So your child is about to go on his/her first summer camp. While he must be very excited, it’s very important to plan things well in advance. The last thing you want is for your child to regret his decision right!!! So to help you out, we will share 20 easy-to-do summer camp tips with you that will surely make things less of a stress and more fun!!
From choosing the right summer camp to packing the right material and then finally at the summer camp, if you follow our tips, you will master the art of preparing for a summer camp and will have the best camp experience!!!
Choosing the Right Summer Camp
- Decide what you and your child wants
When your child grows to a certain age you look for the best ways to groom him. A summer camp is one such activity that is ideal for an active summer. About summer camps, you should always be clear on what you are looking for.
Depending on your child’s interest and abilities you can look for something he may like and even look for something challenging. If you think your child is too shy or needs to come out of his comfort zone you can look for something completely new.
Firstly, sit down with your child and discuss what he would like to learn. You can add your suggestions and then reach a mutual consensus. This small activity has another advantage. It will make your child feel more independent and will help him in making good decisions. A healthy talk is always fruitful!!!
- Select a summer camp type and dig in!!
After the goals are set and you are sure about the type of steam camp, you should proceed with finding camps in that category. You will find the following types primarily:
- Art camps
- Religious and single-gender camps
- Adventure camps
- Academic camps
- Sport and fitness camps
- Special needs camps
- Rehabilitation camps
Whatever category you select try to see the affiliations and vision of that institute along with the instructor and program information.
- Dive deep and research
After setting the goals and finalizing the niche you would have some summer camp options on your list. Now you can dive a little deeper into how they operate. The goals of the programs and activities should match your child’s interests. That would greatly help in getting your child excited about the camp. Excitement and eagerness matters when it comes to starting anything new.
If you have any queries about how they plan to deal with certain situations e.g. an emergency like a fire or an earthquake contact them. Ask all important questions to be sure. This way you will come to know about how much they value parental concerns during your questioning giving you a better idea about their general attitude.
- Study about the instructor
So you had many of your questions answered but how can you make sure the instructor is the right match? For this matter, you should check the camp’s website and view the instructor profile. You can check their social media handles as well to see how they will influence your child.
If the instructor looks promising and has a strong skillset in his respective area then your child will learn valuable skills. Otherwise, the experience can be a waste of time. You wouldn’t want that to happen so make sure to see if the instructors are worth it.
Additionally, check for student and parent reviews about the instructors and see if the camp administration does a background check. After all, safety is indeed a priority!!
- Don’t be scared to make a mistake
Finally at your last step of finding a camp remember to take it easy and keep things simple. Don’t stress out about picking the wrong camp. Being human means we make mistakes and that’s completely fine.
Consider the research as a positive experience that is great for you to bond with your child. Your child will learn how to be resilient and how to tackle new situations. Both of these are very important qualities. Plus memories whether good or bad are always an excellent conversational piece while talking about life experiences.
Whatever happens, you always learn and that is what matters!!!
Packingthe right way!!!
- Ask about a packing list
After the tiring phase of finding the perfect camp, it’s now time to start packing. While it’s very exciting to be going to a camp for your summer holidays the packing phase can be a little discouraging.
To make it easy, ask for a detailed list of supplies from the camp administration. Go through the list and the activities and then judge if the list has anything missing. Make a list of things you are adding to your bags and start packing days before.
If possible pack in an empty room where you can place all your necessities. That way you will have a clear picture of what to add and what seems a bit extra.
- Pack according to your needs
Follow the list provided by the camp administration but make sure to pack only the most important things. The list will have a lot of items you can afford to miss. Also, don’t add any expensive or fancy items as they may get lost or stolen.
While you make your list think about what’s important to your child. He is going to a new place but needs to be comfortable. He may need a comfort toy or a favorite snack so do add a little something to make him feel at ease.
- Labeling is key
It might appear a little too much but you should label everything you pack. That way when the clothes arrive from the laundry or when something goes missing during the camp your child will be notified. It’s a simple little hack to save him from avoidable inconvenience.
It seems hard work but it will keep you stress-free once it’s done!!
Getting the best out of the camp
- Prepare your child to live alone for a few days
While it sounds weird, mentally preparing yourself and your child before leaving is very important. You may think sleepover will be an adventure but your child will feel homesick. To avoid that make sure you have a nice talk before he leaves so he knows how to handle himself.
You can even send your child to a sleepover at a friend’s house to train him.
- Talking to campmates
So your child is finally at the camp!!Now he should try tointeract with other campers around. They are also new and are eager to make new friends so your child won’t have any issues.
Teach your child to be the first to start a conversation as that builds confidence and develops leadership qualities. Friendship is magical and with the right friends, he will surely have the time of his life.
Meeting new people, learning from their experiences, talkingabout their interests and why they chose to attend a summer camp can help build a better understanding. If he finds people of similar interests then he should try to learn from them and work on something together.
Time flies if you have the right company so why not look for it!!
- Getting to know the instructor
Instructors play a very important role in a summer camp. If they can keep children excited then that greatly help them have a wonderful and positive experience. So for that matter, encourage your child to talk to instructors and have detailed conversations.
This activity will raise your child’s value in front of everyone and will empower him to make his point. He will also get to learn about new ideas and positive responses from teachers will make him feel proud!!
- Ask as many questions as you want to
So your child interacted well with teachers and students. Great job!! You as a parent have performed wonderfully but another habit you can instill in your child is questioning. Whether it’s friends, the management, talking to a stranger, or a teacher questioning can be helpful.
Why is it important? Well, if your child comes across a problem he should ask questions and make sure he is satisfied whether it’s the meals or beddings offered by the camp or any treats. Your child should consider himself as a responsible and mature guy who always has the right to know.
When it comes to instructors asking questions helps solve misconceptions and increases interest. It’s hard and in the beginning, every child is shy but with time and training, he will make it!!
- Being a daredevil
Taking initiatives, embracing the outdoors, and trying out new things is daunting and we understand that but that’s what summer camps are all about. Ask your child to participate in as many summer camp activities as possible and try new things.
Your child will be surprised at how much he likes certain activities!! Plus he will get to know new sides to his personality which is always refreshing.
- Being nice!!
Many young children are shy and get awkward when meeting new people and that’s very natural. What they should consider though is being nice and respectful to new people even if they don’t feel like talking.
While he might be pretending at first the response will reassure him that he is doing the right thing. People are nice to nice people and that helps build long-term relationships.
- Following the rules
Being a daredevil and trying out new things is fun but your child should always follow the rules. With rules, a person feels more disciplined and can function much better. Following the rules is a very important aspect of training your child and it will help him throughout his life.
- Sending letters and making a journal
We know this is an old practice but many summer camps do not allow cell phones.Thus sending letters to your child and asking him to answer you back is a healthy practice. Your child will learn the importance of communicating with parents and how people used to live without technology in the earlier days.
Ask him to write in detail and keep you updated!!! Another thing he should do is to add his experiences and daily activities in a journal to keep track. That way he will have a detailed account of his memories to look back to.
- Checking the packing list before leaving
Before leaving and coming back home with memories, your child should check the list he made of his luggage. This is important as he won’t forget anything he brought and will bring back everything he packed.
This is a great organizational skill and should be used while traveling to prevent chaos.
- Leaving with new resolutions
The very aim of the summer camp is to learn and go through new experiences. When your child comes back ask him about his new resolutions and what he learned. Then discuss with him how he can put his new skills into use.
He can continue learning things he started at the camp and that will help further polish his abilities.
- Sharing the experience
After your child comes back ask him about the memories and friends he made. Also if he is comfortable, ask him to go through his journal so that you can get an idea of how it was like to be at the camp.
This activity will help you bond with your child and your child will get a chance to express himself to you.
- Making sure to give feedback
Finally, ask your child to provide feedback to the camp and make suggestions on how things can be improved. Feedback plays a great role in understanding student needs and preventing issues from reoccurring.
Moreover giving feedback will give a sense of confidence to your child and will improve his analysis and observational skills. On top of that, he will learn how to communicate problems and how to disagree politely.
In this article, we went through 20 tips to make sure your child makes great memories at summer camp. We shared 5 tips to select the best camp, 3 tips to pack well for the camp, and 12 tips to make the stay is worthwhile.
Choose the school according to the goals you and your child want to meet, research well, read about the instructor, and check for reviews. Once the camp is decided, pack days before in an empty room and make a list.
Lastly, at the camp, your child should talk to campmates and instructors, ask questions, try new things and write experiences in a journal. Being nice to people and writing letters are also great hacks for a great time.
After the camp ends sharing experiences and giving feedback to the camp authorities is also a great idea. Take your time to train your child and make sure to follow these tips. With time and effort, your child will learn and will prove to be a very valuable member of society. Keep up the work and your child will get there!