid. While it should be a given that the camp facilities have first aid kits on-hand, packing a smaller kit with bandages and disinfectant in your kids bag won't hurt.
3. Be Cool and Positive
Kids can sense when you're feeling scared or anxious. So do your best to keep calm and relaxed. Talk about camp in a casual and positive way. Share stories of what you enjoyed most about summer camp when you were a kid. Or have a look through the various activities that they'll be able to enjoy while they're there.
4. Be Realistic
Don't set unrealistic expectations either. You don't want to oversell the summer camp experience and then later on have your kid come back and complain to you that it wasn't as fun as you'd made it out to be. Let them know what to expect, but don't blow things out of proportion and promise them that they'll have the best summer ever.
5. Check Everything Twice
Next, make sure to check your packing list twice. In fact, check things three or four times. The best way to make sure that your kids have everything they need is to make a checklist and go through each item on that checklist one by one.
6. Lastly: Label Everything
There's a high chance that your kids' belongings will get mixed up with those of other kids. This is where camp labels come into play. Make sure to stick a label onto anything and everything that's important. There are a lot of stick-on labels available online that you can purchase and attach to your kids bags and belongings.
Camp labels can also help the counselors identify and return items that might end up being left behind in one of the tents or cabins. There are a lot of cool, fun, and unique camp labels available online that you can purchase to help your kids' stuff stand out.
If possible, have your kids choose the labels themselves. Find a design that resonates with them so that they'll feel a greater sense of ownership for their stuff while they're at camp. That way, you'll lessen the chances of having anything be left behind or lost.
If you're not sure where to get camp labels, check out Sticky Monkey Labels. They have a wide selection of designs for camp name labels that might connect with your kids' interests.