Hi, friends! Well, I am officially a summer camp mom. Or, well, I will be. We signed Brady up for his first summer camp last summer (2 weeks) and it was cancelled due to Covid. This summer, he gets to go! Bryan and I didn’t grow up going to summer camps, however, so this is new territory for us. Luckily, we have some really great friends who are giving us tips and helping us navigate this new adventure! Even though Brady hasn’t officially ventured off to camp yet, we have begun gathering supplies (some required, others just “pro-tips” from veteran camp moms).
First and foremost, choosing a camp is such a nuanced and complex decision. We weighed all our options and chose one a lot of our friends have attended (same for Caroline and Tyler, but they aren’t quite old enough). While we are keeping his specific camp private, I encourage you to talk to lots of parents and kids if you’re looking for one that will be great for your child.
Second, if they offer a “trial” or a “Father-Son Weekend,” I can’t recommend it enough. Bryan and Brady spent three days in North Carolina at his camp a few weeks ago and I kid you not, I’ve never heard my son more alive, more excited about anything.
From Brady himself: “It’s cool to go to summer camp because you interact with people who are different than you. In life, you need that skill -- to be able to get along with others and communicate well. It’s so cool to get out of your comfort zone and do things that, at home, you’d never get to do. Like at home, I wouldn’t zip line into a lake. :) I’m excited to try new things, ride horses, and meet new friends.”
Be still my heart. PS: He’s going to be on a podcast in mid-June. I can’t wait to record that one!
Okay, so packing is like a WHOLE THING. Here are a few things I’ve learned / am doing / will be packing:
- Get a great trunk. This is apparently key.
- Cover it with vinyl stickers inside or outside that describe your kids personality. I used my Cricut to cut out his name, etc.
- I also purchased a roll of cork and some super glue to cut and fit inside the trunk lid. We’re going to pin some photos of his buddies and family to that so he’ll see everyone he loves when he opens his trunk everyday.
- Get some things to make your kiddo comfortable. This is not a plush camp he’s going to. It’s rustic and woodsy and fun. But its not like his house. I bought him a clip-on fan, a cooling towel, a mesh shower caddy bag, and plastic shoes for the shower.
- Get a hanging shoe rack (a small one) to hang at the end of the bed. Sunscreen and insect repellent slip in easily.
- I put together a clipboard filled with stationery (pre-addressed / stamped envelopes).
- Make the bed as inexpensively (and cute!) as you can. Target has GREAT new PillowFort sheets. I got B these.
- Since they wont let me come to camp every day and hug him, I scheduled a care package from CampPacs.com to be delivered a few days in and -- guys this is so cool -- I downloaded the InkCards app to schedule photo cards / postcards to be delivered every couple days. It’s the cutest app!
- Drop-off this year means pulling up in your car, hugging your kid inside the car, and saying goodbye. It’s a Covid precaution, but I’m already preparing my heart and his for this. Big hugs before we get in the car, NO tears (no matter how hard I have to bite my lip) from me, and a huge high five as he runs off to make new buddies.
- I have to end this top ten thanking all the moms and dads who gave us tips and helped us figure all this out. A village is so helpful to have, always!
I think that’s it! I’m sure when he returns, we’ll have a million more tips, but for now, I hope these help! 🥰