It's that time of year again when parents are packing their children off to summer camps, and young people from across the world are flocking to the USA, Australia and other exotic countries to work as camp counsellors or sports instructors: the adventure of a lifetime.
Summer camps are an excellent way of teaching children to become more independent, acquiring new life skills, and developing new friendships or even romances during their teenage years.
Many people hold fond memories of the time spent mucking around with friends at summer camp. Whether it's playing games during the day, learning arts and crafts, or trying to sneak out to meet friends during the night, it's something all parents should let their kids live through.
Later on, as a camp counsellor the fun can continue, but with it comes more responsibility as you are in charge of ensuring entertainment and a positive overall experience for every camper.
Camp is sure to be much more fun and enjoyable if you take the right things with you. Make a list of all your camp essentials, buy all the items you think you might need, and pack in advance. Most camps will only provide very limited access to shops since accommodation, food and activity materials are provided as part of the fee, or your counsellor's remuneration.
Personal hygiene is even more important at summer camp than elsewhere. You or your child will be spending most of the time outdoors, playing sports, eating in a huge dining hall, and sharing a bunkhouse meaning lots of contact with dirt and germs.
Pack a large bottle of shower gel or two bars of soap, plenty of shampoo and conditioner, as well as an extra large tube of toothpaste, and 2 toothbrushes.
What you also need to remember is how exposed everyone is to constant sunshine and insects so high-strength sunscreen lotion, and a good insect repellent are key. Teach your child to apply these every day.
There'll inevitably be some free time at camp so make sure you're prepared for it by bringing some books, cards or board games to keep you entertained. Alternatively, keep a diary.
Electronics should be avoided. Most camps won't allow the use of smartphones, laptops or tablets anyway. MP3 players should be OK.
Focus on the practical when packing for summer camp. It's certainly not a fashion show. Think comfortable, slouchy clothing
that's easy to hand wash if necessary. Layers are key so pack lots of T-shirts, cardigans and hoodies. Shorts, tracksuit bottoms and jeans are all great.
For sports, throw a few oversized mens T-shirts in the bag.
As it's vital to stay protected from the sun's harmful rays, sun hats or basketball caps are essential.
In terms of shoes, flip flops are OK to be worn to meals and some evening activities, while for the rest of the time it should be trousers.
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