Kids Camp is now only a few days away so here is a Parents Guide to surviving Kids Camp and getting your kids packed and sorted written by a mum of 2 boys.
Kids camp is just a few days away and if you are anything like me you have small people/ a person in your house on a constant hourly countdown until they go. This possibly fills you with a crazy mixture of both terror that you won’t see them for several days and a guilty excitement about the promise of sleep ins and child free evenings.
Letting them go isn’t easy! Asher has been going for 3 years now (this will be his forth) and to be honest even though he is bigger, more able and knows what to expect, it’s still not really any easier to let him go and the house still feels very very weird for the 4 days he’s away. This year, some how they tag teamed me into letting them both go!!! I have no idea how the managed to both convince me that Noah should go too, but for a whole year it’s been almost a daily occurrence that we’ve talked about the day when he “get’s to go too because he’s big now”
Anyway although letting them go away isn’t easy I’ve found a few things that have helped me to cope and actually enjoy some of those times of peace and child freedom! So here are some top tips, from a seasoned kids camp mum!
1. Packing! Lets be honest, changing underwear for a 7 year old boy isn’t high on his priorities! So I devised a pretty good plan. Every day there is a separate carrier bag which contains the days clothes (including underwear) It also contains a little note from me and a tiny gift, like a bouncy ball or football cards – thus giving them an incentive to open the bag and put clothes on! It works and has become a big hit! Easy mum points!
2. READ THE STUFF! Those letters Colleen has given you and you’ve put down to read later, read them now! They have details on you need. Things like that they need a packed lunch the first day etc. If you’ve lost the letter’s then ask Colleen ASAP!
3. Don’t panic and make the call. There is a huge temptation to call Colleen 25 times a day and just check in,but remember she’s busy! There are more than 40 children going to kids camp, thats a lot of worried mum phone calls! Every day some different leaders will be going for the day, I am one of those leaders! Some of them will post on the hero factory facebook page a few pics and updates (knock has no signal or wifi really either!) so look on there. If there are any problems at all she will call you, I promise! No news really is good news!
They will have so much fun! Seriously! I’ve been to odd bits over the years and it is amazing! They have adventures, they have fun, make lots of friends with new people, grow in confidence and lack sleep!
4. Showering: Well in theory they will have a shower but in reality it’s usually seen more as a punishment as it means they have to stop football for 10 mins! To make it better I’ve always taken Asher shopping and let him choose a mini shower gel a few days before and told him it needs to be empty when he comes home and he needs to smell of what ever smell he’s chosen.
5. Drawing stuff and books, they have some down time every day. Colleen has cleverly balanced the days so it’s not totally full on all of the time. If it was up to Asher he’d never stop running so every year I’ve given him a few ££ to choose a book or some drawing things so for half an hour a day he can lay on his bed, have some peace and chill out. Don’t send them with tech stuff like iPod’s if they can manage without it, my boys are in love with every gadget known to man! But kids camp is a nice enforced break from that stuff so embrace that, they’ll cope without minecraft for a few days!
6. Thank the team! It is wonderful but utterly exhausting doing kids camp. There is NO downtime for the leaders! They are heroes so make sure you shower them with thanks also be on time to pick the kids up! when they land back they are off duty! And need sleep and decent showers! (also a few bars of chocolate etc probably wouldn’t go a miss!)
7. Enjoy the break! If you still have some little ones at home while big ones are away embrace that time, how often in the rest of their lives will they get you to their selves with out bossy big brothers and sisters around. If you are in the weird position that I find myself in this year then use it! Go on dates or out with girl friends, go shopping slowly! and rather than worry choose to embrace it, know that they are!
Hope that helps! Gale