This time of year, the weather is beginning to improve and we can all take a deep breath that we almost made it through the winter. With that comes another breath, but this time it isn't as deep as the last - the one where you realize that you have to begin to get ready for camp. This means making your final payments, registering for classes and, most importantly, filling out forms.
If you ask a camp or summer program what the hardest part of this season is, most would say, collecting information from families. Here are the six most important things to share with your child's camp:
- Your child's picture - This seems like a minor detail, but this can help put a face to a name before the summer begins. When your child shows up on day one, the staff have likely done their research to learn a bit more about him or her. This picture not only helps them recognize your child, but brings the information you share with them to life.
- Cell phone numbers (both yours and your child's) - Having a cell phone number for you and your child will help your summer program stay in touch should they need to. Whether it is as simple as checking in on an off-campus trip or calling with important information throughout the program.
- Health information - while this may seem private, knowing these details can help a camp or summer program save a life if need be. Information like medications, past or current illnesses, and any conditions that may affect their ability to participate in the program can give the camp or program a way to make the space a comfortable home for your child throughout the summer.
- Quirks - Believe it or not, the more information you give to a camp or program about your child the better. These are the people who are going to turn your child's program from an academic event to a life-changing experience. If you are able to give them a look into what makes your child tick, things he or she especially likes or dislikes, that will help the camp make your child's summer unforgettable.
- Travel Information - This might be the most important piece of information you can give. When are you getting in? When are you leaving? Knowing this will help the camp or summer program master any logistics like picking a student up from the airport, train or bus, making sure their living arrangements are ready and open for a comfortable arrival and making sure that a counselor with a smile is there and ready to welcome him or her to the program!
- Changes - logistics, medical issues, family circumstances, etc... that change throughout the program. It always helps us to know. Last minute changes are the wrench that can derail any great plan! The same goes for camp; if anything that you already shared with the camp changes, please let them know as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about how detailed your camp wants you to be, call them! They request this information to make your son or daughter's experience incredible and safe! Taking it seriously will ensure they are successful.