Camp is about 100 days away! Although it’s only March and there is still snow on the ground in some places, before you know it the bus or plane with be leaving with your camper on it.
Here’s what you should start doing in the next few months to get ready so you’re not pulling an all-nighter labeling underwear in June:
Stop reading this blog right now. Walk away from your computer and go book a hotel for visiting day. It might already be too late. Most camps are not located within a thousand miles of a Four Seasons, so the pickings are slim to begin with. Add to that the fact that hundreds of other families all need to stay over on the same weekend that you do. Nightmare! All camps have hotel suggestions on their website. They range from’ really nice’ to ‘at least it’s clean’ to ‘just lay on the bed with all of your clothes on and pray for the night to be over’. Pick one and book it so at least you’re covered.
Hopefully you have started some camp shopping or made an appointment somewhere. Follow your camp’s packing list and add in some fun stuff too. If you have a daughter she’ll want to come with you and pick out her bedding, pillows, stationary, etc. If you have a son just go by yourself. He doesn’t care about any of this.
For official camp clothing and uniforms, your camp will tell you what company they use- make an appointment with them if they do a roadshow in your area or you can order online from their catalog.
Buy labels now (I’ve been happy with Label Daddy) and whenever you buy something new for camp, LABEL IT RIGHT AWAY! No need to wait until the last minute and do it all at once. Yes, you have to label everything. It’s more work than it seems. One camp director recently told me that some parents choose not to label at all. WHAT? You are not above labeling! Everyone else has to do it, so do you. On the other hand, don’t over-label. No need to label the tube of toothpaste AND the cap. (True story).
I asked a camp director what their biggest complaint about this time of year is. She said chasing parents down to fill out their forms. I know it’s annoying and no fun and you have a thousand to fill out but your child can’t go to camp safely without medical forms, transportation forms, baggage forms, in-case-of-emergency forms, etc. The camp doesn’t know the names and dosages of every camper’s prescriptions off the top of their heads. They are keeping track of so many things, just fill out the forms and send them back, it’s not that hard.
Oh, and pay. Most likely your balance will be due in the spring. I know it hurts to write that check, but the experience you are giving your child is priceless.