NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Schools will soon let out for the summer, and many parents will be sending their kids off to camps.
CHKD Parent Educator Sam Fabian says the best way to make the experience smooth for both the parents and children, is preparation.
Tip 1: Most summer camps handout camp requirements in advance to give parents enough time to prepare.
- Do not procrastinate - It can be overwhelming to organize all the things that your child will need all at once. Your child can sense when you are stressing over the camp items which could cause them some anxiety about going to camp especially if it is their first time.
- For overnight camps attend the camps orientation. This will provide a sense of what they will be doing and who will be working with your child. Day camps can also have a lot details to remember and forms to be completed before they can start. So, be sure to read all the materials well in advance of the camp starting so you can plan accordingly (may need to update shot record or get an immunization or have a physical).
Tip 2: Pack. Pack. Pack
- Consider packing old clothes and label everything. Kids tend to lose their belongings. Labeling will help the camp counselors identify who the item belongs to. Don’t be surprised if they do not come home with a piece of clothing or someone else’s tshirt or pants.
- Pack extra clothes. Kids tend to get dirty of course and doing laundry may not be an option.
- Let’s not forget sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and bug spray to protect against the elements if outdoor activities are scheduled.
- Include your child in the packing of their bag. They are the ones who are going to use it so they will need to know what is going in their bag
Tip 3: This is an adventure of a lifetime for many young children. Prepare yourself so that you can prepare your child.
- The last thing you want your child to see you running around the morning they are leaving or starting their first day at camp. Be organized, calm and excited for their new adventure. If they see you are anxious or stressed they will become anxious and stressed too.
- Be aware of the drop off details and be sure to describe to them what to expect. Avoid giving them too much information as that can be overwhelming.
- Understand the camps communication policy. Drop a postcard in the mail or send care packages that can be shared with others in the cabin if it is a overnight camp.
- In the camp, no news is good news. Your child is probably having a great time making new friends and learning new things.
- Make sure the camp has several ways to contact you or an emergency contact if needed. If there is a problem, the camps professional staff will definitely contact you.