2 weeks, 4 weeks..Let Them Stay!

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It’s visiting day, a fabulous day spent at camp.  Parents and campers excited to spend time together, do camp activities and holding tight up to the last second of saying goodbye.  It’s also a time where the half session campers say goodbye to their camp experience for the summer.  We loved what this formal camper had to say about being a half session camper when she was a kid and the emotions she felt.  Tales of a grown-up sleepaway camp kid, a must read!

 

Camp Letter Writing: 101

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What camper doesn’t want to receive a letter or package every day at camp? As parents, we want to send letters filled with exciting news from home but we often run out of things to write about.  Jamie Lake, an author from Kveller, gives us the perfect advice on what types of letters we should and should not send to our camper.  This article is one to “bookmark” this summer.

Read it HERE.

1st Year Camper? We Got You Covered

It’s an exciting time for you and your camper, their first year at overnight camp.  We have a few ideas to help them get excited about camp and stay excited.

Gifts

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Gift giving makes everyone smile. Plan for a few family members or family friends to send a camp related gift before camp starts. Something special, personalized and unique. A few of our families give personalized pillows & blankets. Check out some of the latest camp gift trends like Ga-Ga gloves, personalized clothing, and bunk games.

Camp Playdates

Perfect-Scoop-1The more, the better!  Get a list of campers in your child’s age group and see who lives close by.  Scheduling a group playdate for ice cream or roller skating will be a blast. The more people your first-time camper gets to meet before the first day of camp the less anxious they will feel.  If you can’t schedule an actual playdate, schedule a facetime meet & greet.

Sealed & Delivered

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Many of the camps suggest sending a letter a week before camp starts.  Campers love receiving mail and will love it even more if they have mail waiting for them. Remember, they call it “snail mail” for a reason.  Leave plenty of time for the letter to get to camp.

How Camps Give Back

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Camps give kids new experiences, friendships that last forever, and camp fires. But, have you ever thought how camps give back to the community?  We were pleasantly surprised to discover all of the ways they do!

Each August, Camp Manitou hosts the Experience Camps for Grieving Children. The week is for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver.  Camp Manitou gives these kids a wonderful opportunity to just be a kid, bring their smile back, and make new friends.

Even when camp is over, Camp Manitou was still giving back. This past Fall they were involved in Manitou Fall Service Day Weekend. Campers and parents volunteered their time to revitalize gardens and dog play areas, cleaned local beaches, and ran a 5K  to benefit cancer and other research.

Many camps participate in The Camp Champions program which helps to send hundreds of children in need to camp every year!  Campers will participate in special events or races throughout the Summer to raise money to help kids experience camp.

Camps got involved with the social connection too!  Camp Vega created a special hashtag and every time a picture was shared using it they would donate $10 to the Dunk Your Kicks campaign, which helps support pediatric cancer research. This past year campers have volunteered at

Campers at many camps have also volunteered at Camp Sunshine or donated to The Tutu Project.

Camp gives so much more than just s’mores, lake time, and color war cheers.  Camp gives back!

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Wanted: Camp Gifts!

Camp gifts seem to trend 12 months a year, it’s always a perfect time to give a camp gift.  Whether it’s for a first year camper getting the nervous and excited bug or the 10 year camper that still lives for it, we have our favorite camp gifts they will love.

Anything Emoji Goes

Emoji-pillows-2It was definitely the year for the emoji! Anything and everything emoji is camper approved.   These pillows can be found at our favorite camp stores like Lesters or Denny’s Childrens Wear.

Polaroid Camara

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It’s back and so much cooler! Your camper will love taking selfies with the original insta-photo.  The perfect accessory to decorate their room and bunks with, we love different kind of film available in bright colors and designs.

The Onesie

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It doesn’t have to be Halloween for your camper to dress up.  The fuzzier, the better! Campers love them for themed evening activities or staying warm by the camp fire.  Either way, it’s a gift they love to stock up on throughout the year.  Shop them at Party City stores or Wallmart.com.

It’s a Sock Thing

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We love this trend and it keeps getting better.  Campers love to collect different themed socks all year round.  Living royal has so many silly and colorful socks, it’s hard to pick the perfect pair.  Available in boy and girl styles.  Shop it here.

Just Let Go & Send Them To Camp

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As parents, we only want the best for our kids and sometimes letting go can be the hardest thing to do.  We loved the latest post from Main Camp Experience highlighting Jessica Lahey’s book The Gift of Failure.

She says, “As a parent, it’s so hard to let go. It’s hard to say goodbye, and it’s hard to watch our kids struggle. But if we want to see the excitement and pride of accomplishment on their own terms, we have to learn to let go.”

Check out the full article here.

What Are Camp Disruptive Moments?

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Disruptive moments happen when our brain is in a “sponge-state”, when we absorb and retain memories, feelings and ideas.  Camp provides these moments and new experiences every day like meeting new friends, performing in front of people at a talent show or seeing a sky full of stars for the first time.  According to Steve Baskin, owner and director of Camp Champions, camp counselors and directors know when these moments are happening.  How?  Read his entire article at Psychology Today.   We couldn’t agree more on his theory about the benefits of overnight camp.

Camp Package Central

Summer 2015 is here!  The Trunks have shipped and the kids are counting down the hours till camp starts.  It’s time to start thinking camp packages, letter writing and visiting day gifts.  We’re sharing a few of our favorite gift ideas your camper will love!

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Customized covered Oreos
You can never go wrong with sweets.  Even better, sweets that represent!  Visit Sweet Ali for pricing and camp logo ideas.

PicMonkey Collage

Skin Bling
Metallic tattoos started to become a trend last year and we love how they added color and a camp twist.  Perfect little gift to send in with a letter or as a bunk gift.  Shop them at Bee Bee Designs.

PicMonkey Collage

It’s All In The Delivery
Your camper will love receiving this special delivery!  Shop them at Confetti and Friends.

2015 Camp Packing Guide

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School is coming to an end Summer is just around the corner.  If you are a camp parent you are now in frantic mood to gather the right things to ship off to camp.  We are here to help and want to share some helpful hints to make the packing less stressful.

How is your camper’s bunk set up?

This is super helpful in planning out what and how much your camper can bring to camp.  Some camps will have cubbies, some have storage drawers under their beds and some have nothing! Once you have a mental map of how their bed area is set up, it will be a lot easier to plan what and what not to pack.  A perfect example is the shoe bag.  Do you need an over the bed bag or wall bag?

Packing Shortcuts

Whether it’s a counselor or your camper doing the unpacking, an organized pack job is the best pack job!  We have found using gallon sized zip lock bags to pack makes the unpacking a lot easier.  Packing all of the tops in one bag (labeled) and all of your pjs in another bag (labeled) tells the counselor or reminds your camper where the items need to go.

Pack breakable items with in rolled up towels or blankets, it’s also a great space saver. These items can be a tennis racket, toiletries, or their favorite junk trunk box.

Check your camp list 3x!  When you think their is no way you forgot something, check it again.

Label Everything

If your packing it, label it!  You will find some items are best labeled with a good old fashion sharpie and some items need a label.  The labels that you purchase online from the labeldaddy.com are really strong and stick to anything!  They are Camp Lady approved and are super cute!

Get Your Camper Involved

Go over how and where you are packing their things, this way if a counselor is unpacking for them they will know if something is missing (we hope).  They will know to look for the extra batteries in the ziplock bag that was with their toiletries or that their indoor bunk game was packed inside their bunk junk box.

Don’t Forget…

As much planning and packing you do, they still might wear their PJ top with their Friday night shorts together on a Monday! Take a deep breath and remember that your camper is going to have an amazing time at Summer Camp.

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