Let's prepare to send our kids away this summer! When I say prepare, I mean both mentally and the logistics packing aspect of getting them on their way. As part of our prep, first let's reassure ourselves of deciding to send them away... and then get to the logistics! My two children (13 and 9) are going to Europe without me. Whether you are sending yours away to a foreign land, or to a great memory making summer sleep away camp a few hours away, we all have much of the same preparing to do.
Chopper Up! Chopper Down! Is that a constant mind struggle? It's normal! We have mixed feelings of our kids going solo without us. It’s hard to let them go! We think that when they are not with us- they are not ok. I feel like I’m missing a part of my body when they aren’t with me. I’m constantly mind checking – where are they – do I need to take them here or there – what do I need to tell them!
Let's get past the hover and worry! We know we've chosen a safe and structured environment for them. Just because we aren't there, does not mean they are not well cared for by camp staff, extended family or friends wherever they are going. Wherever our children are going to be, we can be confident that those caring for them will truly want to give them a memorable experience that promotes core family values, comradery, and a caring environment.
It is going to be a great experience for them! They are going to gain great life skills. They will come back more independent, responsible, and have greater confidence in themselves. They are expanding their horizons, having adventures, and learning new things such as: a new language and culture, or horseback riding, archery, or survival skills. They are going to make new friends or strengthen relationships with friends and family. So let's come to grips. They probably won't miss us much. They will be having a lot of fun with new experiences and adventures! That is good for them!!
OKAY - So now we are reassured - it is going to be great!
Let's get on to preparing to pack & logistics.
Send them with functional Clothes - No brand new shoes or clothes. If new shoes give them blisters, they can't wear them. If the clothes have itchy tags or are uncomfortable, they won't want to wear them. Quick dry/dry-fit pants. shorts, and shirts are great and multipurpose.
Speaking of shoes - Teva's, Chacos & Keen's are great versatile shoes for summer. Outdoor/Water Shoes that are durable, comfortable & multi purpose. http://www.teva.com/ http://www.chacos.com/ http://www.keenfootwear.com/
Label Everything - Clothes, backpack - everything with their name.
ZIPLOC - Get LOTS of large Ziplocs (like Double Zip/Gallon Size). Group items per bag and label each with a Sharpie: Bathroom, Bathing Suits, Chargers/Batteries, etc. If you are packing for a specific amount of days. Put a whole outfit in each Ziploc and write the day on it.
Books & Book Light - Get them a book they want to read (and slip in one from their school summer reading list) and a book light to read at night is a good idea too.
Pack a Craft - A craft that makes bracelets is great! They can make them when they have any down time and give them away to everybody!
Water Bottle & Hat - Important essentials. A durable water bottle with a strap or carabiner clip is perfect. Have them decorate it up with bands or sharpies to personalize. A hat that they like and will actually wear is what they will need.
Main Packing & Checklists - If they are going to a camp, get the checklist off the camp website and print it. There are other really good packing checklists out there & I pinned some to our Pinterest folder Kids Summer Travel 2017 https://www.pinterest.com/onthegoexperts/kids-summer-travel-2017/
Also be sure to re-read any published or other rules and cover them with the kids again now. Also, re-check your travel plans and itineraries and paperwork to make sure all is in order for drop-off's & pick-up's, etc... so that there are no surprises later.
Now to BUY Supplies:
1. I found this great Idea/Company as I was surfing around. http://www.bunksuppliesandbeyond.com/ They have so many items you need. Prices look good & shipping too. Items come packed inside box in a tote bag (see pic). I was given a coupon code to offer here for a 10% discount using the code 1234 at checkout. They will even label everything for you and ship it to you or your summer camp, etc.. I tried the app and it was super simple and I had 15 things added to my cart and checking out in no time! Don't waste time going to the stores. App. (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bunksupplies/id1204810071?mt=8) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bunksupplies)
Aside from any toiletry or other basic necesity. They have cool things too - like hats for Boys with LED Lights. Jungle Screen - A Glitter Bug/Sunscreen combo for girls. And I saw a pen with a light so our kids can write us love letters at night;-)
2. This is a must carry economical travel essential for Girls. http://sanigirl.com/ SaniGirl's - My Little Helper® is a sanitary funnel that allows girls to go to the bathroom standing up - avoiding any contact with germs/contaminants and unwanted exposure. It's perfect for every girl (and they have one for women too!). It's ideal for any public bathroom & lack there of - Nature, etc., away from home! It's clean, discreet, easy to use, and disposable. Never worry about a bathroom again! New subscribers can get a 25% disc. plus free shipping on the purchase of 3 packs of more.
3. Another great compact & useful travel item for boys & girls is a compact Crazy Creek Chair - Perfect for them to take a comfy seat anywhere. http://www.crazycreek.com/
Above are some of my thoughts and reassurance for our parental mental prep
My top suggestions for items to send away with the kids!
4. Here is an idea to surprise the kids with, while they are away (within USA). Why not send them a them a Care Package filled with love from home? Camp Pacs http://www.camppacs.com has many years of experience sending kids summer care packages. Choose one or design your own by picking from their many cool items. You can schedule it now & they will ship wherever you need it by when you need it.
Now that we are prepared - take a moment at home, work, or from your phone ON The GO to finish it up.
It's time to look forward to a wonderful Summer for ALL!
Let us know your thoughts and suggestions on how you prepare to send your kids away for the summer!