It can be tricky trying to get motivated to get to summer camp on time and in happy spirits after a week or two of sleeping in, vegging out on the couch, and getting a break from packing school lunches. Oh wait, this article is supposed to be about the kids, not me…right? But the transition to summer camp can be challenging for them, too, since it an entirely different environment from their school with a new group of kids and a different set of expectations. So here are four easy ways to put your kids at ease and prepare them for summer camp.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Now, if you are reading this article the night before summer camp starts you MIGHT be a little late. You see, it is imperative that you do research on camps to make sure that you find one that meshes with your kids’ wonderfully unique personality. For example, my older son loves to create and could paint and draw for ours while my younger son wants to play sports non stop. And as much as they love to be together, they need to try out different camps that are suited to them as individuals.
If you aren’t sure what would be the right fit for your kids, ask around. Just by talking to some moms on the school playground I learned about Camp Galileo and have my sons signed up for a week of tinkering and creating. Since it comes so highly recommended, I am excited for them to give it a try and will be sharing our review of their program later this summer. Click here to learn more about Camp Galileo to see if it is the perfect fit for your family.
HAVE A BUDDY SYSTEM
Everything is easier with a friend, right? So sign up for summer camp with one of your child’s friends. Not only will they be more at ease and comfortable in the new environment, but you will also get some help in the carpool area. It’s a win-win.
As someone who ran a day camp for over five years, I dealt with crisis after crisis, and many of these hot button issues related to campers’ things. I know it sounds silly, but kids get REALLY upset when they lose one of their prized possessions or find out that someone swiped something from them.
So to be on the safe side, leave any and all valuables at home. But if there are things that need to come to summer camp, such as comfort objects for the younger kids and cell phones for the older ones, label EVERYTHING. It makes such a difference and will help your camper relax and focus on having fun. Oh, and if you are looking for great labels, I highly recommend the versatile personalized labels from Mabel’s Labels.
HAVE A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
There will be good days (those perfect 80 degree days filled with fun at the pool, being on the winning soccer team, and making the best friendship bracelet out of the entire campground) and not so good days (hot, humid and rainy days—the WORST combo if you ask me). But as a parent, it is your responsibility to help your child find the upside in life. Because if you don’t, absolutely EVERYTHING will be a struggle, from simply going to day camp to bigger responsibilities like doing homework and being a good friend.
One of the easiest ways to help kids have a more rosy outlook on life, not just summer camp, is to play “Roses and Thorns” at the end of the day. The rose is the best part of the day and the thorn is the not so best part. You can then use your time together to talk things through and learn about situations that need addressing, or simply give a few extra cuddles at bed time.
Here’s to hoping that these four easy steps help to make the transition from school to summer camp an easy one! And don’t forget to check out my summer hacks for parents as well as ways to create your own fun and unique “summer camp” so summer is as stress free as possible!