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Don’t Give up on your Kid’s Summer Camp Adventure

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Hey, Unhappy Campers.

Feeling a bit down about your summer camp experience? Maybe you didn't have the thrilling adventure you were expecting. Maybe camp left you with a sour taste in your mouth. But you gave it a try and that’s that, right? Well not necessarily. Just because one camp didn't live up to your expectations doesn't mean that summer camp itself isn't a blast. They’re not all winners, but you wouldn’t swear off apples after accidentally biting into one that’s gone bad.

Here's a little secret: even camp experts didn't fall head over heels for summer camp their first time around like the authors of 'The Summer Camp Handbook', for example. Their first years were total chaos! But that didn’t stop them! Their parents helped them find summer camps that checked all the boxes—organized, fun, and filled with excitement.

And now, they can't get enough of summer camp!

Maybe camp really just isn't for you child—that's okay too. But if they're up to giving it another shot, check out ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’, available right here at Everything Summer Camp. It thoroughly covers effective practices in shopping around for more suitable summer camps, the best ways to gather the information you need on them, how to make decisions on specific elements of your child’s camping experience, and plenty more!

So, if your kid had a less-than-stellar summer camp experience, don't fret. We've got your back right here at Everything Summer Camp. Get your own copy of ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’ by Dr. Christopher Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski and comb through our Camp Tips & Advice section right here on our Blog for excellent ideas and pointers about the camp experience.

We'll help you navigate the camp landscape and find the perfect fit for your camper. Remember, it's all about finding the camp that gets your kid's heart racing and their face beaming with joy.

Keep coming back for more excellent advice and insights. We're here to make sure your next summer camp experience is one for the books! Your child’s dream summer camp stay is out there waiting for them, among the pines! Thanks for reading, Camp Folks. And, as always, Happy Camping!


- John



Look into grabbing 'The Summer Camp Handbook' for yourself right here!


Cross off Camp Prep for Next Season Right Now!

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Hey, Camp Folks!

When’s the best time to start planning for next year's summer camp season? RIGHT NOW! That may sound a little too ahead of the game for some of you, but this tactic works great thanks to its ‘top of mind’ benefit. After all, everything is fresh in your camper’s head right now and you can see for yourself the condition certain items are in WHILE you’re unpacking.

Find out what worked well and what didn’t. What needs repair or what needs to be replaced in the moment during the unpacking job and set yourself up for success in next year’s summer camp season RIGHT NOW!

Where to Begin…

Start by reviewing your child's packing list. Did they bring back everything they took to camp? If any items are missing, it's wise to reach out to the camp to inquire if they might have them in their lost and found.

…On to Apparel

Next, let's assess the camp clothing your child brought home. Often, you can save these clothes for next year's camp adventure. If they've outgrown the clothes or you no longer need them, consider donating them, passing them down to a younger sibling, or, if they're beyond repair, bid them farewell.

Clear the Gear.

Now, it’s time to inspect the camp gear. Check for broken or damaged items, such as flashlights or fans. Doing this will identify gear that needs replacing for the upcoming camp season. Why wait until spring when you can take advantage of end-of-season sales and secure high-quality products for your camper?

Straight from the Camper’s Mouth!

Engage your kids in a conversation about their summer camp experience while the memories are still fresh. Ask them about the gear they used—what worked and what didn't? Was the sleeping bag warm enough, or did it make them feel like they were roasting in a bonfire? Maybe the backpack was too small to fit all their essentials.

Gather this feedback and use it to make informed choices when purchasing new gear for next year.

A Method to the Unpacking Madness:

Your first step in the unpacking job is to divide the items into two groups: those to store away until next year and those to use up now.

Items to Use up Now

Use up any liquid toiletries, like sunblock and bug repellent, this summer, as their effectiveness may diminish over time.

Items to Store Away

For the items to be stored away, remove the batteries from any battery-operated devices. And when it comes to storing your camp trunk or duffel, choose a location wisely. If storing in a garage or basement, ensure it's off the ground to protect it from the cold concrete floors that can slowly damage the trunk over time. Consider using a Moso Air Purifying Bag to ward off moisture and mildew and keep things smelling fresh.


I hope these tips help you navigate the post-summer camp season with ease and make next year's camp prep a fraction of the work! Thanks for reading today's Blog post and, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

Closing Day—Four Tips for a Successful Conclusion to Summer Camp

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Greetings, Camp Parents!

The anticipation builds and hearts race with excitement as the parents arrive and catch a glimpse of their young adventurer rushing over with arms outstretched and wearing a giant smile. Tears of joy flow freely as the stories, laughter, and tight hugs spill over in a frenzied moment that lasts an eternity. In that precious moment, the bond between parent and child is strengthened and the memories of summer camp are etched in their hearts forever.

Just as important as Opening and Visiting Day, Closing Day is a quintessential part of the summer camp experience.

Closing Day Tips and Pointers

Let’s review some valuable insights from 'The Summer Camp Handbook' by camp experts Chris Thurber and Jon Malinowski. Here are four essential tips to ensure a successful and meaningful conclusion to your child's camp adventure:

Punctuality is Key

As you wake up on Closing Day, your heart is filled with anticipation for the long-awaited reunion with your child. We know this date has been circled on your calendar for quite some time. To make the most of this special day, we recommend providing a flexible arrival window instead of a specific hour.

Aim to arrive between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM, allowing your child ample time to bid farewell to friends and participate in any final camp activities. Their goodbye hugs and last-minute adventures deserve to be cherished without feeling rushed.

Tasks and Moments

Closing Day brings administrative chores, like closing accounts and checking with the medical staff. Take the time to navigate through the lost-and-found items to ensure nothing is left behind. This is also the perfect time for your child to proudly share their camp experiences, take you on a tour of the campgrounds, and introduce their newfound camp friends.

Embrace these moments and listen to their stories, as they reflect on the positive memories they've made. However, respect that some children may be ready to move on quickly, eager to embark on the next chapter of their journey.

Expect the Unexpected

Reactions upon reunion with parents vary greatly among campers. Some children become the "Fountain of Youth," bursting with excitement while others may wear a "Poker Face," appearing quiet and reserved. There are "Tearful Campers," who shed tears as a testament to the profound impact camp has had. And lastly, the "Sensationalists" who highlight the most dramatic moments.

Embrace the uniqueness of your child's reaction, and be prepared to adapt to their needs. You can check out a deeper breakdown of all the different camper reactions in this previous Blog post.

Insights from Cabin Leaders


Now, it's time to gather the wisdom from our experienced cabin leaders. These experienced adults just spent countless hours with your child and can provide valuable insights into your child's camp experience. Discover the highlights of your child's session, the challenges they faced, and their interactions with fellow campers.

Address any discipline concerns and seek recommendations for areas of growth before the next camp session. This feedback will aid in your child's ongoing personal development!



Closing Day marks the end of a transformative camp journey! Responding with empathy is key. Acknowledge your child's newfound independence, celebrate their initiative and maturity, and listen attentively to their adventure narratives. Engage them with open-ended questions that delve into the meaning behind their experiences. And be prepared for emotional ups and downs as they process the challenges and triumphs of their camp stay.

As you embrace the joy of reuniting with your child on Closing Day, relish in the incredible growth, unforgettable memories, and lasting friendships that have been forged during their time at camp. The Closing Day experience is a culmination of a transformative summer camp journey, leaving a lasting impact on both campers and parents alike. Thank you for reading, and may your child's closing moments at camp be filled with warmth and cherished memories.


- John

Make Visiting Day at Summer Camp a Victory

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Hey, Camp Families!

Visiting Day is among the most emotional experiences at camp for both campers and parents. It's important to have some idea of what’s to be unexpected. As summer camp experts and authors of ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’ Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski suggest, Visiting Day is the flip side of homesickness—it's a summer camp reunion filled with intense emotions. That's why I'm here to offer some tips and insights to help you make the most of this special day in the camp calendar!

First things first, mark your calendar and make sure you visit camp according to camp visitation guidelines, on the designated Visiting Day. Unexpected visits can disrupt the campers' sense of independence and even provoke homesickness. If you have any doubts about the appropriateness of your visit, don't hesitate to reach out to the camp director and get the green light.


The Varied Campers’ Reactions on Visiting Day

During Visiting Day, you may encounter a range of behaviors from your child, each expressing their unique camp experience. Let's explore a few examples:

The Fountain of Youth

These campers are bursting with excitement and want to share every detail of their camp adventures with you. From whirlwind tours to rapid-fire stories, they can't wait to show you how much fun they had. Embrace their enthusiasm and join them on this joyful journey!

The Poker Face

While these campers may seem reserved, it doesn't mean they didn't have a great time. Poker Face kids often find it difficult to say goodbye to new friends and the camp experience, leading to a quieter demeanor. Give them time, and they'll open up about their camp memories.

The Tearful Camper

Visiting Day can evoke strong emotions, and some campers may shed a few tears as they bid farewell to their summer home. It's a testament to the power of the overnight camp experience. Respect their feelings, ask if they prefer a quick departure or a longer goodbye, and offer support as they navigate their emotions.

The Sensationalist

These campers love to share their most dramatic camp stories, whether it's a thrilling adventure or a comical mishap. Listen attentively, knowing that all campers have a mix of positive and negative experiences. Get the full picture by encouraging them to share a balanced account of their camp journey.

Tips for Visiting Day at Summer Camp

Now that you're aware of the different reactions you might encounter, let's discuss some practical tips to make your visit to summer camp a successful one!

Be Punctual

Stick to your promised arrival time. Your child will be eagerly anticipating your visit; Arriving on time ensures that you don't disrupt their camp activities or keep them waiting anxiously.

Take a Tour

Your child will love to show you around camp. Supporting campers on Visiting Day is important. Let them lead the way and proudly showcase their favorite spots and activities. Remember, this is their time to shine, so keep any critical comments to yourself and focus on celebrating their achievements.

Keep an Open Mind

If you have questions or concerns about certain aspects of camp, approach the topic with curiosity and seek explanations before passing judgment. Acknowledge and praise your child's accomplishments.

Share Sad News in Person

If there's any sad news to share, such as the loss of a pet, it's best to deliver it in person. Being there to provide comfort and support during difficult times is crucial for your child. Break the news early on Visiting Day to allow ample time for conversation and to address any concerns or emotions that may arise.

Arrange Alternatives if you can't Attend

In the event that you can't attend Visiting Day, it's important to communicate with your child well in advance. While they may be disappointed, make alternative arrangements for them to enjoy the day with a friend's family. This way, they can still partake in the Visiting Day experience and create lasting memories with their camp community.


Remember, Visiting Day can be an emotional time for both campers and parents. You may feel compelled to offer your child a ride home, but resist it. Encourage their continued camp experience and reassure them that you'll see each other again soon. This builds their resilience and allows them to fully immerse themselves in the camp environment.

For further insights and guidance on Visiting Day and other aspects of summer camp, consider picking up a copy of 'The Summer Camp Handbook' by Chris Thurber and Jon Malinowski. Their expertise and advice will help you navigate the camp experience with confidence and make the most of your time together.

Embrace the surprises, cherish the connections, and celebrate the growth and joy that summer camp brings. And remember, your child's journey at camp is a victory in itself. Thanks for reading, and happy Visiting Day!


- John


Look into grabbing 'The Summer Camp Handbook' for yourself right here!

Tips and Tricks to Making Friends at Summer Camp

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Hey, Friendly Campers!

Summer camp is an incredible opportunity for kids to forge lasting friendships and create unforgettable memories. For some, making new friends can feel a little daunting, but fear not! Here are just a few tips and tricks to help your child achieve friendships at camp with ease.

Great Ways to Start Making Friends

From confident introductions to engaging icebreaker games and memory-boosting techniques, these strategies will empower your child to build meaningful connections and embrace the full camp experience.

The Power of Introductions

Introductions are a great way to show everyone at summer camp that you’re a nice person and looking forward to knowing them all better. Teach your child to introduce themselves by sharing their name and then ask their new acquaintance for theirs. A confident introduction conveys friendliness and establishes a positive first impression.

From there, your kid should show some interest in getting to know them. Coach your child to ask open-ended questions to spark conversation, such as, "How did you discover this camp?" or "Is this your first year here?" These initial questions show genuine interest and pave the way for meaningful connections to form.

Remembering All the New Names

Remembering names can be a challenge, but little tricks can come to the rescue to make playing the ‘name game’ much easier. Campers find it helpful to come up with a crazy sentence that uses the first letter of each person’s name. For example, if their cabin mates are Pat, Robin, Chris, Francis, and Bo, they can use the sentence "Pink Rabbits Can Fly Busses."

This playful technique is called a mnemonic device (pronounced new-mon-ick) and can be used to help solidify names in their memory, making interactions more personal and fostering a sense of belonging. Encourage your child to use these memory tools during conversations, addressing their cabin mates by name. It shows attentiveness and helps strengthen the bond among campers.

There are tons more great tips like this one for campers and parents alike in 'The Summer Camp Handbook,' a guidebook for all parts of your summer camp preparation. Check it out when you click right here.


Icebreakers—Fun Games to Break Down Barriers

Icebreaker games are fantastic tools to create laughter and camaraderie among campers. Have your child pick out a game or two to bring along for a fun activity, such as icebreaker questions or charades. These games provide an enjoyable platform for campers to get to know each other better, share interesting facts, and find common ground.

Personalized gear like our C&N Designer Trunks, a cool and colorful Personalized Bunk Floor Mat, or a plethora of other personalizable gear can serve as an excellent icebreaker as well. Something this cool can work as an instant conversation-starter that helps campers find common interests and forge connections from the start.


Making friends at summer camp is an essential part of the experience. The tips above are all ways to help your camper start making friends, but really, the experience of summer camp itself—eating together, trading stories, and sharing adventures establish strong bonds. Make sure you send your camper off this summer with the tools to build beautiful friendships at camp. Thanks for reading and, as always, Happy Camping!


- John