A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Your Child for Summer Camp


Every summer, as the school doors close, another adventurous gateway opens summer camp. It’s a time filled with promise, exploration, and, sometimes, a bit of apprehension. Picture this: Jamie, five years old, enters the building, eyes wide at the new surroundings before him. It’s his first time attending camp, and while his heart races with excitement, there’s a flutter of nervousness, too. Like Jamie, many children—and their parents—face the summer camp experience with a mix of emotions.

This guide is dedicated to you, the parents and guardians, as you navigate the waters of preparing your child for their own summer camp adventure.

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Talking About Camp Expectations

Begin the conversation early. Ask open-ended questions to gauge their excitement and address any nerves. “What are you most looking forward to at camp?” can open a dialogue that helps you understand their expectations and any underlying fears.

Incorporating stories of positive camp experiences can also set a reassuring tone. Consider sharing anecdotes from your own experience or from a family friend who has fond memories of summer camp. These narratives can transform anxiety into anticipation.

Involving Your Child in the Preparation

Engagement is key. Refer to the packing list and let your child assist with the packing process. It could include having them decide what they would like to bring for lunch and snacks and have them pack the bag themselves. It not only teaches responsibility but also builds excitement.

Emotional Preparation

It’s natural for children to experience apprehension at the thought of being in new surroundings and having to meet new friends. Preparing them emotionally is as important as packing that extra pair of socks or sunscreen. Encourage independence at home with small tasks and discuss feelings openly. Books and resources on managing separation can be incredibly helpful for you and your child.

Ready For Camp

Preparing your child for summer camp is a journey that goes beyond packing lists and medical forms. It’s about nurturing independence, building excitement, and addressing anxieties. By taking these steps, you’re not just preparing them for summer camp; you’re setting them up for a successful, memorable adventure.

As you embark on this preparation journey, remember that the real magic of summer camp lies in the friendships forged, the new skills learned, and the countless memories made. So, take a deep breath, and let’s get ready for an unforgettable summer at the Paperny Family Calgary JCC!