Saturday, May 15, 2010

Let's talk about CAMP!

Summer is almost HERE for many of us and it's time to think about CAMP!!!! I attended the best camp in the WORLD, and our girls will be there in the next few weeks!! It is always helpful to know what to pack and more importantly, HOW to pack for camp. For the sake of this post, I am going to say, "HER", but I can't wait for our son to go to camp too!

First of all, you do not want to send expensive jewelry or your absolute favorite children's dress to camp because they could get lost or ruined. We all love Lilly Pulitzer, but only send it if you're okay with it being damaged or ruined. For every session except for Junior Camp, your precious dahlin's clothes will be sent to the laundry, and the laundry DOES NOT SEPARATE colors and whites, to the best of my knowledge.

Your daughter will need some pre-addressed and stamped envelopes for writing letters. You should also type out a list of addresses for her, in case she wants to write extra letters. Be sure to ask her if she has some friends she'd like to write while she's at camp. Crane's Stationary and William Arthur are always precious, but the cute notecards at Target are fine too.

I always send my girls with some fun pens. It makes letter writing more fun! Stickers are great too!

Buy your daughter a disposable camera so that she can take her own pictures. You may not think the new foal is important, but she may. We have a whole slew of barn pictures from one of our girls!

If your daughter is older, send her with a digital camera. However, unless she is 16 or 17 and a photography major, I would not send her with your new Nikon D500!

Collect some family and friend photos for her so that she can hang them in her bunk area. Bring tape to help her hang the pictures.

Pack a warm jacket or sweatshirt for cold nights. Most camps do not have heat or a/c. You will also want to pack a personal fan. The battery operated fans can be found at Walmart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Pack a BPA-free water bottle. Be sure to put her name on it with a sharpie pen.

Use a black sharpie marker to label everything.... clothes, cameras, pillowcases, towels, fans, books, underwear, bathing suit, goggles, etc. Put a sharpie in your purse so that you can use it on Opening Day if you buy her a new shirt at the camp store.

Pack her goggles!

Write a stack of letters to her BEFORE camp. They can include the reasons you love her, Bible verses, or cute funny pictures that you draw. Leave these in the camp post office and have them marked with your daughter's name and the day of the week. This way, she will have mail each day! For example: Bailey Rice - Monday

Be sure to share your daughter's (or son's) camp address with friends and family so that she will receive some mail! Encourage everyone to send mail early! You never know if a letter will take 2 or 5 days to arrive.

Remind your daughter that CAMP is the GIFT and she will not be receiving a package while she is away.

I buy gallon-sized ziploc bags and use them to pack an outfit per day. In the bag, I place underwear, a t-shirt, shorts, and socks. If she doesn't use the socks, they can stay clean in the bag. This makes it easier for a young girl to decide what to wear!!

Do pack a fun princess dress or dress up clothes. Evening programs usually incorporate such fun things.

If your daughter has a lovie or favorite stuffed animal or pillow, let her bring it!

Stay at a hotel near camp and if you see other young girls or boys, ask them if they are going to camp too. It's always fun to make a new friend before camp even starts.

Send an extra blanket for cold nights, but don't bring an interior decorator to put things together in her cabin. This is CAMP, not the Royal Palace. Some camps sell precious sweatshirt-material blankets with the camp name on them.

If your child is going to a longer session, you may want to bring a small gift for her camp counselor.

My friend, B, made cute devotional books for each of the girls in her daughter's cabin. At our camp, there is a daily Morning Program devotion and a cabin devotion at night.

Be sure to tell your child how much you will miss her, but that she is missing NOTHING at home!!

Be early. Your daughter will want to be early on Opening Day to choose her bunk, and you will want to be early to pick her up.

Encourage your sweet girl to have fun! If you find yourself with no children at home, make it a point to go enjoy some time ALONE with hubby! Take off work for a few days and explore the area near your camp or have a staycation at home without all of the normal distractions.

Sign your daughter up early for next year!!


Amanda said...

LOVE camp...Our 8 year old son has been the last 2 is such a right of passage! Fun post!...I spent lots of time searching for the right, "cool" boys paper to write us all...addressed the envelopes, stamped them, bagged them up all together...STILL no mail! Stinker...he said he was busy having fun!

Imjustagirl said...

I loved camp as child!! I always loved having great personalized stationary too!! I think I may post about camp today!!
If you are looking for a great deal on personalized note cards check out the link below!!

Anonymous said...

How long will your girls be at camp? Do you think the link should be different depending on age?

Anonymous said...

Oops - I meant "length of time"

Sweet Southern Prep said...

What a great post! My girls are still a little too young for camps, but I'll definitely save this one, and come back to it when helping them pack for camp one day. Loved this post, just like I'll resort back to the packing for the beach one too. Thanks!

sevenalstons said...

So exciting and great tips too! My daughter Grace is on the waiting list for Greystone and unfortunately it isn't looking too good for this summer. I found the camp through your blog and it just looks so amazing; she can't wait to go... even if it's next year!

Love Being a Nonny said...

My very fondest memories of childhood are at camp. Camp Lurecrest in the NC mountains. ( Great post!!

bevy said...

We did the ziploc bag with clothes trick too when S. went to Rockm*** for the past two years. We also used the camp email system in addition to real letters. Actually, we did almost everything you listed!!!

Sadly, with the cost of camp so high, now that J. wants to go, we just can't do both for two weeks. Based on Gr*******, you can figure out how much that is for two.

No worries, J. is going to the Epis. Dio. camp and S. is going on a mission trip.

mamamagnolia said...

I would love to send my son to camp. He is ten. We live in a place very much like camp so he already gets to participate in canoing, fishing, archery, shooting, swimming, etc. He is going to a church camp later this summer, but I would also like to find out about other camps.I think it would be a great way for him to meet other kids and gain a little independence. I would love suggestions on camps if anyone would care to offer.

Nishant said...

What a great post!
free classified india

A Town and Country Life said...

My daughter always spends two weeks at camp with some of her best friends. She loves it, and I know that she will always remember these trips. I too, pack each outfit in a ziplock bag. :-)
This year she is also attending a 3 week Duke Tip camp, so will be away for 5 weeks in total. I'm a little sad, but so proud of her.

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I love this post too. It reminds me of my days as a camper and counselor at Kanuga and Camp Henry in NC. Great ideas. Mail is so important even if you do not get any from your kid. Happy Trails!

Lauren said...

My daughter will attend day camp this year...a first! She is so excited to go with her cousin (who is also our neighbor). I will fight back the tears...and cry all the way home after dropping her off. My parents live only a mile from camp though! And I know the camp directors very well! :)

Fashion Meets Food said...

I hated camp as a child and would cry so much that my parents had to come get me or just freak out so I wouldn't have to go. It was my least favorite thing. Probably because I was a porker as a kid and it was embarrassing.


EKM said...

Hope you plan on coming to pack for my kids-this is just so detailed and wonderful!

Just Kiddin' Photography said...

Darn! I wish I had read this before I sent BabyGirl to Greystone. No dress ups and I forgot to mail her letters early. She's fine, I know, but I feel like a loser!