Coping with a Nervous Camper

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Camp Lady Confession:  I was a nervous camper.  And, I have a lot of clients with nervous first-timers this year. More than usual.  As parents we can see the value of camp, but for  kids that tend to be more anxious in general, it can be scary and exciting at the same time.  Which makes those kids  even more amazing for wanting to give camp a try.  They won’t regret it.  There are ways to help your new camper through their nervousness to make the months and days leading up to camp easier for them (and you).

Be willing to talk honestly- of course focus on the fun things about camp but don’t ignore the fact that they will be homesick in the beginning.  It’s better if they are prepared for it and know that it’s normal and expected.  Their counselors are trained and ready to help them get over the hump and start having a great time.  Maybe you have your own camp experience to draw from and you can share how you handled feelings of homesickness.  The best advice I’ve heard  from a camp director is that you can miss home AND have fun.  It doesn’t have to be one or the other.  Let your child know that almost all of the new campers are in the same boat- they feel nervous when they arrive at camp, even if they don’t show it on the outside.

Take advantage of your camp’s events during the winter- most camps offer get togethers and new camper events throughout the year so  campers can get to know each other.  Everyone has such busy schedules but make time and go.  Your child doesn’t have to make a best friend right away, but even having a familiar face for the bus ride can really help.  Your camp owners and directors are your best resource for finding local families with new or existing campers to connect with and they are more than happy to give you some names.  If you have a child that loves to form close relationships with adults, give your camp owner a call and they’ll come to your house.  They can chat, hang out, get to know your family better, show pictures and tell camp stories.  This is what they do best so let them do the work!

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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