July 20, 2019

Camp Is Still The Best Way To Fill Summer Vacation

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If you don’t want your kids staying home and inside, gradually becoming unsocial hermits, send them to summer camp! There are all sorts of camps, and you can choose one that fits your child the best. Besides age ranges, there’s also a wide variety of focuses of camps, from sports and arts, to faith-based and Scouts. Sports camps that keep your children physically active are easy to find. Some are more casual, others are more intense. Arts camps can be a great creative outlet for others. Arts can include crafts, fashion, film, architecture design, dance, acting, and singing.

Summer camps are a great way to keep your child active and exercise, and they’re also a great place to make friends. As a kid, it can be stressful when you don’t know anyone else. Counselors are trained to counter this with fun ice breakers that’ll give kids common goals to work toward, while also learning about their new camp mates. I’ve played some fun games with people I’ve never met before. We’ve stood on a canvas and flipped it without touching the ground; we’ve run through jump ropes in certain pair combinations, and so much more. I still talk to some of my camp mates today!

Overnight camps are great for all ages, but you should make sure your child is ready for separation. Typically, it’s a week- long away! However, overnight camps are great at accommodating homesickness. Often, they’ll let the child call home, and be supportive to them. Counselors are informed about any issues campers are having and keep an eye on them 24/7.

Going to camp encompasses living and sleeping somewhere new. Sometimes, people don’t know what to bring. Most camps have lists of things you need, so it’s a good idea to be prepared with everything on the list – they don’t make the list for nothing! If you’re living in a multi person cabin blankets are great, mattress pads, and definitely don’t forget a pillow. Another necessity is definitely a small fan. Trust me, from personal experience, fans are nice. Bug spray. Bug spray bug spray bug spray. And bug spray. Some places have these bug wipes, similar to a cleaning wipe. That way, kids aren’t spraying chemicals into their friend’s face. Sunblock is also a necessity. In almost any camp if you’re outside, even for recess, the sun can burn unprotected skin. If it’s sunny out, your kids are not going to want to wear long sleeves and long pants, so sun screen is a must.

It’s not all about bug spray and sunblock…. below is a general list of items that you will find on any camp lists. You may not use everything, but it’s good for your child to have them handy.

• Hydrate or die-drate! Lots of water as a general rule. Big waters though, nothing less than 12 ounces. And don’t get the super heavy one, so it doesn’t sit out in the sun
• Rain pants...? Never used ‘em but they’re a super nice idea
• Good backpack – an old school bag is perfect, don’t bring a small bag for sure.
• A change of clothes is always a good idea – there’s no telling what your child will get all over himself!
• Going overnight? Keep electronics at home!!!!!!!! Seriously, you’ll thank me later. It may seem IMPOSSIBLE for you or your child to unplug from each other and society, but you’ll both survive. The first time I had to give up my phone completely, it wasn’t as hard as we thought. My parents even brought my phone when they picked me up! And if your child is concerned about her streaks, one, she might have a problem, two, she can get someone to do them easily.
• If you want photos, either counselors will take photos, or you can go “old school”: send a disposable camera and print the pictures later!

In this technological age, where our kids seem to be constantly on screens and devices, socializing through video games, summer camp is a great way to unplug them, build social and life skills, and try out and experience new things. Choose the camp based on your child’s interests, pack him up and send him on his way!

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