When summer rolls around many parents try to find things for their kids to do. Summer camp is a great option as it allows kids to burn off some energy and have fun. But many parents are nervous about sending their kids away to camp. If you are one of them, you are not alone.
Debbie and Kent Guy are working to get their 8-year-old twins ready for school this morning. In the middle of cereal for breakfast and getting dressed for school, they play with their toys in the family room. Julia, loves horses and she is very outgoing. Luke is a little more shy, it is the monster trucks that bring him out of his shell.
Eventually, they kids and their parents head outside to catch the bus. Soon, Julia and Luke won't have to do that, instead they will head to summer camp.
"We like the action they get in the summer camp," says Debbie, an attorney, "when we pick them up they are nice and tired so that works very well for us."
Julia and Luke are signed up for several camps at the Kroc Center this summer. Their parents aren't nervous, at least this time around.
"You have to send your kids where you feel comfortable," says Debbie, "that is the worst thing I think -- to go home or to work and worry about it all day."
That is why the Guy's did a lot of research before sending their kids to camp for the first time. Kent was so nervous the first time he stuck around the building for several hours before realizing it was safe.
Luke has epilepsy and Julia has hearing aides so the Guy's are adamant about making sure everyone at the camp knows their limitations and challenges. That way, no what camp they are headed to, everyone has a fun time.
"Boy we wish we were our kids," says Debbie as she laughs.
A lot of camps will send home something an Emergency Medical Information sheet. But there are other things doctors and experts recommend sharing with camp leaders:
- Make sure your child has had a complete medical exam. The doctor can make sure they are healthy and up to date on all of their vaccinations.
- Make sure you provide a complete, detailed health history of your child. That includes any allergies or medical issues.
- Make sure you ask the camp about their medical and safety services and policies.
- Many children will get homesick. Ask what the camp's policy is about that.
- You should visit the camp.
- And doctors say go ahead and ask for references.
- Do a practice run. Send your child to grandmas to see how they do away from home...and to see how you do.
For more information and to see if your child's camp is ACA Accredited, visit the American Camp Association Website: http://www.acacamps.org/
If you are looking for some camp options for your child, the Guy's recommend the Kroc Center: http://www.mykroc.org/_special/summercamp.php