By Susan Gale
Why not enjoy the ending of school with your kids by preparing for summer camp and programs now?
We hope you’ve taken a look at the camps and summer programs spread throughout the magazine to find what will interest your children. We offer a wide variety of types of camps and programs and add new ones every month through July, so keep checking. If you need quick access to the list, you can also visit www.riparentmag.com for up-to-date listings and ads.
Camps and programs are an important part of summer because they reinforce the learning your children do all year. Fun is combined with education – helping kids to improve in areas such as self-confidence, self-esteem, listening, and social and friend-making skills.
More than 14 million children and adults attend camp each year, according to the American Camp Association (ACA), a nationwide organization that accredits children’s camps. The ACA reports that more than 14,000 camps exist in the U.S., with 8,400 overnight camps and 5,600 day camps. Camps employ more than 1.5M people, with nearly 20% of those staff being from other countries.
Prepare a Camp Bag
The idea: Develop a Camp Bag (or Bucket) filled with necessary camp items that you can access year after year. After developing this bag/bucket the first time, you will only need to replace perishable items each year. Imagine the time you will save, not to mention the aggravation! Here is a total list of needed items for camp to get you started on your own Camp Bag or Bucket:
- Hat, bandana, sunglasses, sun block, lip balm with SPF
- Swimsuit, swimming goggles, swim shirt with UV protection, swim shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, soap, shampoo, wash cloths, shower shoes
- Rain gear, umbrella, warm clothing, extra clothing including socks and underwear
- Sneakers, hiking boots, flip flops, sandals, extra pair of shoes
- Hand towels, beach towels, tissues, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, eyeglass cleaner
- Flashlight, spare batteries, insect repellant, first aid kit
- Laundry bag, plastic bags for small or wet items
- Reusable water bottle or canteen, small backpack or tote for day trips
- Sleeping bag, bedding, blankets, pillow, tarp, air mattress
- Family photos, writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, stamps, pens/pencils
- Books, deck of cards, games, camera, spending money
Choosing a camp and preparing your children
Jack Conway of Active Learning Services, which runs chess camps and video game creation camps in Rhode Island, urges parents to do their homework when it comes to choosing a camp. “It’s important that they look for programs that are going to be challenging and fun for their children,” he said. “Make sure the camp is highly rated, at a good location, and that the company they are entrusting their kids to is property licensed.”
It’s also a good idea to start talking about camp and summer programs now to prepare your children, especially if they are attending overnight camp for the first time. Don’t promise to come rescue your child from camp if they are homesick or otherwise unhappy because it can sabotage their ability to succeed. But rest assured, camp counselors are prepared to help your children with any issues. To improve their chance for success, add these items to your Camp Bag or Bucket – family photos and items that allow your kids to write home during camp.
Susan Gale is Owner and Publisher of Kidoinfo.com.