Summer camp is great for kids. Whether you went to summer camp yourself and experienced the fun firsthand or have simply seen the fun in movies and elsewhere, rest assured, summer camp is a great choice for your kids! Kids get the benefits of physical exercise, socialization and independence, while parents get a little time away from the kiddos! But, of course, like anything else, a good summer camp experience comes with proper preparation. Here’s what you should know about getting your kids ready for summer camp.
Decide Whether to Opt for a Local or Sleepover Camp
Camp can be a great experience for a child, but as a parent, it’s important to decide what kind of camp is ideal for your little one. There are pluses and minuses to both local and sleepover camps. A sleepover camp can be a great time to arm your children with self-found confidence and prepare them for future independence. Most children go to sleepover camp after age 8 or so, past the third grade. Before sending your child off to camp, be sure to “test the waters” with sleepovers at friends’ houses or at Grandma’s. Don’t forget that there are “in-between” options as well—you can send your child to a special two week sleepover camp and have them at a local camp the remainder of the summer. There are many options in today’s day and age, so don’t be afraid to get creative!
To make sure your child is a happy camper, make sure they are prepared. First, get organized and make a list of all the things you need—both things that need to be bought and packed and information you need from the camp (event schedule, contact information, a map of the camp, rule-book, etc...). Your camp should have guidelines on what to bring, but if you aren’t sure, ask! Better to be proactive and ask questions than regret not having something later. Make sure that you print a list of everything your child needs and that you write your child’s name on everything in permanent marker. It’s also a good idea to let your child bring a comfort item or some token of home with them. It doesn’t have to be big, but even something as small and simple as a teddy bear or note from dad or mom can go a long way!
As you’re preparing, don’t forget to come up with a mental packing list as well. What’s a mental packing list? A list of free, easy to pack attitudes and reminders that will serve your child well all summer long. You can customize your list at will, but some good things to include are: a positive attitude, an open mind, a sense of adventure, cooperation, and kindness. Talk to your child about what values are most important to bring to camp.
Get Your Child Vaccinated
Most summer camps nowadays have vaccination requirements. These vaccination requirements are put in place to help protect your children, as well as camp counselors and staff from potential illness. Camps will have different vaccination requirements based on your state, county or camp itself. It is recommended that you get your child’s summer vaccinations as soon as possible, before the pre-summer camp rush.
Contact the Capital Pediatric Group to book your appointment and beat the rush!