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Part 3: And They’re Off to Summer Camp!

The time has come to leave for summer camp!

You have your child all packed up and it’s only a matter of days or even hours until you will drop them off. There are few things to keep in mind as you are ready to send your child off to the summer camp. Some are for logical reasons and others are for matters of the heart, but all are important.

First things first

First of all, make sure you bring all of the things on the packing list that we shared in Part 2. Second, don’t forget your child’s medication. Most summer camps for kids  have trained medical personnel who handle medications. You will need to check these medications in when you arrive. Make sure to keep it in its original container and that the proper dosing instructions are clearly written down. Additionally, be sure to have any required registration paperwork with you. Many summer camps, overnight camps specifically, require for each camper to have a physical. If you are required to show proof of the physical visit, bring that form along as well.

Forget something?

If you get to camp and you realize that you have forgotten something, don’t panic. Many camps have back up equipment. If not, camp staff  can point you in the direction of a local store where you can pick up something if it is entirely necessary. Once when I was dropping my daughter off at summer camp, I realized that I had forgotten her sleeping bag. We lived about two hours away from the camp so going home to pick it up wasn’t an option. I spoke to the camp administrator and he quickly located a spare that my daughter was able to use. No, it wasn’t hers, but it still kept her warm on those cool summer nights under the stars.

Saying goodbye

For some children, this will be their first time away from home without their parents. For others, being away from mom and dad is commonplace. Keep in mind that regardless how your child feels, it is important to play it cool. It’s perfectly acceptable to let your child know that you will miss him or her, but be careful not to gush too much. You want your child to separate from you in a healthy fashion and a sobbing parent may cause some discomfort for all involved.

If you are concerned about homesickness, there are some things you can do. You could write letters ahead of time and number them for each day your child will be gone. In the letters, you can write special little notes that will make your child know you are thinking about him or her. If this doesn’t work for you, check with the camp to see if they allow emails or letters to be sent to the campers. If that is permitted, be sure to write down the address if you don’t already have it.

You are awesome!

You’ve done it. You have prepared and done everything you possibly can to ready your child and yourself for a week apart. At this stage in the game, you have only two things left to do. Kiss your baby goodbye and take a deep breath. Use this time away from your child to rest and refuel for when he or she will be home with you again. Sending your child off to summer camp doesn’t make you a lazy parent. It makes you an incredible one who cares about quality educational and social opportunities for your child. It also makes you one who sees the importance of self-care. The time will pass quickly and when your child arrives home, he or she will have loads of amazing stories to tell. Just you wait and see.

 

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