With less than 50 days left until first session, it’s time to enjoy the last few days of school and start thinking about preparing for summer. Whether you’re a veteran camp family or this is your first experience with summer camp, we’ve got seven tips to help your camper get ready for their summer.

1. Go over the map of camp

Arriving to camp for the first time can often be intimidating, especially if you’ve never visited GFC before. For those who have been at camp forever, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to step onto camp grounds for the first time. It’s a good idea to go over the camp map with your camper and point out some of the main features of camp and how to get there from the cabin area. While your camper will never be wandering alone at GFC, it’s nice to have an idea of where things are before coming to camp cold. For those who are veteran campers, it’s nice to look over the map and see where their new cabin area will be, and remind them to help support those campers who may be new to Greene.

2. Shop and pack with your camper

There is nothing scarier than the second you leave your ccamper and camp and they have no idea where anything is packed and they don’t even recognize the clothes you gave them! Take the time before camp to shop and pack camp clothes with your camper. Knowing what they brought and where their clothes and toiletries are in their suitcase – and later on their shelves – saves for a lot of stress later on when you’re not there to help them find things. Your camper can also be a great help for sticking on name labels!

3. Speak positively about camp

When talking about your camper’s summer away from home, try to avoid telling them “we’ll miss you so much” or other sentiments saying you don’t want them to leave or that you’ll be sad with them gone. While you probably will miss your campers, try to focus on the positives and get them excited for the fun activities they’ll do at camp. If they tell you they’ll miss you, it’s valid to say “I’ll miss you, too,” but then redirect their attention to all the fun they’ll have this summer.

4. Expand their food horizons

At camp, you are no longer there to make your camper’s favorite dishes. The time before camp is a great time to start trying new foods they may experience at camp. While PB&J is always an option, we like our campers to sample the daily dishes and visit our salad bar. Try introducing some camp-themed nights at home featuring some of our favorite camp meals. Check out a sample menu for inspiration.

5. Teach them how to write a letter

In the new millenia, writing a good letter is often a forgotten skill. It could be helpful to sit down with your camper and go over letter writing. Teach them how to address an envelope, where the stamp goes, and what content to include. It’s helpful to include a couple of questions with your camper’s stationary as a reminder for what you’re looking for in their letters home.

6. Attend a Summer Send-off in your area

We’ve got send-offs happening in Houston, Dallas and Austin! They’re great opportunities to meet other GFC campers from around the region. More info on our website on these send-offs coming soon!

7. Get excited!

Many of us live 10 months of the year for these 2, so get excited! It’s time for summer camp! Make sure to keep the energy positive. Watch videos from the last couple years of camp, listen to the camp CD, make a camp countdown. We can’t wait to see you coming through our gates for Summer 2018!