Your to-do list is checked off, the camp paperwork is complete and the bags are packed — but have you prepared your child emotionally and behaviorally for a successful and fun camp experience? Jill Tipograph, author of Your Everything Summer Guide & Planner, share tips on preparing your child for day camp, overnight camp and teen programs.
How to prepare for day camp
For many kids, going off to day camp may be the first time they take a bus or meet a new group of children — especially if they have not entered elementary school. A parent should try to make this transition as easy as possible by following these tips:
- If your child is traveling by bus, find out the bus route and travel it in advance with your day camper, pointing out easy landmarks that he/she will recognize on the route to and from camp.
- Involve your child in packing their knapsack for camp (bathing suit, towel, sun protection, hat, lunch, etc.) and walk to the bus stop ahead of time to get them familiarized with the early morning routine and the contents of and responsibility for their knapsack.
- Contact the camp to find out the name of his/her head counselor, bus driver, and bus chaperone with contact information.
- Call the camp a few days before its start to introduce yourself, share some things about your child the camp should know, and learn whom you should call about your child if you have any questions during the summer.
- Organize all papers that the camp will send home each day or week with your child so that daily schedules, trips, special events and important information are readily accessible.