Shopping Cart

Spelunk!

Posted on

Hey, Summertime Explorers!

We love discussing all the amazing activities that may be available to you for your summer camp stay. If you’re passionate about Caving (also known as ‘spelunking’), maybe you were fortunate enough to attend a camp that offers it as one of their activities! Cave exploration is a thrilling experience. Today we're talking about some of the ways for you to get the most out of this awesome opportunity!

The advice to “travel light” has never been more appropriate than with Caving. Be safe with the proper equipment. Bring enough, but only what you need and the lighter-weight your gear is, the better! A few essentials to have along are:     

  • Food and Water—Have enough with you to last at least a day or even two.
  • First Aid Kit—When accidents happen you need to be prepared under the ground.
  • Extra Clothes—Caves are notorious for wet and muddy conditions; have an extra set of clothes to change into when your adventure is over.

Don’t Take it to the Limit
If you’re starting to feel kind of weird, be sure to let others know it. If you start feeling tired, uncomfortable, claustrophobic, or just not quite right, make sure that you take a break and rest before continuing on.

Stick Together
Caving trips should always be done in groups. The only reason to ever split from the group would be a serious injury or emergency.

Have a Plan
Confirm that every in your group knows what the emergency plan is. Appoint someone as the trip leader to make decisions during the crisis. You should only ever take action without consulting your trip leader if you’re life’s endangered.

Rule of Three
Similar to climbers, cave explorers should maintain three points of contact to prevent you from slipping and falling.  When moving on rough terrain, always keep three points of contact.

Protect the Cave
It’s simple: Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints. Caves are fragile ecosystems. It’s the natural habitat of the bat. Bats live and breed in caves. You should never damage or alter the cave and definitely never leave any trash behind. Also, do not disturb the bats!

Check out a previous Blog post about the boys who discovered the Crystal Cave here in our home state of Wisconsin. Click here to read it and enjoy spelunking if you get the opportunity to this summer! Have fun and experience a whole new world that’s totally peaceful, pitch-black, and quiet. As always, thanks for reading!

 

- John 


You're the Best!

Posted on

Happy Best Friends Day, Besties!

Best friends are great. You might hope to spend nearly every waking hour of these long summer days together. You’ll have plenty of time for that, but what about when the time comes for your summer camp stay? Maybe your friend isn’t going to camp or maybe you’ll be attending different camps.

Of course having your best friend join you for camp would be a blast! You’d create so many memories of summer camp fun—a season sure to go down in the books as one of the best summers for the pair of you! Maybe some year you’ll be able to make that happen, but sometimes it can be a good thing to spend a little time away from your friend.

Don’t Shortchange your Camp Experience
Camp gives kids the opportunity to be themselves. At camp, kids have the space to discover more about who they are and the freedom to be even more of their authentic selves. Attending camp with your best friend would likely hinder the opportunity to rediscover yourself. For this reason, many kids prefer to attend a camp without a friend from home. Learn more about attending camp with a friend from this Blog post from camp expert Dr. Chris Thurber.

Growing Together, Separately
Though some of you may feel as though your best friend is a long lost identical twin, you are still your own individual personalities. Allow each other space to grow on your own too! Just because your interests may differ from your best friend’s doesn’t mean you two aren’t great friends! Sometimes friends need to grow apart a little bit in order to keep growing together!

Fond Farewells Forge Fonder Hellos
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder. Think of all the fun memories your best friend will have to tell you and how much you will have for them when you finally see each other again! You’ll likely find your relationship is renewed and feels stronger than it was before! Be sure to be a good friend and really listen to all the things your friend wants to fill you in on!

Be thankful for your best friend today. Let them know how much they mean to you today and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

- John


Pleased to Greet You

Posted on

Hey, Camp Folks!

At Everything Summer Camp, we understand the importance of correspondence with your camper during their summer stay. It’s incredibly important they know that you’ve been thinking of them while they’re away. And since most camps limit their campers’ contact with the outside world solely to letters in the mail, we thought we’d offer the Summer Camp Greeting Card Pack.

We just worked on a bunch of new Cards—writing and designing them—so there’s a great new selection for you to pick from when you click right here. These Summer Camp Greeting Cards are a great sentiment and such a great show of thoughtfulness. Write a little message inside the card or just send it as is. Either way, it’s sure to put a smile on your camper’s face.

Not only is it good for a smile but it helps kids cope with a little homesickness. Let’s them know that everything is A-okay back home and their loved ones are thinking of them. Summer camp expert Dr. Chris Thurber discusses the importance of camp correspondence in a previous Blog post he supplied us with called Write Right. Check it out by clicking here.

From general camp-themed cards to other themes geared toward specific interests like fishing or horseback riding and, of course, all those magical camp moments, you’re sure to find a set of cards that speak to you for your camper. There’s a card for campers to send home as well!

Five cards in a set. You won’t find cards like these anywhere else. Pick the Set of 5 Cards (with their colorful envelopes) that fit your camper best and drop a warm hello with these cute, campy cards!

Enjoy these cute cards with your kids and get your Summer Camp Greeting Card Pack today. You can browse our Postcards too and other Stationery products right here and, as always, thanks for reading.

 

- John


Camp 101: Don’t Go Shopping, Go Co-Shopping

Posted on

Boys and girls who feel part of the decision to attend campCamp with confidence when you prep the proper ways. are happy during camp. It’s as simple as that. Their sense of agency or “being in control” is greatest when they get to choose what camp to attend, when in the summer to go and how long to stay. Stated differently, young people who feel forced to go to camp are more likely to feel homesick. Gulp.

Of course, most parents don’t force their children to attend camp, but many parents do overlook the value of including their son or daughter in all of the big and small decisions made after registration is complete. So now that you’re enrolled at camp, here’s a list of ways to include your son or daughter in the pre-arrival process:

Have your child help complete the camp’s health form. They may not know the dates of their immunizations, but they can certainly print their name, address, and phone number at the top of the form. Explain what other information is included on the health form and how the form is used at camp. Review any allergies or illnesses that need attention at camp, especially those in which the child collaborates in care, such as asthma and diabetes.

Keep in Touch with family and friends back home while you're away with our awesome stationery sets!Have your child assemble your correspondence kit. Pack a zipped freezer bag with pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelopes, paper, and pens. This activity is even more fun when you pick the addresses of letter recipients together. Have grandparents contributed to camp tuition this year? Be sure to address a couple letters to them as well. Packing stickers to decorate envelopes at camp will increase positive anticipation about this new way to keep in touch.

Call the camp director together and request the names and numbers of a few returning camper families who live close to you. Only a few camps set up formal pen pals or “big sibs” for new campers, but most other camps are happy to informally link new and returning campers. Involving your son or daughter in making that first social connection at camp is a powerful way to promote positive adjustment.

Shop together. This doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive, but it should be a shared activity. Many well-intentioned parents have taken the camp’s packing list and completed purchases without the child’s ever knowing. Some moms and dads even pack their child’s trunk for them! This misguided generosity takes away from boys’ and girls’ sense of agency and puts them at greater risk for intense homesickness. Here are my suggestions:

Sit down with your son or daughter and review the camp’s packing list. (What? No packing list? Download it from the camp’s website or request it as an e-mail attachment from the camp. Every high-quality camp publishes a packing or equipment list.)

Together, check the items that you already have. Remember, camp is not the place for monogrammed towels and heirloom sweaters. Everything you decide to pack should be appropriate for a rugged outdoor setting, no matter where the camp is situated.

Highlight the recommended items that you don’t have. Find an online vendor or local store where you can purchase these items and set a date for shopping together. Most packing lists don’t include toiletries, so add things like deodorant, toothpaste, bug repellent lotion (not flammable spray), and (for young ladies) tampons or pads. Intense physical activity and prolonged wearing of damp bathing suits can cause chafing and itching. Therefore, I recommend packing Gold Bond Powder or its generic equivalent.

Shop for all your needed items together. Something as simple as picking out the color of the new toothbrush will give your son or daughter a healthy sense of agency over the camp experience. Enjoy this co-shopping experience and share your positive expectations for camp. (A little nervous about your child being away? That’s normal. But share those feelings with another adult.)Get your summer camp container whether it's a duffel bag or a metal trunk at Everything Summer Camp!

Purchase and pack in the recommended container. There are many choices of footlockers, pop-up soft trunks, duffel bags, and backpacks. This might be your most fun co-shopping experience. Stay within your budget, of course, but let your child choose the color, style, and size of packing container.

Label it all. Together, you’ve gathered everything you need for a great summer at camp. Want to be sure it all comes home? Hit it with a laundry marker or an iron-on name label or a waterproof adhesive label. It’s easy to lose things at camp, but if you want it back, it’s got to have your name on it.

Pack together. I recommend you affix the camp’s packing list-on which you’ve handwritten any other gear you’re packing, to the inside of your son or daughter’s footlocker, trunk, or duffel. (Remember, she’ll be packing on her own on closing day!) Now is the time to provide guidance on what goes where, but let your child make the final choices. A great packing tip my friend Jon taught me: Roll your clothes and stack them like pencils in a can. That way, you can see what you’ve got without moving things around.

Did you remember to pack a laundry bag? Most of this gear is going to get pretty nasty, so it’s good to separate dirty from clean so there’s something fresh to wear on the way home.

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


Camp 101: What You Need for a Safe and Fun Campfire

Posted on

Hey, Fiery Personalities!

Bonfires are a summer camp tradition. They’re perfect for staying warm while you tell ghost stories or for toasting marshmallows and making s’mores. Campfires are an important part of the summer camp experience, but having fun should also mean staying safe. Whether you’re a novice camper or a seasoned counselor, it’s important to know what you need to have a safe and fun campfire experience and to plan ahead before you light the logs.

1.) A suitable location.
Fire safety 101 starts with finding a suitable location for your campfire. Look for a spot that’s far enough away from trees, dry grass, and other materials that could easily catch on fire. It should be flat and have plenty of room around it for seating. A store-bought raised fire pit works well, but a ring made out of rocks or bricks will also get the job done. If your campfire location is overgrown with grass or weeds, you may need to do a little clearing before you have your first bonfire.

2.) Plenty of dry wood.
Dry wood catches fire easily and won’t require the use of an accelerant. It is by far the safest fuel source for your campfire and should be your go-to option. Never use gasoline or lighter fluid on a campfire as these can cause sudden and large flames that can be dangerous. You can purchase dry wood or you can split your own from fallen trees. Keep in mind that seasoned wood will burn cleaner and longer than unseasoned wood and will pop much less.

3.) Seating located a safe distance from the fire.
There’s nothing better than sitting around a campfire after the sun goes down in the summer. Of course, that requires seating. When placing chairs or benches, make sure they’re a safe distance from the fire to avoid overheating or burns caused by stray embers. In general, chairs should be no closer than 5 feet to a small campfire. The larger the fire, the farther away the chairs should be.

Having a safe and fun campfire doesn’t have to be a lot of work. Generally, common sense and some good, dry wood is all you need to make sure your campers have the best campfire experience possible. When it comes to campfires, staying safe and having fun should always go hand-in-hand. As always, thanks for reading, Camp Fans!

 

- John