Top Two Tips For Sending Kids Off to Camp

shutterstock_1375467Now that summer is here, it’s time for your kids to have a little fun! Sending them to camp or other summer programs is a great way for them to learn new skills, make lifelong friends and just enjoy themselves. To help busy families, we’ve put together our top two tips for sending kids to camp:

1. Ensure you pack the right equipment and supplies

It’s very easy to forget a crucial piece of equipment and suddenly you have a sad camper! For any type of camp or program, draft a quick list of all the equipment that might be needed. Each list will need to begin with the following:

  • Water proof sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Good, comfortable athletic shoes or hiking boots
  • A hat and change of clothes (for younger children)
  • Any medications or medical supplies that are needed, including epi-pens and inhalers (also be sure to discuss any medication that needs to be administered with camp staff).
  • Healthy snack or a packed lunch if required.

If your child is attending a specialized camp, don’t forget to check for any required equipment as well. This could include new cleats for a soccer camp, a helmet for mountain bike programs, or goggles and a lab coat for a science camp.

2. Share the responsibility

The time away from home is the perfect opportunity to ask your child to be more responsible. Before they go to camp, have a quick talk about some of the things they should do at camp:

  • Sun and heat protection – Ensure your child knows how to apply sunscreen, or when they should ask a camp counsellor if they need assistance. Hats and hydration are also easy tasks to suggest.
  • Hygiene – Proper hand washing is a basic, but crucial piece of health and wellness during summer programs. Your child will most likely be itching to get back to the fun, but remind them to properly wash and dry their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Discuss swimming abilities – It’s easy for children to get caught up in the excitement at the pool or lake. Before camp, be sure that your child knows their swim abilities, and what types of activities they should or should not participate in. For those who need a life jacket, emphasise that it’s an important piece of the fun!
  • Food allergies – We’re sure that you’ve already communicated any important allergies to camp staff, but it never hurts to set guidelines with your child either. It’s easy for a child to be tempted by an offer of trail mix from a friend, so remind them of what they should or should not do in these cases. Allowing them to pick out their own food and snacks will help them be excited for their own food, making any other offers less tempting as well!

Bonus Tip – Connect with Camp Staff

If your child requires any special accommodations, be sure to connect with recreation staff and arm them with all critical information before the start of the program. Whether your child always carries an inhaler for asthma, or has distinct behavioral issues, the camp staff will certainly appreciate you bringing these conditions to their attention. Don’t forget that your ePACT records are a great way to share this critical information with the program as well!

We hope your entire family has a great summer, and that your kids enjoy each and every program they attend!

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