Can you believe that it is already time to begin thinking about packing for sleep away camp?
After all, in my neighbourhood there’s still some snow in my backyard and on my front lawn, and the looming threat of one more snow storm is in the air. So why, oh why, would any of us moms want to venture into the “Camp Packing Mode?”
Sleep away camp is right around the corner. For my daughter, Grace, there are less than 80 eighty days until she arrives at camp. She’s been marking off her calendar all year and has now entered the final countdown to summer 2014. What that means for me is that her bags need to be ready to leave a week before she does! YIKES!
This year I plan to be as prepared as early as possible. Last summer was very last minute in terms of camp packing. Grace had shattered and dislocated her elbow in the late spring and my focus was on her recovery. When it came to planning and packing for camp I felt overwhelmed and rushed. So, I promised myself to plan ahead this year. I have no plans of actually packing at this point, but I do plan on ensuring that I have all of the essentials purchased and labelled so that the packing is a breeze. So, when I found myself in Walmart this past week, I began checking out the sales on certain products. I walked out with a fresh foam mattress pad which I knew was needed and also found a great sale on the spray sunscreen that Grace likes to use. I arrived home feeling energized and am determined to slowly chip away at all that I need to do so that this summer’s camp preparations are easy-peasy.
Here are some basic Sleep Away Camp Organizing Tips that I use. I hope they will be helpful to all mothers preparing for an easy packing experience.
- PLAN AHEAD: Preparing for summer camp is no small task! If it is your first summer, ask friends who have already sent their children to camp for advice and guidance. If you are a returning camp parent, go through the inventory that you already have and decide what needs to be replaced or added.
- MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE: I keep a list of items that are needed from year to year in my phone. I add items to the list as needed and reuse it from year to year. My list includes everything from Band Aids, batteries for flashlights, Ziploc bags and water bottles. The list is a great reminder for me.
- LABEL EVERYTHING: Every single item that you send to camp with your child needs to be labelled! This includes clothing, shoes and even toiletries. I am a big lover of labeling with SHARPIE PENS or Mabel’s Labels. Some people prefer iron-on labels. Whatever the choice, label things as you get them so that in the end you don’t end up having to do it all at once.
- FOLLOW THE CAMP CLOTHING LIST: All camps should provide you with a list of clothing that is needed for the summer. Use the list as a guide and add items that you feel may be missing. Involve your child in the clothing packing so that they are aware of what you are sending. If your child is old enough to choose their clothing, let them take the lead. Beware of sending too much as there is an allocated amount of space per child in each cabin.
- BE ORGANIZED WITH REGARDS TO ALL MEDICAL NEEDS: Make sure to book pre-camp medical and orthodontic appointments. Prepare all prescription drugs that your child needs at camp and label them properly so that the camp infirmary is aware of how to properly administer all medicine.
- SHARE ALL YOUR CONCERNS WITH THE CAMP DIRECTOR: It is so important to be honest and open with Camp Directors prior to sending your child to camp. If you have any social or emotional concerns, SHARE THEM!! The more a camp knows, the better equipped they will be to ensure your child’s success and happiness during their stay at camp.
Before you know it, we will be well into June and I am hoping that the memories of this long hard winter will be a blur! So make sure that your duffle bags are aired out and ready to carry all that your kids need for a successful and safe summer at camp!