Tips on Camp Experiences

Junior Rangers FishingPlanning for a summer camp experience for your children can be challenging.  The question is what is available for my kids, where do I look for information, what is the age for the camps of interest, are they day camps or sleep away camps and what activities may peek my child's interest.  Here are some tips that will help prepare for summer fun! First,  in your community you should have a recreational center, YMCA, YWCA, community education, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, and State Parks to name a few resourceful entities that should be able to help you plan, prepare, and or give information on programs available. Moreover, your choice of acitivty is for your children to learn more about the great outdoors because you enjoy doing this activity. Likewise, you are looking for camping experiences that your child can share with other children their age.  The classes, workshops, camps that you choose could be one day or a week long programs.  That will depend on the age of your child. I am speaking from experience as I had many opportunities growing up and learning about hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, and backpacking through organized groups such as Campfire girls and YWCA programs.  Thanks to my parents for their love of camping and traveling and allowing my siblings and me to attend camps early on.  In fact, from second grade till I was a freshman in college.  It was an every summer occurrence, learning new skills,  and meeting new friends. Because of these experiences I love to travel and camp to this day. Next, you and your child have found a program that is of interest and you begin the process of planning.  Before you go here are some ideas to consider to prepare for the wonderful experience of camp.
  • Consider finding a friend to register with your child.  This could help eliminate separation from family easier, especially if it is an over night camp.
  •  Read all of the information about the camp by going to their website. Find out the dates, cost, and length of camp.
  •  Prior to going know what to bring to camp. Usually, camps give that information. It is wise to label all your child's belongings to lessen the chance of lost items when they return home.
  • If you send stuffed animals or other comfort items, especially if it is an over night format, make sure it something that could be replaced if lost.
  • Fill out the proper medical forms that would include allergies, medications and where this would be located for easy access while at camp.
  • If you have the opportunity to visit the camp ahead of time it will make the experience even more successful.
  • Sit down with your child and discuss what a typical day at camp may look like.
  • Leave any technology devices at home.  Camp is all about getting outdoors, learning new skills, making new friends.
  • Prepare for camp by discussing appropriate behavior, good manners, follow the rules of the camp, and always listen to your camp counselors.  By doing this it will keep you safe and provide for a fabulous experience.
  • Pack paper and pen to write home to your family of your fun adventures.  Or maybe there will be a visit day at camp for family.  Thus, allowing a time to share, but it is Ok not to be lonely because camp keeps you busy having fun!
  • Have your child experience a sleepover with a friend to get used to being away from home.
Summer camps are wonderful places to acquire new skills, try something new, learn to be independent, gain new friendships and best of all have fun!  By preparing and planning with your child the camp experience  will be a memorable one for years to come.  

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