Getting Ready for Summer CampPosted by on May 14, 2019

It’s mid-May and it may feel like summer camp is still a long time away.  However, as a parent of two elementary-aged kids, I know how quickly the month of May goes by.  And I often feel like the days of early June fly by even quicker.  Now is the time to begin planning for the summer.  More importantly, it’s time to be tackling all of the needed paperwork in your online Parent Portal.  Now is certainly the time to begin getting ready for summer camp!

This month’s blog is a sneak peak in to my “getting ready for summer camp” process- as both a summer camp director and a summer camp mom.  Living at Fernwood Cove during the summer is second nature for me.  I truly feel that my success in camp and my ability to smoothly transition in to life at camp is due to my preparations that begin in early May.  And if an almost-40-year-old lifetime camper needs this time to prepare for camp, our children certainly need it as well.  And you as a camp parent need this time to prepare for your summer too.

The Details of Getting Ready for Summer Camp

As we get closer to the summer you will receive more and more information from us.  Information about forms and billing.  Emails about activities and programs for the summer.  Contact information for your daughter’s Cove Sisters.  There is so much coming in and it can be hard to process it all.  My first step is putting deadlines on my calendar.  My second step is to set a reminder a few days ahead of the deadline- otherwise there’s no way I will meet the deadline!  Blocking out time in my schedule to take the time to complete forms is also important.  And don’t forget to schedule doctor’s appointments to complete your daughter’s health forms.  Please note, this part of the details of getting ready for summer camp is taken care of in February or March to ensure I get an appointment!

Other details of getting ready for overnight camp are things that will help your camper when she is at camp.  One of my priorities is having EVERYTHING labeled.  I order personalized adhesive labels and they get put on my daughter’s camp clothes, water bottles, flashlights, towels, etc.  It can be time consuming, but it helps ensure she returns home with what she takes to camp.  It’s important to know that Sharpie (and other permanent markers) often rub off of things like water bottles and toiletry containers.  Investing in pre-printed labels helps ensure your daughter keeps track of her things- and has her shampoo at shower time!  Check out these amazing labels from Mabel’s Labels and your purchase will help support the Fernwood Cove Foundation scholarship fund.

What to Pack and What Not to Pack

Knowing what to pack and what not to pack for overnight camp can be overwhelming.  At first it’s easy to think you need to pack extras and things that aren’t included on the packing list.  However, summer camp is a perfect opportunity to disconnect from our material positions and reconsider what we truly need.  The Fernwood Cove value of Simple Living can help direct you as you think about what your daughter needs for camp.  Camp uniform is worn most of the time at camp.  And non-uniform clothing should be casual.  And as a counselor recently recommended to other staff- choose items like jean shorts that coordinate with multiple tops for non-uniform times.

The second thing to help your camper be successful is making sure she has what she needs, and not a lot of extras.  Check with camp directors about unique items that campers often bring for camp traditions.  These are things like Color War, 4th of July, Talent Show, etc.  Camp is full of opportunities and you want to make sure your camper is prepared.  However, also being aware that there is limited storage space at camp and not over-packing is important.  Unnecessary items are often stored away and go unused.  Don’t feel like you need to pack everything and the kitchen sink.  Stick to the packing list and pack for a couple of fun extras and your camper will be fully prepared for her days in Maine.

Parents Need Help Getting Ready for Summer Camp

Over the next few weeks parents will be focused on preparing their children for camp.  Few of us realize that parents need help getting ready for summer camp too.  No, you’re not attending camp.  Or maybe you are!  Either way, you’ll soon find yourself with a quieter home and more time on your hands.  In our attempt to prepare our child(ren) for camp we often forget that we’re getting ready for some differences in life too.  Maybe you’re using this for a vacation.  Or maybe you’re still working with your daughter enjoys her adventures in Maine.  Either way, your days will be different and you will likely enjoy this time more if you begin to prepare now.

The weeks that your daughter is at Fernwood Cove are a great opportunity to reconnect with yourself, your spouse, and other friends and family.  Maybe there’s a class you’d like to take or a book you’d like to read.  Or do you want to plan a weekend trip with your college friends?  Whatever it may be, fill your time with fun and meaningful moments.  It’s even more important to make plans if you are concerned about being “camper-sick” while your daughter is at camp.  Meaningful and intentional activities will help keep your mind off of missing your Fernwood Cove girl.  And it will help you create a full summer experience for yourself.  And when summer camp ends you can reconnect with your daughter(s) while sharing stories of your summer adventures.

We’re All Getting Ready for Summer Camp

In the coming weeks my family and I will be busy with the final weeks of school.  As one phase of the year ends the next phase immediately begins.  It’s important for me to remember that we’re all getting ready for summer camp.  As summer camp parents it’s important that your family is doing the same.  Don’t forget to talk with your daughter about the excitement for her adventures to come.  Help her connect with her Cove Sister.  And involve her in purchasing her items for camp.  These small tasks will help her prepare both physically and mentally for camp.  It will also help you prepare for your daughter’s time at summer camp.  And always remember, if you or your daughter have any questions we’re just an email or a phone call away!

We can’t wait to see you in Maine!