It Feels like Summer!!
May 5, 2010 by Woody Noland
Happy Cinco de Mayo! The weather is amazing, staff are rolling in, and it feels like camp is just around the corner. In a month almost exactly (June 6th) the first campers will be rolling up the road and the summer of 2010 will officially kick off! Knowing how busy this time of year can be for everyone, we wanted to post some preparation tips for camp with plenty of lead time.
Parent Pack – by now, every registered camper should have received a mailing to help you organize before arrival. This includes health and medical information for your camper, a suggested packing list (perhaps taped on the underside of your child’s trunk lid for reference), a cabin placement survey, a travel form, and other information about arrival and camp policies during the session. If you have not already returned the necessary forms please get those to us soon. If you need replacements of any forms or are looking for more information, please refer to the Parent Guide section of our website: www.highrocks.com/camp/parent_guide.htm
Trunks – encompass a camper’s dresser, shipping container, seat, card table, step ladder for top bunks, and even an expression of self. With six in a cabin, please keep the trunk/footlocker size to no larger than 14 inches high and 36 inches wide. There are many different options on the market, ranging from plastic containers that will be good for a summer to high quality trunks that will stay with a camper for years. One company we recommend is C&N Footlocker (www.trunksandfootlockers.com). For those campers with a brand new trunk this year consider some bumper stickers/favorite sports teams/decoration on the outside to add a little spice, it makes for a great first day conversation starter.
Labels – when in doubt, label it! It is a fact of camp life that things will be misplaced or forgotten. We have a system of lost-n-found, but it relies heavily on having a camper’s name attached to the item. Whether it be iron-on, stick-on, sewn, or Sharpie, please take the time to put your camper’s name on everything. Initials are ok, first initial and full last name even better. Don’t forget the shoes, socks, towels and non-clothes items: tennis rackets and balls, fishing poles, Crazy Creeks, flashlights, water bottles, etc. Anything you would like to get back!
Collateral Damage – basically, don’t bring anything that you absolutely cannot live without. Camp by nature is a rough and tumble environment where things can and do get broken, usually with the best of intentions and much remorse after the fact. It is not the place for nice clothes (except for a set for square dance night!) or expensive, easily broken items.
Accoutrement – regardless of the length of session, camp happens in the blink of an eye. However, it is a veteran camper move to bring those comforts of home that make life just cushy enough for his stay. Downtime is minimal, but provides a great chance to read a book, play cards with friends, or listen to music on a video-free IPod. Any travel-size game is perfect for the cabin, especially if it is designed for two or more players. A Frisbee, hacky sack or lacrosse stick facilitates pickup games and making friends. A small personal fan, unusual pillow case, or poster for near the bed makes the camper’s bunk more personalized and comfortable. And of course there are the classic pictures of family/friends/pets taped on the underside of a trunk lid.
Correspondence – never a guarantee, but you can increase your odds. Encourage your camper to write home. Provide them with pre-addressed (and pre-stamped) envelopes in a zip-loc to combat humidity. Include an address list of any potential recipients, just in case. For some younger guys, the ad-lib pre-written letters can sometimes have better results. Any letter supplies can also be purchased in the camp store.
As always, we are here for any and all questions in the weeks leading up to camp. Please don’t hesitate to call about anything, from types of quick-dry clothes to feelings of nervousness. Hope everyone is enjoying a successful end to the school year and we can’t wait to see you!