When the time comes to send your child away for their first summer at camp, you might be sweating the little things. Of course your child will make friends, discover new interests, and develop a sense of independence in their inaugural camp summer – these are all givens. But will they remember to use shampoo and make a dent in their toothpaste tube? Those are the big questions! Luckily, your child will be accompanied by wonderful counselors who aren’t afraid to do get down and dirty, and will do the grimy jobs that might not be your kid’s first priority.
Your child is growing and so are their nails. Luckily, camp counselors have a pair of clippers locked and loaded and will be to trim those fingernails (and toenails) when they get out of hand. Clipping and scrubbing under nails are part of a camp counselor’s right of passage, so don’t sweat – you’re camper will return home with their claws well-kept.
Not every camper who arrives at camp has put their bedwetting days behind them – and that’s absolutely okay. Camp counselors are well aware that sometimes, accidents happen, and they are ready to deal with the situation to make sure your camper (and your camper’s bed) are okay. Often times this means stripping the bed when the kids leave for breakfast, throwing the soiled sheets in the laundry, and remaking the bed before the other campers return. Nobody notices a thing, and by keeping this under wraps, your child doesn’t have to worry about any stigma or shame associated with bedwetting, and can continue to thrive in their awesome summer environment.
Some campers display an athleticism that is truly amazing considering their age – I have seen four-foot tall individuals olds drain three-pointers, execute perfect front flips, and score soccer goals from mid-field. However one feat still remains unattainable: I’ve yet to witness an eight year old successfully cut a piece of chicken using a dull metal knife. Luckily, your child has counselors who are totally prepared to help serve and cut your camper’s food, so you won’t have to fret about any dining-hall induced scratches. And once their food is cut, counselors can move onto the next odd-job
“No, really, chicken patties are just like chicken nuggets. They’re just patties instead of nuggets. But it tastes exactly the same. Just try one bite? Let’s cut it up, and then it will even look like chicken nuggets. See, it’s just chicken nuggets!” While some campers will devour everything, others require convincing. Camp mess halls tend to know their patrons, and simple, kid-friendly staples abound. However, many campers are reluctant to try new foods, no matter how simple they may be. Camp counselors of younger campers put in true effort making sure your child is eating enough. And while your camper may be hesitant, a willing counselor is always ready to step in and pitch a rendition of “it’s macaroni with cheese” that will win over even the pickiest of eaters.
Camp is a place where your child can really connect with nature. The flipside of that element is that nature will certainly do its best to cling to your child. While most camps have a regular “shower hour” for the campers, some children aren’t the most diligent about soaping up. At regular intervals during the summer, counselors will sometimes inspect the bars (or bottles) of soap. A full bar means that little of the soap has been transferred to your child, who might need a reminder that they need to wash themselves while in the shower. The same inspection will be applied to the toothpaste tube and shampoo bottles.
When they’re splashing in the lake or sprinting on the field, your camper might not be thinking about the long-term effects that hot sun is going to have. Luckily, their counselors will and frequently apply sunscreen to their younger campers to ensure they aren’t getting burnt. Spray sunscreen and face sticks are key items in the camp-counselor toolbox. If cream sunscreen is the only option, it’s time to get comfortable – it’s going to be a while!
By: Jake Schwartzwald