Don’t Forget to Pack…

If your house is like my house, there are piles of clothing sitting in the living room along with an assortment of sports equipment, toiletries, and other assorted camp paraphernalia all waiting to be stuffed into duffel bags crumpled up on the couch. There is still some labeling to do and a few more vital supplies to pick-up before every last bit is ready. It will really never be fully ready and I know we’ll forget an item or two, but that’s what UPS is for. Yes, it’s clearly camp time!

But having done this before (once or twice), I’ve learned that the most important thing I can pack for my child is a good dose of positive attitude and two helpings of self-confidence. Every camper, coming for the first time, feels a little anxious. And they should! That’s normal. Hopefully, that anxiousness mixes in with enough excitement to overcome whatever trepidations they’re feeling.

The best thing to do is to remind your child that Jay and Mindy, along with their counselors and the rest of the staff, are there for them. They’re not alone by any means. While you won’t be there to give your usual advice or see them through the expected and natural “bumps in the road”, that’s what the TLC team is there for. Camp will provide your child with the added self-confidence, self-esteem and resilience that comes from doing things that sometimes takes them out of their comfort zone. You can’t over-estimate the benefit for a child that comes from getting through a challenge without mom or dad. Jay, Mindy and the rest of the TLC team are there to help them do just that successfully.

So, when packing those duffels, don’t forget to pack that extra reassurance, that extra “can do” attitude and the positive spirit of what a great camp experience will be about for your child. And take it from a veteran: the great news is that in about two months, when your child comes home and it’s time to unpack that duffel, you’ll notice a few things: The socks you sent will have long been lost, the underwear not worth keeping, the smell upon opening those duffels (ugh) will be unbearable… But, the positive change in your child, the new confidence, self-assuredness and happiness of having spent a summer of fun and adventure making new friends will make clear – It was all well worth it.

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