Summer camps are a great way for kids to learn independence, develop life skills, and meet new friends. However, going to a sleepaway camp can also be scary and intimidating for a lot of children. And although you as the parent might have had a great experience at your sleepaway camp as a kid, if this is your child’s first time being away from home for an extended period of time, it’s only natural to have some fears and anxieties. If this sounds like your child, there are a few things you can do to help get them excited and ready for their time at camp. To show you how, here are three tips for preparing your child for summer camp.
Pack For Camp Together
Different camps will have different packing list, and it’s important to get everything from the packing list the camp sent you so your child can be as prepared as possible. Once you’ve accumulated everything you’ll need to pack, Jennifer Bush, a contributor to Parents.com, suggests packing everything into bags with your child. By doing this, they’ll know exactly where their certain items are and will have an easier time finding them once at camp. Also, this act can help them feel more personally connected and prepared for camp once the reality sets in that the next time they see these items, they’ll be at camp and ready for summer fun.
Keep Your Emotions To Yourself
If this is the first time your child is going to be spending multiple nights away from home, the prospect can be just as emotionally sensitive for you as it is for them. However, to keep them happy and positive, Jill Tipograph, a contributor to SheKnows.com, recommends keeping these emotions to yourself. The bigger deal you seem to make out of them being away from home the scarier it will become for your child. But if you’re able to be excited for them despite knowing that you’ll miss them, your child will have a better chance of quickly acclimating to this new environment without their parents around.
Stay In Touch
Depending on how long your child will be away at camp, you may want to plan to send a few letters or care packages in order to keep in touch. Even if they’re only going to be gone for a week, getting a letter from home is bound to make their day. In fact, Dr. Gail Gross, a contributor to the Huffington Post, suggests sending a letter ahead of time so that your child has something waiting for them when they arrive at camp. This could be just the confidence boost your child needs to feel comfortable and secure in this new place.
If you’re sending a child off to summer camp in the next few weeks, use the tips mentioned above to ensure you’re both prepared for what this experience has in store.