“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” -Denis Waitley
Sending a kid to camp is one of the best steps that you as a parent can take. Camping teaches kids to be independent, self-reliant, to think out of the box and make lots of new friends. But the “independent thinking” portion of the learning experience need not start on the day of departure. It can start several days before the beginning of the camp. It can start with something very simple- like packing a bag.
Preparing for the journey ahead and packing bags in advance can be a great way to help children make decisions prior to the camp. That’s why you, as parents, should let the kids do a bulk of the packing themselves. Foliage Outdoors provides a list of things to pack- both mandatory as well as optional recommendations. Grab a hold of this list, sit down you’re your child and take cognisance of what all is required. Ask your kids to read the list themselves and separate the items into what they already have and what the need to purchase or borrow (if any). Now make a separate list for the things that you need to get from outside. Set an appropriate date and time that matches everyone’s convenience and go shopping together. Refrain from purchasing anything too expensive, as it will be an unnecessary burden on the child to take care of. They are going to camp to have fun, after all!
Once you have all the things that you need, cross-check the list once again to make sure you have not missed anything. If you haven’t, you’re all set till the day before departure. On the day before the departure, make sure that you and your kids start packing early so as to avoid any last minute chaos. Ensure there is enough time to go and buy any item(s) that you might have missed. Make your child labels all the items that he or she has finally decided to carry to the camp. Finally, let him/her do the entirety of the actual packing himself/herself. It’s not only a great exercise of decision-making, but the kids will also remember where they have kept everything, which will provide convenience when he/she goes to the camp and unpacks. During the whole process, remember to provide guidance on what goes where, but let your child make the final choices.
And that’s it! You’re all set to have a great camp!