Ah, the joys of summer camp. I have to say I always cried, even when my youngest went to Church Camp for four days! I love watching re-runs of "Salute Your Shorts" with the kids, although this early-'90s Nickelodeon gem apparently only produced 17 episodes! None of it is at all realistic, but we still get a good laugh out of it!
- Family, pet photos
- Pre-addressed & stamped postcards to send home.
- Bug spray (More than one can would be nice)!
- A favorite blanket
- A flashlight
- A packable folding chair
Things to Leave at Home:
- New sneakers (unless you don't care if they get trashed)
- Jewelry (The expensive stuff could get lost/stolen; many camp activities aren't friendly to rings, bracelets & necklaces.)
- Your good watch (Purchase a cheap one at your local drug store.)
- Expensive camera (Disposables are best!)
- Anything in a glass bottle (plastic/unbreakable containers only!)
Online Summer Camp Resources
- Campparents.org is sponsored by the American Camp Association & will help you find a camp, help with camp planning & give you summer camp advice.
- CampSpirit.com will help you with homesickness issues.
- Cloz.com features camp wear, stationery & other cool stuff.
- Funcampstuff.com advertises "hot items" for campers, plus advice for parents.
- Summercamp.org is sponsored by the National Camp Association & offers advice on summer camps, plus practical info for both kids & parents.
Another thing to note: Some summer camps don't want their participants to bring food along, although others encourage small snacks in critter-proof containers. Uncle Lynn's youngest went to camp a couple of years ago. If his Dad had invented Pop'rs back then, he probably would have packed a couple of 1-ounce containers in his duffle. Some of that camp food can be atrocious!
Yes, separation anxiety is a very real & sometimes potent thing. But in the end, summer camp can be a fun & fulfilling experience. One bit of advice does bear repeating, though: Don't forget the bug spray!