As the weather warms and schools come to a close, another seasonal milestone gets closer: the start of the camp season. Kids everywhere will soon be trading their books and pencils for sleeping bags and t-shirts. Some children embark on weeks-long adventures to lakeside retreats while others depart for only the day to spend time outdoors playing games and making crafts. Regardless of the duration, these camps are a big shift from the structured school environment where youngsters spent their previous months. While it’s sure to be full of new adventures, there are also possible dangers that should be considered in order to keep the days safe and injury-free.
First Aid Kits – Every major organization should be equipped with medical supplies. However, many cuts and scrapes occur out in fields and forests – away from offices and supervisors. Putting a handful of bandages, a bottle of sunscreen and bug spray in your child’s backpack will almost certainly come in handy for themselves and any less-prepared pals.
Water Bottles – With the hot summer sun, it’s easy to get dehydrated and faint at any time of day. Having a reusable bottle means that the owner can quickly refill and stave off thirst. After all, it’s unlikely a child will want to halt a fun-filled game to go locate a water fountain or bottle for sale.
List of Phone Numbers – While all parents have to fill out endless paperwork for every activity, including emergency contact, you can’t rely only on these documents if you’re needed. Ensure your son or daughter has a typed paper with everyone’s home, work and cell numbers in case of major emergencies or small inconveniences, like a late bus. It will save a ton of worry.
Snacks – Some kids are notoriously picky eaters. They’ll likely grow out of it, but for now it’s best to send them on their way with granola bars, crackers or an apple. You can be sure they’ll have something to munch on in case the meals served that day are less-than-appetizing.
Interviews – Before the first day, speak with the director and counselors to inquire about training. You’ll get an idea of how they reacted in previous situations and make any personal requests known. Also, check the ratio of supervisors to children. Experts argue it shouldn’t be more than 1:10 – less if they’re younger.
Extra clothing – Summer storms and cold spells can come out of nowhere. Having an extra outfit can prevent a kid from having to spend a day shivering in damp shorts.
Visit beforehand – Depending on the location, this might not be possible but it’s a great idea to visit the location yourself to assess its cleanliness and safety. If it’s too far, look up online reviews and speak to previous attendees.
Confidence – The adjustment can be nerve-racking for both kids and their parents. Make sure your child knows that you trust them and can share anything. They’ll be more likely to call for help if needed and chat about stories when they return.