When I was growing up, I was a Girl Scout, and we camped a lot. Between summer s’mores and earning badges, my mom made sure we had everything we needed to successfully camp and have fun! Learning to be a master camper really helped when my entire 6th grade went away for 3 days to a program called Outdoor Ed. It was a sleepaway camp that the grade prepared for all year by learning regional botany, team building, outdoor crafting and physical training. I was petrified to leave home and go by myself even though all of my friends and teachers would be there. It REALLY didn’t help that the night before I was supposed to leave I got my period for the first time. But Mom had me prepared with everything I needed and made sure I was in good physical condition to handle the outdoor camp.
It ended up being one of the shaping experiences of my life, and I learned a lot about how to take care of myself when I was away from home (the early 90’s program lasted until 2011, when it was struck from the county budget, which made me so sad!). Is your child going to summer camp this year? Whether they are an old pro or a first timer, I have some tips that will help you prepare them for a great experience at camp!
Coach your child
Help your kids on how to participate and have fun. Make sure they understand that camp is only for a little while. They will come home soon to share all their adventures! Conflict mediation tools are VERY useful in adolescence.
Stay in touch
Mental Health needs care, too! Write some letters of encouragement and excitement and mail them to camp, or deliver them to a counselor for passing out over the duration of a week. Blankets, a stuffed animal, or even a small frame with a picture of your family can come in handy before campers hit the sack every night. Reminders from home are lovely!
Take care of their allergies
Send all medications, properly labeled with your child, and make all counselors aware of procedures and allergies. Try some of these OTC remedies if you have small kids, or be sure to pack and doctor recommended medication like allergy medication, facial tissue, etc.
SPF lip balm, a good hat and a pair of sunglasses for their outdoor time. Campers spend most of the day outdoors learning and having fun, and we all know how important physical sunblock is! Try to find formulas like Badger that are more natural with less chemicals.
Make sure your child is in good health
BEFORE they leave home, make sure they are healthy and is ready to take on all activities with a camp physical from MinuteClinic. Physicals are inexpensive compared to urgent care. Even if your specific camp doesn’t require it, it’s important to make sure your little ones are healthy & safe to participate in chosen activities like sports, water play, etc. No appointments are needed, and you can come in 7 days a week!
If your child has already attended camp, what kind did they attend? I’m sure Red will be ready for fun activities like theatre, baseball, natural science and music camp, but I want to hear your experiences.
Thank you to Minute Clinic for sponsoring today’s discussion and offering our family a complimentary physical!