PREPARING KIDS FOR SUMMER CAMP SEASON
For so many kids, summer camp is one of the best times of the year. It’s not only a few days away from parents and responsibilities where kids can have fun and play all day, but there are added benefits that come with a guided experience. Things like games, crafts, and other activities help them develop critical thinking skills, expand their social interactions, and foster independence and confidence.
There are many camps out there, too — day camps, sleepaway camps, camps with themes from music to art and science, and religious camps. No matter which type your kids are interested in, you’ll need to make sure they’re prepared for their time away from home.
INSECT REPELLENTS AT SUMMER CAMP: A MUST-HAVE
Most summer camps will have kids spending lots of time outdoors — and when you’re outdoors, ticks and mosquitoes become a problem. Not only are they annoying, but they can spread serious diseases like Lyme Disease or West Nile.
The Best Repellents For Summer Camp
Ranger Ready’s Clothing-Worn Permethrin 0.5% Insect Repellent is the perfect solution for clothing and gear, and once dry, will repel and kill insects for 40 days or 5 washes. Spray all of your children’s clothing before they depart for camp, especially their sneakers, socks, and shorts. Remember, ticks often crawl upwards so spraying clothing with Ranger Ready Permethrin 0.5% will kill ticks upon contact, even if they attach to your children’s shoes or clothing.
Make sure your child knows to wear insect repellent daily, and that it should be applied after their sunscreen. Ranger Ready’s Body-Worn Picaridin 20% Insect Repellent, provides perfect long-lasting protection for summer camp. Picaridin 20% is safe for kids over one year, and provides 12 hours of protection from ticks and mosquitoes and 8 hours from gnats, chiggers, no-see-ums and other biting insects.
Remind your children to always do a tick check every evening, and to seek out a camp counselor or camp nurse if they find one on themselves or clothing. It is also worth asking the camp how they protect kids from ticks and mosquitoes and what their protocols are for bites, especially if the camp has animals onsite, which can be a magnet for biting insects.
Organizing for the Summer Camp Experience
Organization is important before camp starts because it sets the stage for a smooth, stress-free experience for both you and your child. Make sure that you find out all key dates and deadlines well in advance. This can include when you need to notify the camp of any food allergies or medical concerns and if you need to submit your children's immunization or physical exam records in advance. Request a list of items your child will need to bring with them. Some camps will allow trunks and duffle bags to be delivered before arrival, while others let you bring them on the day camp starts.
Creating a Summer Camp Packing List
The packing list is the biggest part of organizing for the summer camp experience. Your camp of choice should provide a recommended list for things that children will need, and you can also add to that list to make sure your child is well prepared. Commonly overlooked items include:
• Non-aerosol Picaridin 20% insect repellent
• Ranger Ready’s FDA-Recommended 80% alcohol Hand sanitizer
• First aid kit and bandages
• Water-resistant sunscreen
• Flashlight and batteries
• Reusable water bottle
• Extra glasses or retainers
• Extra clothing stickers
• Raincoats or ponchos
Many camps require all items to be labeled with your child’s name — and even if your camp doesn’t, it’s a smart practice to prevent belongings from getting mixed up.
Chatting with Your Child About Camp
While camp is exciting, it can also be a little scary for some kids, especially if it’s their first camp. It’s a good idea to speak with your kids before they go to camp. Acknowledge things like homesickness, which commonly affects campers, and have a frank discussion about bullying. For kids who have never been to camp, it’s a good idea to help your child set expectations by reinforcing that it’s common to be excited and anxious – also make sure they know that camp is a great time to make new friends.
Another key thing to discuss is your camp’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) protocols and the importance of using hand sanitizers. Make sure your kids are prepared to follow whatever rules the camp has set forth to keep campers safe.
Thorough preparation paves the way for the best camp experience possible. Be detailed so that once the date rolls around, there won’t be anything left to do except enjoy Summer camp!