It’s that time of year, and you’ve finally caved into letting your child attend the summer camp of their dreams! They are pumped but it’s possible that you are having a few reservations. There are so many things to do to prepare! And we’re not just talking paperwork and packing. If you’re like most parents, your mind is probably spinning with concerns of whether your child will be as enthusiastic about camp 4 days in, as they are now. Or how you will know if they’re having fun while they’re away! Don’t fret, you are not alone in thinking (or overthinking) these things, we all do it. That’s why we’ve compiled this guide for 2 week sleepaway camps!
Whether this is your child’s first time at sleepaway camp, or their first time extending their experience with a 2 week sleepaway camp, there are plenty of ways you can make sure you’re prepared physically and emotionally. This summer camp list will help ensure everything goes smoothly for both you and your child as this exciting season approaches!
How to prepare for 2 week sleepaway camps:
#1: Read, Then Reread the Website
First things first, there is absolutely no way around reading the ENTIRE camp website. Even the best summer camp website has a lot of important information that can be easy to miss or forget! Plus, knowing you’ve read everything is sure to make you feel more confident about where your kid will be spending their summer.
Finished reading the whole thing? Read it again. And this time make notes on specific things you will need to do between now and when you drop your child off. This way, in a week when you realize you haven’t thought about camp or done anything to prepare, you have a cheat sheet for the things you have left to get accomplished.
A great tip, is to get your child involved in looking through the entirety of the website as well. This will allow them to become more mentally prepared for all the things that will be going on at camp, as well as get excited about certain activities they’re looking forward to! And who knows, maybe they’ll even remember something last minute that you almost forgot!
#2: Medical Prep
This is everyone’s least favorite part about preparing for camp, but it’s also the most important, and often the most timely as well. Somewhere on the camp website is going to be medical paperwork and instructions that you will need to start on as soon as possible. Although taking your child for a physical and filling out paperwork is easy to want to put off until the last minute, remember that these things take time, and you don’t want to wait until it’s too late!
It’s also a good idea to go ahead and start packing any medications that your child will be bringing to camp. During 2 week sleepaway camps, there are plenty of other things you will need to get together, but this one should always come first. It’s never too early to do this because in the midst of labeling their clothes and running to the store 3x to pick up things you almost forgot, it can be easily forgotten. Plus, if there’s any medication you will need to pick up or get filled, you’ll have plenty of time.
All camps are different when it comes to communication. Many camps recognize the benefits of not allowing technology to travel with campers, which means you might not be able to text them to check in whenever you’re concerned. However, the best sleepaway camps have their own ways of ensuring you are able to communicate. From snail mail to weekly check-ins, find out what your camp’s protocol is, and be prepared.
Whatever the camps communication policy is, discuss it with your child as a positive thing! Instead of stressing that you will only be able to talk to them once a week, tell them that you can’t wait to hear about a whole week’s worth of their stories! Setting an expectation of infrequent communication will prepare your child to spend more time enjoying themselves and less time worrying about telling you everything.
#4: Don’t Set Specific Expectations
That brings us to expectations. Keeping expectations broad will allow your child not to get caught up on specifics. Don’t promise to talk to your child every thursday evening. It’s camp, and things happen! When expectations aren’t met, it can throw a child off, and cause unnecessary stress.
Although we all have our own fond memories of our 1 or 2 week sleepaway camps, your kid will inevitably have their own, and they may not match up with yours. Be careful not to set expectations for certain activities they will love, because it’s important for them to forge their own path. Maybe they won’t get the chance to do that one activity you loved the most, or perhaps they’ll find themselves loving a different one more!
#5: Mentally Prepare Yourself
There are 2 possibilities for how you child will react to camp that you need to be prepared for. Depending on the child, it’s possible for camp to trigger either of them, or possibly even both. We mean: homesickness & campsickness.
Homesickness happens with some kids, and doesn’t with others. Unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to prepare your child for it other than making sure they’ve had sleepovers before, and aren’t panicking before they’ve even left. In fact, we recommend not talking to them about homesickness unless they bring it up themselves. You don’t want to plant a seed that they may think about later or that other kids at camp may perpetuate. Most times if the seed hasn’t been planted, they won’t even think about it because they’ll be having so much fun!
“Campsickness” is common with 2 week sleepaway camps because your child will inevitably be attached to camp and their new friends by the end of it. They may have a hard time re-adjusting to normal life, and could even take it out on you.
We’re just saying, this can be a lot for a parent who just paid to send their child away for an amazing summer experience. Prepare yourself.
#6: Stick to the Packing List
We know your camp posted a packing list for you to follow. We also know how tempting it is to pack a few (or more) extra things that your kid probably won’t need, but might. Don’t fall prey to overpacking. If the summer camp list is any good, it will be plenty thorough enough. Trust them, it’s not their first time at sleepaway camp. Overpacking can often be a bigger burden on your child when they realize they have a bunch of things they don’t need, or inevitably lose something.
So there you have it, a basic preparation guide for 2 week sleepaway camps! Now stop stressing and just start rereading the website. You and your child are both going to love the summer camp experience!
Oh, and 7. Don’t forget Sunscreen.
At Camp Jeanne d’Arc, we have worked with all types of nervous and excited girls and their parents for decades! Our website has everything you need to know from selecting the right camp and preparing, to keeping up with your daughter’s experience along the way! For questions or concerns, just contact us! If you’re already signed up for an amazing 2 week summer camp with us, check out our Parent’s Guide for the ultimate summer camp list, providing you everything you could need to know about Camp Jeanne d’Arc 2019!