Summer camp is just around the corner for many kids around the world! Spending long, sunny days on the lake, spying on the boys (or girls) and riding horses for the first time are just some of the memories they will be making! It’s a combination of fabulous fun and homesickness; and for parents, packing your child up for the first trip away from home can be bittersweet. Send yours off with everything they need to ease the transition! Here are some of our most handy-dandy tips:
- Contact the camp ahead of time and ask for a list of recommended clothing and apparel. The camp staffers know the terrain and weather patterns, so they’ll have plenty of solid suggestions. Find out if your child needs clothes of a certain color for field trips, a special event or team sports.
- Begin packing several weeks in advance to avoid last-minute shopping trips or scrambling for a must-have favorite t-shirt. Your child should help you pack so they know what they’re bringing.
- Purchase or borrow a large duffel bag, a traditional trunk or a trunk on wheels.
- Ensure your child’s gear is labelled. Lovable Labels offers an extensive array of labels that are dishwasher, laundry safe and UV resistant. Check out the Ultimate Camp Pack to get all the labels you need all in one pack!
- Pack a small toiletries kit or basket so your child can carry and keep track of essentials such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, deodorant, comb and brush. Flip-flops for the shower are also a must.
- Pack sufficient clothing. Depending on where the camp is located, even in August the nights can get cold. Include a fleece jacket, a windbreaker, a warm hat and gloves. Pack rain gear in case of wet weather, and bathing suits and towels for swimming.
- Pack additional necessities. This could be games, a favourite toy or stuffed animal and books. Also, choose between cameras – film, disposable or digital. Pre-stamped, pre-addressed postcards are a great way to encourage kids to write home (and at no cost to them).
- If your child suffers from severe allergies or has medical conditions, ensure the proper precautions are taken ahead of time with filling out the necessary paperwork, making sure that they have access to the appropriate medication and that camp staff is aware of your child’s condition(s). Lovable Labels also carries safety items such as Medical / Vital ID Wristbands and Allergy Labels that are great for children with medical conditions like allergies, asthma, epilepsy and diabetes.
- Many life-long friendships can be formed at camp. Ensure your child has “Connect with Me” Cards to share with his/her new friends. These cards can be written on to exchange phone numbers, Facebook addresses or emails to keep in touch. A thoughtful touch that kids will appreciate at the end of a fabulous camp experience!
- If your little camper has a bad case of nervous butterflies on the night before the first day of summer camp, take the time to explain that it is okay to be a little nervous and that other campers are experiencing the same feelings. Encourage your little camper to participate in all the camp activities to keep his/her off any negative feelings. Physical activity is a great way to stay positive and combat homesickness. In addition, packing a favourite toy or special PJ’s will help comfort him/her at bedtime.
Although we suggest that you contact your child’s camp for specific packing items we have put together a handy What to Pack for Camp checklist to ensure you get a head start and do not miss any of the essentials!