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Summer Camp Tips for Little Campers

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by MinuteClinic. All opinions are my own.

This summer is the first in 10 years that I haven’t worked in a summer camp. Ironically, it’s also Ayva’s first year in camp! Although Ayva’s school is focused on learning through play through the year, the physical and outdoor aspect are multiplied times ten in the summer. Thanks to my decade of experience, though, I knew exactly what she needed to have a safe and healthy summer. If your little one is headed to camp, too, here are some tips that’ll come in handy!

1. Get a physical.

Any camp that is licensed will require your child to have their current immunization records and physical. If you’re having a tough time getting an appointment at a doctor’s office, check out a drop in clinic like the MinuteClinic at CVS. At MinuteClinic, your little camper can be seen by a practioner who will give them an exam and fill out all of their paperwork. It’s not just for camp, either. Your little one can get a physical for sports, and you could even get one for work. Right now you can save $10 on a camp physical at MinuteClinic!

2. Remember sunscreen. And bandages. And itch cream.

After your appointment at the MinuteClinic, stick around CVS and stock up on some summer essentials. Even in Northern California where it’s not blazing hot as some parts of the country, I still recognize the importance of sunscreen. You’ll want to slather it on, so don’t be shy about picking up the CVS brand that’s comparable to the national brands in order to get more bang for your buck. Bandages, itch cream, and lip balm with SPF will round out your summer camp essentials list. I also recommend keeping witch hazel on hand. It’s a great way to soothe skin on a hot day.  Swing by a MinuteClinic location, you  can also get a coupon booklet with $13 worth of savings for active families.

3. Pack a nut-free lunch or snacks.

If you’ll be packing a lunch for your little camper, it’s probably your best bet to go nut free, even if it’s not a camp rule. There are so many children who are allergic to nuts, that it’s good to err on the side of caution. Since Ayva’s camp has a mixture of children from ages 3 – 5, I realize that some of those children may not have even been diagnosed, yet. It’s just easier leave the nuts out than to find out the hard way that your fellow campers are allergic.

4. Get good play sneakers. And wear socks.

It’s tempting to let your little one slip on flip flops, but sandals are an absolute no-no for summer camp. Camp is made for running and playing. Having shoes that fall off, or don’t provide support is a sure way to invite injuries. Don’t forget the socks, either! Not only will they help prevent stinky feet, but they’ll help keep blisters away.

5. Make sleep a priority.

It’s summer time and the days are longer, but that doesn’t mean your little camper should go to sleep later. It’s just as important for them to be well rested for camp as it is during the school year. They’ll be in a new environment with different children and facilitators. Having enough sleep will give them the energy that they’ll need to navigate the fun of summer camp!

Do you have any other summer camp tips for families with children who may be attending for the first time?  Check out MinuteClinic on Facebook for more ideas on keeping your campers safe and healthy this summer!


Thursday 24th of November 2022

If I was director this is what I would do. I would prepare a list of possible activity options for everyone who is attending the camp and a themed weekly menu. We would have several different activity zones there for each kid who came. Camp would be a lot of fun and games. And I would have free storybooks for my campers in addition to read at night as well and the chance to chat too. I would have five categories, sport, art, cookery, gardening and other. Within those categories I would add in fun activities like bingo, tennis, reading, badminton, baking and painting. I would work on things like role play and turn taking skills mainly. I would also focus on resourcefulness and patience. At night we would play cards, learn a new dance, and have some much needed fun in other ways with our hands. I would hone number and word skills at the same time. Woodwork sounds really great. So does pond dipping. And story telling. Plus fishing.

Arelis Cintron

Wednesday 31st of July 2013

These are great tips for campers! I've never worked at one but I know sometimes kids get to sleep later during the summer months. Reminding us to have them get as much sleep as they did during the school year is important. I had no idea that CVS has a minuteClinic. I'll have to check to see if its available in my area so I could share it with my friends with kids! Thanks!