1) Involve your child. Let them help make decisions.
In big decisions and little decisions, let them help. Create opportunities that foster independence. Ask them what tracks they want to choose at camp. If you go to a restaurant, encourage them to order for themselves.
2) Label everything.
Whether you use a labeler or a sharpie, put your child’s name on everything. Expect them to lose a towel, t-shirt, or something else at camp. If they have their name on it, there is a good possibility it will get found. We have a packing list that can be found on the parent info page.
3) Complete the health form… Honestly.
Make sure to put everything on the health from that the camp nurse needs to know so your children can be taken care of to the best ability.
4) Spend practice time away from home.
Let the your kids go to sleepovers so they can practice being away from home. Make sure they practice putting on sunscreen on their own as well. Letting them do some of the little things on their own before they come to camp will help them feel independent, which will help at camp.
5) Use a wall calendar.
The kids need to be able to see when camp is so they can help prepare for the week. Hang a calendar where they can reach and let them cross off days until it’s time for camp. Kids love countdowns!
6) Plan correspondence.
At camp you cannot use cell phones. Tell the kids that so they can be prepared. Campers can write their parents letters, make sure you send them with stamps and already addressed envelopes to make it easier on them.
7) No pick-up deals.
Don’t make any deals with your kids about picking them up. We want campers to “buy in” to being here at Arrowwood. If a parent makes a pick-up deal, campers seem to be in limbo as to whether they are here or at home.
8) Enjoy yourself!
Enjoy the process of getting the kids ready for camp and encourage them to enjoy their week at camp. They will come home with so many stories of their new friends and their new experiences.
Parents, any other great ideas you have found helpful over the years? Shoot us an email and we can share it with others.