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Salvation Army Shares Summer Camp Tips



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Salvation Army Shares Summer Camp Tips

HARTFORD — Preparation for the start of the summer season is underway at more than 50 Salvation Army camps across the country, and Salvation Army camp directors advise parents to take equal care in preparing their children for the experience.

Last year, more than 180,000 people attended Salvation Army summer and day camps — many were urban, underprivileged children experiencing crickets, campfires, and an escape from city streets for the first time. Many attend with the assistance of a Salvation Army camp scholarship.

The Salvation Army offers tips for parents preparing to send their children to summer camp for the first time:

Arrange your child to stay with a grandparent or friends for a night or two to prepare them for an overnight camping experience.

During the weeks leading up to camp, take time to share your own camp stories and memories. This will build excitement and anticipation for the experience.

Make sure your child can manage basic hygiene such as brushing teeth, bathing, and changing clothes. Bedwetting should not preclude a child from camp attendance; however, the staff needs to be aware of theproblem so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Do not schedule a significant family event while your child is away.

Develop a checklist of items needed.

Write your child a couple of letters and pack the sealed envelopes in their luggage a day or two before their departure. Tell your son or daughter they can open them when they are away at camp. It is equally important to write letters and send them through the mail. “Mail Call” is always a big time around camp.

Pack paper, postcards and stamps so your child can write you back.

When you arrive with your child at camp, make a point of meeting and connecting with the staff so your child can see that you are interested in and trust people that will be caring for them. Check with the camp about a “parent orientation day” prior to the child’s camp session.

For more information, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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