Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 1

Are you getting excited for this summer at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen?  We sure are!  We are so looking forward to spending the summer with our community – playing together, learning, growing, making lasting friendships, and especially getting to know our new campers! 

 

Parents often reach out to us and say “I’m not sure how to prepare my child for summer camp.” We know that first-time campers and parents have all sorts of questions about what camp is going to be like, and how certain things work (like laundry and meal time and bunk cleanup and the bus ride up to Camp).  So we have put together these answers to some of the questions new campers and parents seem to wonder about in anticipation of each summer.  Throughout the year we’ll be posting them on our blog and sending then directly to our new families in packages, too! We hope that this information is helpful, and that it helps you feel better prepared, less anxious, and even more excited for the summer of 2014!

  

I sleep with a stuffed animal at home.  Should I bring it?

preparing my child for summer campThis is one of the most frequent questions we are asked!  Almost every single Junior Camper in Kenwood & Evergreen brings some sort of special item or object with them to Camp – a teddy bear, stuffed dog, sports pillow, or even a blanket they’ve had since they were really little.  We’ve seen just about everything, and just about everyone in your bunk will have something.  If having something like this is going to help you feel comfortable at Camp – and help you sleep at night — then it’s probably a good idea that you bring it.  What we recommend is that you don’t bring something fragile or irreplaceable.  Living in a bunk, it’s easy for your special object to fall on the floor or get dirty.  And sometimes these things even get lost at Camp.  So you might want to bring you second favorite stuffed animal, or a blanket that feels like your much-loved one that is safely waiting for you when you get home from a fantastic summer at Camp. 

 

 

Can I bring an Ipod?

Yes!  For many in our community music is an important part of Camp, so you are welcome to bring a personal music system such as an Ipod.  I-Touches are allowed, provided that all apps, games, videos, pictures, movies, TV shows and other multi-media content are removed.  Please remember that all other electronics, including Iphone, Ipads, and Kindles need to remain at home for the summer.  A summer unplugged is a really healthy thing and you will be surprised at how quickly you forget about all of the electronics that you left at home!   

 

preparing my child for summer camp 

What happens if I occasionally wet the bed?

We get this question ALL the time!  At Camp it’s just not a big deal.  We ask that you share this with a counselor in a way that feels comfortable for you. He/she will wait until all of your bunkmates have left for morning Assembly.  Then the counselor will pack up your stuff and take it to the laundry, and remake your bed.  If you wake up in the middle of the night and find that your bed is wet please quietly (and gently!) let one of your counselors know.  He/she will get up and help you change your sheets while you go take a shower.   

 

Is there anything special that I might not know to bring to Kenwood?

There isn’t much.  We strongly recommend that you don’t bring a lot of stuff to Kenwood, as it only clutters up your area.  Some campers like bringing a second, smaller pillow, like a Moshi.  It’s nice to bring them on bus trips.  If you like playing games, you might want to bring something fun to play with your bunkmates.  We will have some board games for you in the storage closet (just ask your counselor to borrow one if you want to play), but you can bring your own decks of cards, Uno, backgammon, checkers, chess, etc.  Mad Libs are also fun.  Some kids trade comic books, too.  Simpsons comics are very popular.  A lot of our boys play games like Yugio, Pokemon and Magic cards.  Last summer MLB Showdown was also very popular.  It’s ok if you have never played any of these before.  We’ll teach you!  If you bring your cards make sure that you do not bring anything valuable, as they are likely to get damaged or lost at Camp. A lot of kids like bringing fans to Camp, as the weather can get pretty warm in July.  If you do decide to bring a fan, please bring one that is battery powered, as there are only a few electrical outlets in each bunk. Some kids bring portable chairs like a Crazy Creek for movie nights and free time. You certainly don’t need to bring one but you could if you wanted to! You can purchase them in our Camp Cloz Catalog.

preparing my child for summer camp 

Throughout the summer you will be asked at different times to wear a colored shirt for the team that you are on for a special day or event.  We don’t know right now which teams you will be on for these events, so if you can, please bring one of each of the following: red, blue, yellow, green, black and white t-shirts. 

 

Is there anything special that I might not know to bring to Evergreen?

There isn’t much.  We strongly recommend that you don’t bring a lot of stuff to Evergreen, as it only clutters up your area.  Some campers like bringing a second, smaller pillow, like a Moshi.  It’s nice to bring them on bus trips.  Another thing that some girls bring are small area rugs to put next to their bed. The floors in the lodges are wooden, and it’s nice to have something soft under your feet in the morning.  Because storage is limited, some campers bring a single Rubbermaid bin to place under their bed.  These storage bins 0should not be taller than 7 inches, otherwise they will not fit.  A lot of kids like bringing fans to Camp, as the weather can get pretty warm in July.  If you do decide to bring a fan, please bring one that is battery powered, as there are only a few electrical outlets in each bunk.

 

Throughout the summer you will be asked at different times to wear a colored shirt for the team that you are on during a special day or event.  We don’t know right now which teams you will be on for these events, so if you can, please bring one of each of the following: red, blue, yellow, green, black and white t-shirts. 

 

Lastly, during Color War in Evergreen, we often dress up in the colors of our team.  Anything green or yellow that is a little silly might be good to bring.  Silly hats, face paint, nail polish, cheap plastic beads are all possibilities.  PLEASE do not go crazy with this.  One or two items MAX is all you could/should bring. Some kids bring portable chairs like a Crazy Creek for movie nights and free time. You certainly don’t need to bring one but you could if you wanted to! You can purchase them in our Camp Cloz Catalog.

 

Was this information helpful? Are we doing all we can to you prepare your child for their first foray into summer camp? Please share with us what you thought of this posting, and if there are additional questions that you’d like us to cover in future blogs. In the next in this series we will be highlighting:

  • Meals and Mealtimes

  • Positive ways to address issues during the summer

  • Preparing to sleep away from home

Please make sure to share this and all future information with your new Kenwood & Evergreen camper. We want to help them get as excited as possible for their first summer with us!

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