Summer Camps For Kids: 10 Top Tips To Get Your Child Ready

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Summer camp is an exciting adventure for children, offering a unique opportunity to make new friends, learn new skills, and create lasting memories. However, preparing for this big step can be daunting for parents and kids. 

Whether it’s their first time away from home or they are seasoned campers, a little preparation can go a long way in ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for your kids. Below are ten top tips to help you get your child ready for summer camp.

1. Involve Your Child in the Process

Start by discussing the camp activities and daily schedule with them. Highlight the fun and new experiences they will have, such as swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, or team sports. In addition, allow your child to choose some items to pack, giving them a sense of control and responsibility.

Another great way to prepare is by visiting the camp’s website together. For instance, at, you can find pictures of the camp experience, the environment, and the staff. These visuals help create a sense of familiarity and comfort for your child, allowing them to see the activities they will participate in and the friendly faces of their future counselors. 

2. Get required vaccinations

Begin by reviewing the camp’s health and vaccination policies, typically available on their website or in the camp registration materials. Schedule a visit to your child’s healthcare provider to confirm the vaccinations are up-to-date and discuss any additional shots required for camp.

In addition to vaccinations, complete any required health forms the camp provided. These forms often include medical history, emergency contact information, and consent for treatment. If your child has specific health needs or allergies, communicate these to the camp staff well in advance. 

3. Review Camp Rules and Etiquette

Go over the code of conduct, which typically includes guidelines on behavior, respect for others, and participation in activities. You can discuss specific scenarios they may encounter, such as sharing space with other campers, following instructions from counselors, and rules on group activities. 

4. Label Belongings 

It’s a simple yet crucial step in preparing for summer camp, ensuring everything returns home. Start by creating a list of all the items your child will take to camp, including clothing, toiletries, and any special gear like sports equipment or musical instruments. Use durable, waterproof labels or permanent markers to mark each item with your child’s name.

Focus on labeling frequently misplaced items such as water bottles, hats, towels, and shoes. You can place the labels on the inside of collars or waistbands as you label clothing.

5. Prepare Your Child Emotionally

Talk openly about the range of emotions your child might feel, such as excitement, nervousness, or homesickness. Normalize these feelings by sharing your experiences of being away from home and how you coped with them. In addition, encourage your child to express their thoughts and ask questions, reassuring them that it’s okay to feel a mix of emotions.

You can also discuss specific strategies for coping with homesickness. For instance, you can suggest they carry a comforting item from home, such as a family photo, a favorite stuffed animal, or a special blanket. These familiar objects can provide security and comfort during challenging moments. On top of that, teach them simple techniques like writing letters home, keeping a journal, or talking to camp counselors if they feel overwhelmed.

6.  Discuss Safety at Camp

Review the safety rules and emergency procedures with your child. For example, highlight rules such as staying within designated areas, following counselor instructions, and using the buddy system, and explain the importance of following these guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. 

Talk about health-related practices they should maintain while at camp. Emphasize the importance of staying hydrated, especially during outdoor activities. Additionally, remind them to apply sunscreen regularly to protect against sunburn and wear appropriate clothing and gear for various activities. 

7. Stay Positive and Supportive 

It will help your child feel confident and excited about going to summer camp. Therefore, express your enthusiasm for the adventure they’re about to embark on, highlighting all the fun activities and new friends they’ll make. 

You can remind your child that it is okay to miss home but reassure them that you will be thinking of them and eager to hear about their adventures when they return. 

8. Practice Independence 

Simple tasks like dressing themselves, making their bed, and organizing their belongings can make a big difference. These daily routines will help them feel more capable and prepared for camp life.

Role-playing camp scenarios can also be beneficial, such as getting ready for the day, following a schedule, and packing their backpack for activities. If your child takes any medication, ensure they know when and how to take it correctly. Additionally, talk about problem-solving and decision-making. Discuss what they should do if they encounter a minor issue, like losing a sock or needing help with an activity. Further, encourage them to ask for help when needed.

9. Connect with Other Campers

Arrange playdates or virtual meetups with other children attending the same camp. You can facilitate these through camp-organized events or with other parents in your network. Building friendships beforehand can ease social anxiety and provide a sense of familiarity once they arrive at camp. It can also help them find common ground and build bonds to make the transition to camp smoother.

10. Pack Thoughtfully

Create a detailed packing list based on the camp’s recommendations, and ensure all items are practical and appropriate for the environment and activities. Further, pack versatile clothing that can handle various weather conditions and include extras of items your child may soil or lose easily, such as socks and underwear. 

Final Thoughts

Preparing your child for summer camp with thoughtful and detailed planning is crucial for ensuring a positive and memorable experience. By involving your child in the preparations and discussing the camp’s activities and rules, you set the stage for their enjoyment.

This comprehensive approach helps to alleviate anxiety, build confidence, and foster independence, allowing your child to embrace the camp experience. 

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1 Comment

  1. Yanis Temby
    May 30, 2024 / 8:08 pm

    Hello, how are you doing? I have browsed and am interested in guest posting on it? What are the terms of cooperation? Thanks, I’m waiting for an answer.

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