Parent Tips for Sending Your First Child to Scout Camp
- Depending on you or your child, it may help to go the first 1-2 nights of camp. This is usually only an option for Assistant Scout Masters. If you do go, be generous and send back pictures to all of the other new parents. Do not promise this to your child until you have checked with the Scout Master.
- If your child calls crying, just listen. If they can make it until Wednesday (halfway), they’ll make it the rest of the week. No Boy Scout really wants to leave camp. Scout Camp teaches perseverance, independence and develops their sense of grit.
- Even if your troop or camp allows technology, do not plan on relying on this as a source of contact for your child.
- I’m okay with the old, wet tennis shoes be thrown away at the end of camp. The same goes for a few other things we sent along (towel, camp chair, swim suit, etc). We’re not sending our best things and I don’t send anything expecting it will return in pristine condition.
- Everything expands at Scout Camp and somehow does not fit back into the original container. This is where a laundry bag comes in handy. I originally thought that a trash bag would be best, but they can easily get confused with the trash and end up in the dumpster.
- Showering and Teeth Brushing are minimal. This year I finally wised up and sent a little pack of wipes.
- Label all things. No fancy labels needed, duct tape and a permanent marker work well too.
- Have low expectations when your man-child returns. They will feel older, wiser and may even look taller, but they are also exhausted. Be prepared for this, don’t plan anything except feeding them and showering for the first 48-hours. They’ll recover and come back to being your son.
- Do expect growth. Your son will have had a different level of independence while at camp. Use this to your benefit. Increase their responsibilities around the home and in the caring of their things.
- Still struggling on whether or not you did the right thing sending your child to camp? You’d probably like to read Homesick and Happy.
True story: One child came back from camp one year with a pair of someone else’s underwear. What?! Hilarious. We still get a big laugh out of it. I can just imagine all of the boys repacking after all of their belongings exploded all over the tent. It’s a long week.
Above all else, celebrate the accomplishment of going to camp and finishing camp.