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.

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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.

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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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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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Camp Gifts We Love

We love to find the latest “must haves” for camp gear. We recently hosted a BEE BEE Designs camp party at our Philadelphia camp lady headquarters. We love what we saw and had to share. Last year everyone seemed to be playing with a Diablo but this year it’s all about the Glow in the Dark Diablo.  Even better!  Shopping details can be found at Bee Bee Designs.

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Who doesn’t love a good bunk game? The dice game called ,Tenzi, is one of our favorites.  Just ask your camper, we think they will agree. Stock up now and you can enjoy at home!

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We are flipping over these customized flip flops.  Your camper will love to show off their camp name at the beach or show camp spirit at camp. Contact nikki@mainlinesugar.com

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Yes, these are as good as they look!  These cookies are a great treat for visiting day and  can be personalized with any camp name.  Contact The Cookie Queen at 215-901-7914

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5 Reasons Great Parents Send Their Kids To Camp

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Many “non-camp” parents don’t understand why “camp” parents send their kids to overnight camp for 2, 4, or 7 weeks.  They question the benefits and criticize the distance or time away from home.  Our list of why camp is truly one of the best gifts you can give a child is endless, but we wanted to share 5 amazing reasons why great parents send their kids to camp.

1. Campers Develop Independence

2. Campers Experience Outdoor Fun & Adventure

3. Get Unplugged

4. Kids Become Better At Making  & Keeping Friends

5. Parents Relax and Enjoy Free Time

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Campers share their camp experiences with Sunshine Parenting, it’s a must read!

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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Camp Moves Me: Get active in October

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We are thrilled to be part of this amazing fundraiser called “Camp Moves Me“. Camp Moves Me is the American Camp Association’s ambitious goal to unite all of us who understand the value of the camp experience in a nation-wide fundraising campaign to send more children to camp. It’s a nationwide, fundraising effort aimed at celebrating  the spirit of camp while raising dollars to send more children to ACA-accredited camps across the country. The Camp Ladies truly believe camp benefits kids, if we have a chance to help just 1 child experience it we want to get involved.

The American Camp association has partnered with athlete.com, all you have to do is pledge you will hike/bike/run/swim, just about anything to be active in the month of October.  Get the scoop at athlete.com.  Be active and donate for a chance to send another child to camp!

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!