The thought of your child going to overnight camp for the first time can be overwhelming. Mia went to overnight camp at Camp Crosley a YMCA camp a few weeks ago. I am not going to lie but the 2 weeks leading up to her going away to camp was very stressful on me. I had major anxiety. I took the packing process very seriously. If my child is going to be away from me, I want to make sure she is comfortable in every situation and has everything she needs. I purchased a Packable Duffle from Lands End. I had one of these Duffle bags as a kid and it lasted 20 years! Everything Mia needed fit perfectly into the Duffle bag except for her bedding and towels.
You need to LABEL everything for camp if you want to insure that they come home with everything that you sent. Mable's Labels Limited Edition Camp Label Pack was a life safer! Mia helped me label everything that was going with her to camp and it was done in less than 30 minutes.
I read a tip to pack each days clothing in a ziploc bag, this is to insure that your child has clean clothes, underwear and socks each day. This was something I was glad I did. Mia lived out of her duffle bag and that means dirty and wet clothes were thrown into her bag.
Her Dad was even more nervous than I was. He drew pictures and wrote handwritten letters for her to read each day. We placed these into the ziploc bags, so she would start her day with a nice message from home.
I am Type A personality and wanted to make sure she was happy, comfortable, had everything she needed and didn't get home sick.
I pre addressed and put stamps on Mabel's Labels post cards and note cards that she could send to us, grandparents and friends while she was at camp. I sent the camp address to her grandparents, aunts and friends a week before she left for camp asking for them to send her letters. She said the receiving letters each day meant a lot to her.
Mia went to camp with her friend Jenna. I loved going to overnight camp and going with a friend makes it even better!
She was ready for her week at Camp Crosley! She said "See you later mom!" I of course teared up. The nurse at camp later told me that is a sign of a well adjusted kid that knows that you will see them in a week.
Our camp used Bunk1.com and we could view photos each day of what the campers were experiencing. It was great to be able to see in real time that she was happy and having fun! She has been home for a couple of weeks and is still sharing stories and songs from her week at camp! The overnight camp experience was priceless.
What are your tips on how to prepare you child for overnight camp?