Don’t Freak Out: Get Organized

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It’s that time to get organized, don’t worry we’re here to help. Here are just a few of our favorite Summer packing tips:

  • Be in the know. Get to know any camp regulations regarding bunk items.
  • Include  pre-stamped envelopes or pre-addressed postcards, we promise you’ll get more letters this way.
  • Label all of your items with your child’s name. Triple check everything!
  • Home items, make sure your child packs pictures and fun items that remind them of home.  You want their “camp home” to feel cozy. Especially the bed, order mattress pads or egg crates for the extra comfort.
  • Send a letter to your child at camp before camp begins, tell other family members to do the same.
  • Pack with your kids. Let them see what you are packing so when they get to camp they had an idea of what was in their bag.  Show them you packed specific shoes for certain sports or where the extra batteries are tucked away.  Most camps will unpack the younger campers for them, so when they arrive their area is all set up.  It’s still a good idea for them to know what was packed.
  • Pack Smart. Protect breakable items such as a tennis racket, make sure its protected.  Pack it between bed sheets or towels for extra cushion.  Find out what  bunk cubbies or under the bed storage your camper is allowed to bring.  Make sure they are collapsible and durable, it’s best to utilize them when packing. For example, pack items inside of the bins such as smaller or personal items.   You could also add a packing list inside the duffle, this helps the counselors and your camper to know what was packed.
  • Don’t Forget. Take a deep breath and take a picture of your camper sitting on their duffel.  It’s officially the first photo of the camp season!

 

Summer 2015 Camp Gift Guide

Your camp list is growing and you’re checking it twice!  We picked our favorite camp gear from our favorite camp stores from New York to Florida.  It’s our Summer 2015 Camp Gift guide.

1) We’re obsessed with these custom airbrushed knee socks from Lesters. Perfect for spirit days or send as a fun package.

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2. Scented Pillows are still in high demand, pillows and more pillows!  These yummy styles are available at Bee Bee Designs.

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3. Want more?  We’re obsessed with these custom pillows.  A perfect trunk surprise, 2nd week package or visiting day gift.  Order now at Bee Bee Designs.

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4. Check list stationary! Because they have no time to write home, they are having too much fun. Easy, fun and lots of information.  Get them at Bee Bee Designs. 

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5. Custom jewelry is one of our favorite trends!  Stylish, super cute and designed by you.  Available in camp names or zip codes.  Order yours at Turnstyle, one of our favorite Florida Camp Store.

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6. Super cool t-shirt styles for boys with Under Armor or NFL logo designs.  Also available at Turnstyle.

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7. Emoji’s! On whatever and wherever. Our favorite is this emoji towel from Bee BeeDesigns.

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8. It’s in the camp name!  Custom products are always a hot item and never boring.  This year flip flops and pjs have been the latest trend. These can be found at Turnstyle.

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How Camp Benefits Kids: Our Top 5 Reasons

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Our very own Patti Roberts knows Camp!  She was recently interviewed by Westchester Magazine and shared her top 5 reasons why sleep-away camp benefits our kids.  We couldn’t agree more!

1) Unplugging and getting outdoors

“Most camps don’t allow electronics, except maybe an old-fashioned iPod for music with no screen because it’s the whole point of unplugging. They want them out running around playing games and sports and not on their bunk playing with their fingers like that. Most camps don’t even have cell phone service.”

2) Building independence and self-confidence

“Most of these children who are going to sleep-away for the first time have never left home or been away from their parents. When they go off to camp, they learn how to fend for themselves, get themselves dressed, clean up their area and make their beds. It helps them earn self-confidence and independence.”

3) Expanding horizons

“They may think they don’t like to do certain things, but when they try it at camp, they love it .They do it because everyone does it and everyone tries it, so it’s far more accepting than trying it at home with a bunch of kids who are really good at it.”

4) A chance to reinvent yourself

“In their younger years and even in their teenage years kids get pigeon-holed, especially kids who live in a small town. You grow up—from kindergarten until college—with the same kids. You are a “fat kid”, or a “dumb kid”, whatever it is, when you go to another scenario, you can really reinvent yourself in a different environment with new friends. Having the ability to make new friends, try new activities and learn to be independent are all gifts.”

5) It’s a vacation for the whole family

“There are people that I work with who say they have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old. And they question if they can send them both away together. My comment always is, not if you don’t have to. Because that 8-year-old has never been an only child. So give that child that one summer without their older sibling around. And then if they want to go, let them go.”

Read the full interview here

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How to deal with Campsickness?

The excitement of seeing your kids at the end of the summer is overwhelming, you can’t wait to hear every last detail of their final days of camp.  After the cheers and stories are shared you start to think “now what”?  You wonder how your child will transition back to the real world of responsibility and independence.  How are they going to sleep without the camp chatter or waking up without a smiling bunk mate in their face?

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Campsickness is real and it does happen, but we promise they will be ok!  We wanted to share some helpful tips we received from camp owners, camp moms, and campers over the past years.

Keep Camp Photos In Their Room

One of our camp moms has always filled their daughter’s room with photos of the Summer, so when her daughter came home they were already in frames.

Make Camp Play Dates for the Winter

Make plans for the winter months with camp friends and let your child know the dates.  They will be super excited and start their own count down.

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Create a Camp Environment

Try making a camp meal they loved or stocking your fridge with a favorite camp snack.  The sounds of home can be overwhelming or too quiet so some parents have told us they create camp sounds for their child’s room.

Chores

Your camper has kept a schedule all Summer long, from activity to activity.  Although they won’t admit it, they liked the structure and having something to do.  Have them make their bed every morning, just like they did at camp.  It’s a win-win situation!

If you have any suggestions or helpful tips on “Campsickness”, we would love to hear them. Please share!