How to Make Sure Your Child Has The Best Summer Camp Experience

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, it’s normal to start planning for one of the most exciting times of the year for kids – summer camp season!

Your child is preparing to explore new adventures, make new friends, and have an overall unforgettable experience. However, for you, especially if it’s their first time going to summer camp, it’s important to make sure that they have the best summer camp experience. 

From choosing the right camp to preparing for homesickness, and deciding what essentials are needed it’s easy to get overwhelmed. 

In this post, we’ll cover everything that you need to know to make sure your child has the best summer camp experience. 

How to Make Sure Your Child Has The Best Summer Camp Experience

Choose a Camp That Fits

Depending on where you live, you may have quite a few summer camps to choose from. However, when choosing the best summer camp for your child, it’s important to consider their hobbies, passions, and curiosities so you can choose a camp that will meet all of their needs. 

The best fit for them may be a sports camp if they’re into sports, an art camp if they’re into exploring their creative side, or an experience camp such as Berkeley Summer Camps, which allows them to do a variety of adventurous activities. 

When narrowing down your list just make sure to organize them by the camp’s values, philosophy, and approach to learning. This will allow you to make the best choice to ensure it is the perfect match for your child’s needs and interests. 

Plan Ahead

Planning is very important when it comes to preparing to send your child to summer camp. 

Planning allows you the best chance of being able to get your child enrolled in the top choice summer camp. You don’t want to be stuck having to go with whoever still has space or feel rushed to make a decision.

Popular summer camps fill up quickly, therefore, it’s important to take note of the registration deadlines. Also, you’ll want to see what is required for registration so you can have those documents ready in advance too.

Involve Your Child in The Decision Making Process

The main way to ensure your child has the best summer camp experience is to involve them in the decision-making process. This allows them to take some ownership of their summer camp experience. 

Ask them what they would like to do during the summer and what type of camp environment would make them feel the most comfortable. If you’ve already narrowed down some potentials show them the websites and/or brochures so they can see photos from prior camps.

Encourage them to ask questions and give their opinions. 

By involving them in the decision-making process, you can be confident knowing that they’ll be looking forward to going to summer camp and excited. 

Allow Your Child to Help With Packing

Having the correct summer camp essentials will make or break their summer camp experience. While most camps will provide a list, you want to make sure that your child helps pick out the items so their stay can go as smoothly as possible – especially if this is their first time going to summer camp. 

Comfortable clothing and footwear that is appropriate for various activities and weather is a must. Additionally, you want to make sure that they have any medications and/or medical supplies if needed, and instructions that are clear for the camp staff. 

Go shopping and allow your child to pick out their reusable water bottle and towel. Plus, allow them to take a special comfort item from home to help with homesickness. 

Communicate With the Camp Staff in Advance

If your child has any specific needs, preferences, or other information that the camp staff needs to know it’s important to communicate with them in advance. This can be done via phone, email, or the camp’s online portal. 

This is especially important for parents who have children with medical conditions, allergies, and/or dietary restrictions. 

Advance communication with camp staff is a great way to ensure that your child has the best summer camp experience possible. 

Encourage Your Child to Participate in Summer Camp Activities

After you’ve registered your child for summer camp it’s important to then start getting them excited to participate in the different activities.

Show them photographs of the activities, get their opinions on them, and ask them what they are looking forward to the most. 

Start getting them excited about the experience in advance and tell them how important it is for them to engage with the other campers. Emphasize that, you understand that they may not know anyone at first, but the goal is to form new friendships and experience new things together. 

Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes – the goal is to try new things and have fun. 

Have a Plan for Homesickness

If this will be your child’s first time going to summer camp, you must have a plan for homesickness.

Homesickness is common for kids, but you should have a plan in place that will allow them to manage their emotions and have a positive summer camp experience.  

Before they leave, ask them how they are feeling about going to summer camp. Let them know that their feelings are valid and normal. Additionally, make sure that they don’t forget their comfort item. If they have a phone, you can even make a plan to check in with them at a certain time (if allowed by the summer camp). 

By having a plan in place, you can have peace of mind as a parent. Plus, keep in mind that the camp staff are trained professionals and they know how to deal with homesick children. 

Have a Post Camp Routine So Your Child Can Readjust

Your child’s summer camp routine is going to be different than your home routine. Therefore, it’s recommended that you have a post-camp routine in place so they can easily readjust when returning from summer camp. 

When they first get home you want to make sure that they can have downtime. They’ll probably be a little worn out from their summer camp activities. 

Also, as they are telling you about their experience make sure you are fully focused on what they are saying to you. This shows them that you do care and have been eagerly waiting to learn what they are up to AND it allows you to find out their new interests and skills so you can find a way to incorporate them at home. 

Final Thoughts

The best summer camp experience isn’t about the activities or the location. It’s about your child feeling like they belong, forming new friendships, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

This post has outlined the main things you as a parent can do to make sure your child has the best summer camp experience. When they arrive home just be prepared to hear stories filled with joy and laughter and see how much they have grown in such a short time. 

How to Make Sure Your Child Has The Best Summer Camp Experience

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