Posts Tagged ‘Summer camp’

What to Pack for Summer Camp

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Socks. No matter what we pack for my son when it comes to summer
camp, we always tell him the same thing: Wear. Clean. Socks. Each. Day.
So you don't get the creepy crud between your toes. And every time he
still seems to come home with too many CLEAN socks.

Sigh. Fortunately, no creepy crud so far. Fingers (and toes) crossed for this year.

 Are
you ready for camp? The American Camp Association (ACA) suggests the
following guidelines for parents to keep in mind when packing for camp:

Headgear – Pack bandannas, a baseball cap or a sun hat, as well as needed eyeglasses, sunglasses and swimming goggles.

Clothing
– Include T-shirts, a swim suit and shorts for hot days; a jacket,
sweatshirt, jeans for cool or cold days; and a raincoat or poncho for
rainy days. Also, long pants will protect a camper from poison ivy,
bugs, and thorns during hikes. Check with the camp to see if dress
clothes are required.

Footwear – Appropriate footwear is
one of the most important items to pack for children at camp,
especially when they are hiking, spelunking, running and heading to the
beach.  ACA recommends families consider packing boots, tennis shoes,
sandals, lots of socks(!) — and dress shoes, if the camp requires them.
Remember that shoes should be broken in prior to the start of camp.

Bed and Bath Needs
– For children attending a resident camp, parents should remember to
pack the home basics. ACA recommends towels, as well as a blanket,
pillow, pillow cases, sheets, sleeping bag, laundry bag, and mattress
pad. Bathroom kits are essential. Families should pack a brush and
comb, shampoo, soap and soap container, toothbrush and holder,
toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellent, feminine products, sun block,
shaving gear, and lip balm with sun block in it.

Additional Items
– ACA recommends that parents pack some additional items including
books and magazines, flashlights and batteries, Frisbees or other toys,
a water bottle, and writing materials.  When considering electronics,
musical instruments, and other special gear, check with the camp about
policies. 

 

Letter From Camp

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I'm happy to have Amy Howorth as a guest blogger today. Check out her blog, WiredElvis (a blog about a mom and her adventures in a wired world that still needs Elvis…) I love Amy's style and her humor. Check out this post and you'll become a fan, too!

Would
it kill them? To send me a little card saying that they are alive?
Other campers must be sending their parents letters. Maybe essays,
maybe line drawings that will someday be the basis for their college
applications:

"Dear Harvard, while
most children ignored their parents entirely while at summer camp, I
made these whimsical drawings to illustrate my contemplative time in
the forest. They are now hanging in the Whitney Museum, but are also
on my Facebook page for your reference…"

No,
my sons are out of touch. Trapped, for  all I know, under a fallen tree
that I have not heard fall. I cursed them the other day while talking
to my mother via the land line (my cell doesn't work at my house.  It's
like I'm camping…). "Mom, I have sent them something every day!
Cute cards! Magazines! Candy! And I get nothing."

Amused silence at
the other end of the phone. I know it is amused, because when she is
pissed and silent, she has usually hung up the phone. "Amy, that's
what you did when you went away to camp. I sent you TONS OF CARDS AND
YOU NEVER ONCE SENT ME ANYTHING."

By the way, the all caps are not a
typo. My 83-year-old mother is talking in all caps. 


Now
it is me who is silent. This cannot be. For one, I am a girl. Girls
are more communicative. Secondly, I remember getting her cards. In fact,
I have saved every one of those cards, and surely I would have sent some
little note back. Surely, I knew how it made me feel and I would have
wanted her to feel the same way.

But,
sadly no. I was 10, 11, 12. About the age of my youngest
now. And pre-teens are spectacularly self-centered. And they are
supposed to be. I was receiving those letters, my animal brain
rationalized, because I should. Because it was my right. Because my
mother loved me. And she never made me feel like there was anything
expected in return. And I didn't disappoint her in that.  

So,
I am grateful that my mom helped me rethink my position. They are just
being kids. Having a great time at camp. Away from their hovering
mother. They are doing exactly what they should be doing. I will keep
sending letters without any expectation of a reply. Because that is
exactly what I should be doing.

And
then, improbably enough, I receive a letter from camp. My youngest
telling me "thanks for sending me the letters mom. It made me feel
loved." My son wrote that. To me.  

And now I am the happy camper.