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Getting Your Kids Ready for Sleepaway Camp

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Summer camp

Sending your kids to sleepaway camp for a few weeks in the summer will be an amazing time for them. For most kids, it will be the first time that they’ve ever slept away from the family. It is a chance for them to make new friends and gain a level of independence. It also gives them a constructive outlet for staying occupied during the summer months. Plus, it is just awesome fun! If you’re sending your kids away to camp this summer, then you’ll want to put these tips into action to get them ready:

Go Through the Website

Every summer camp will have a website that spells out all the potential fun ahead. It will also provide a map of the grounds and a sense of what your kids can expect throughout their stay. You’ll want to visit that website often and allow your kid to familiarize themselves with the environment. There might also be forums set up where previous campers and their families discuss the ins and outs of the camp.

Get the Details

Preparing kids for camp means getting as many details of the camp as possible. For instance, will the bunkhouse where they are staying have its own bathroom and shower? What are the rules of curfew? Are there specific times for meals? What are the chances of encountering wildlife? These are all good questions to get answers for.

Pack with the Kids

Have your child pack their own bags. This will give them ownership of what they’re bringing. If they are too young to do it entirely on their own, do it as a team. Consider utilizing the best camp labels for all of their clothing and personal items. There will be a lot of mixing and matching of shirts, hoodies, and hats. You want to make sure your kid comes home with everything you’re sending them away with.

Practice the Sleepover

If your child has never gone on a sleepover to a friend’s house before, then it might be a good idea to set one up. This will give them the opportunity to experience sleeping in a new environment away from you. It will also be important to teach your child about keeping their possessions organized. That includes little things like their toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and towels for the bathroom. A travel kit is a good idea for them.

Establish the Line of Communication

Every camp has a different policy about kids communicating with their parents and others back home. Depending on the age range of campers, a lot of the kids might have cell phones. Does the camp allow for those? There might be weekly calls or Facetime sessions recommended by the camp. Of course, nothing is wrong with introducing your kids to the lost art of letter writing. It will also be nice if you can send them some snail mail and the occasional “care package” with some of their favorite treats to share with their bunkmates.

Try to Manage Expectations

Some kids will embrace the idea of going to sleepaway camp right from the jump. As the departure date gets closer, you might sense apprehension growing in them. That is certainly understandable. It will help to allay their fears by reminding them of all the fun they’re planning to have. You can share your own positive experiences of going away to camp. What you want to avoid saying is that you’ll pick them up if they’re having a bad time. Of course, you will absolutely do that. However, if you plant the seed in their mind that they have an “escape clause,” then they might not stick it out. That would be a big disservice to them.

Their summer camp experience will create a lot of terrific memories and it might just become a summertime tradition.

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