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When “Precious” Goes to Camp - Lisa Hughes Tyson

Have you ever wondered what kids are like at camp? Well, I have had the opportunity to go to church camp with my kids when they were younger. My oldest went to an overnight camp for the first time the summer after 2nd grade. He is now a Senior in college.

Everyone loves the young hip college students who are working as interns or who are on staff at the camp. I was never one of those. I was always “the mom.” I will wear that badge with honor. There is a reason we started sending our kids to Sky Ranch—I would NEVER be asked to volunteer to spend the week there with them! These are some observations, as a Camp Mom, from my experiences that may help someone getting their “precious” ready to go.

  1. You will have to tell your child (especially boys) to change their underwear and brush their teeth. Do not assume that just because they shower, they put clean clothes on clean bodies.

  2. If your child does not keep up with their stuff at home, they will not keep up with their stuff at camp. Our Rule: OFF OF YOUR BODY AND INTO YOUR BAG.

  3. If your child takes medication at home to help them to focus or attend, send the medication to camp. Your counselor will appreciate it.

  4. If your child does not know how to budget their money, they will spend it all on candy by Wednesday. The first year, we demonstrated grace and added more to their account. After that, we taught them how much they had to spend per day in order to make it through the week.

  5. The camp store has super cute hats and shirts and sweatshirts and shorts and….if your child buys one on Monday, they will not have any money for snacks. Discuss that before they leave.

  6. Just because you pack all of the outfits in wonderfully organized plastic bags, when you see your child in pictures, its highly likely that they will not be wearing matching clothes.

  7. We are not above bribing for pictures. I might have said something to my kids along the lines of, “If I see you having fun in pictures every day, I will let you pick out a T-shirt in the Sky Ranch Store.  When I was at camp, I took pictures of kids and sent them home to their parents. Yes. I did bribe some of them with candy.

  8. Don’t expect newsy letters just because you send self-addressed stamped envelopes to camp.

  9. Your kids will talk about you and your family at camp. Remember all those things you have heard them say on Zoom meetings during this online learning? Yep…this happens at camp too.

  10. If you have a daughter at that age who may start their period at camp. Do not send them with tampons unless you have taught them how to use them properly. Also, make sure that they know you should not put a pad in a swimsuit. (I’m not kidding. Both of these things happened with girls in my church camp group.)
    Most of all…remind your “precious” that they will do new things, fun things, hard things, scary things, old things, crazy things, and “once in a lifetime memory making” things! There is no place like camp!  Ready. Set. GO!!!

    ~Lisa Hughes Tyson