Guest Blogger #415, Entry #1023, March 16, 2012
With summer on the way it may be time to start planning for your child’s annual trip to summer camp; and whether he’s going for two weeks or two months there are a lot of items he’ll need to take with him and plenty of things you’ll have to attend to before he heads out the door. As a parent it falls to you to make sure that all of his ducks are in a row. So you have to organize in two ways: you must create a timeline in which to prepare and at some point you will have to help him pack for his trip. Here are just a few tips and tricks to make sure that everything is ready when the bus comes to pick him up for summer camp.
Image via: Martha Stewart
Create a checklist
Many camp programs offer lists of required items (either by mail or on their websites) so that you know exactly what to send your kid off with. Generally, these include necessities like clothing for all types of weather, hygienical items, and seasonal items sunblock, just for example. Of course, you may have your own list going. But it couldn’t hurt to merge the two as insurance that you’ve covered all the bases. You may want to make a couple of copies of this list so that you can check items off as you procure them and then do a final check once everything is packed.
Assess old items
Whether you child has gone away to camp before or this is his first time, there are likely certain things he already has, such a sensible clothing, a sleeping bag, and toiletries. So before you go out and buy everything new you should scan your list and see what you already have. Of course, he may have outgrown some items and others may be worn beyond use. For this reason it behooves you to assess each item and decide if it needs to be replaced.
Once you’ve narrowed down your shopping list it’s time to start collecting the gear he’ll need for his extended vacation at camp. Since you’re starting early you can take the time to comparison shop and wait for sales in order to get new items at discount prices.
Image via: Little Red Bus
For most parents (and kids) this is the toughest part of preparing for camp.
You don’t want to pack too much, but you also don’t want your child to need something and not have it. However, practicality may win out. If your kid has to cart his own gear around it will have to be compact and lightweight. Some of this can be managed by simply buying double-duty items (pants that zip off at the knee, jackets with pull-out liners, etc.). But you may also want to choose articles that weigh less and then limit the number of bags he can pack.
Whether you have premium insurance, a dental discount plan, or no coverage at all, your child should still see a dentist at least once a year (ditto on the pediatrician and ophthalmologist). Unfortunately, the easiest time to arrange these visits is when your child is on summer break. So just make sure to schedule these necessary appointments either before or after his stint at camp to ensure that you don’t end up forgetting and paying for missed appointments. Along those lines, you should also refill any prescription medications so that he doesn’t run out while away from home.
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