As a parent, you know your child better than anyone and you will probably have a pretty good idea how they will handle their first camping experience. You may even be more worried about it than they are! It is perfectly normal to be a little concerned about their first time at camp.
For your child, there is probably a nice mix of excitement and nervousness too. To help both of you out as the big day approaches, we’ve put together some great tips for you to get ready and make the most out of the camping experience.
1. Practice makes perfect
If your child has only slept in their own bed, they will no doubt find the idea of sleeping anywhere else a little daunting. You can help to get them used to this idea in another safe space that they are already familiar with. Perhaps a cousin’s house for a sleepover. This can be a fun way to get them used to the idea of sleeping away from mum and dad. If they have been to a sleepover before then why not have another one? The more practice that they get the better.
2. Get a fresh new haircut
You can make sure that they look their best on their first day at camp with a new haircut. You may want to also get them checked for lice. The chances of them having lice will be minimal, but it doesn’t hurt to get them checked just to be sure as you don’t want them to be turned away or spend their first day at kemp having their hair treated and miss out on some fun.
3. Get some essentials
It’s time to go shopping and get some of the things that they will need while they’re at camp. The camp will tell you what they need, but you should also try to think about what they will want. These can be little things like a new hat or sunglasses.
4. Be positive, but let them know what to expect
There is a lot to be said about always telling your child that they’re going to have a great time at camp. This will probably be true, although it might take them a few hours to get comfortable. It doesn’t hurt to prepare them for this a little and let them know that this is perfectly normal. This will give you the opportunity to give them a few ideas on how they can push past these awkward few moments and make friends and enjoy the day. Not all kids will need their expectations managed like this, but it can make a huge difference to how much they enjoy their first camping experience.
5. Read all the materials from the camp
There will be some guidelines and rules provided by the camp. You should take the time to read all of them as there could be some very important information about what you are allowed to bring, what you must bring, and what items are not allowed. Pay extra special care to the foods that you must not give to your child. The obvious ones are anything with peanuts in them in case there are allergies but there are other foods too that must be avoided.
6. When you speak to them keep the conversation about the camp
If you speak to them over the phone you should focus on being positive about their summer camp experience and how you hope that they’re having the time of their lives. You should avoid any bad, or good news until they get home. They don’t want to be sad by the passing of their favourite pet fish or think that they are missing out on something awesome.