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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Preparing Your Child For Summer Camp

Hot days and warm nights.  Fireflies, campfires, smores and wiener roasts.  Tents, sleeping bags, flashlights and bug spray.  Don't you just love summer?


Did you go to summer camp as a kid?  I did.  I remember the excitement building up to leaving for camp.  Packing summer clothes, swimsuits and sun block. Stocking up on favorite snacks for after lights out.  I always had to have my diary and a couple of pens so I could capture the highlights of every day on the pages.  How did I know that in my adult years I'd need those diaries to remember much of my childhood?

Meanwhile, Mom is making preparations for me to go in ways I had no idea about. 

Mom was busy filling out forms with my personal and medical information so those whose care she was placing me in, would have whatever information might be needed in any circumstance.  Some of the questions she had to provide answers for included:

  • Was I a proficient swimmer?  Had I had swimming lessons and if so when?
  • Did I have any allergies to certain foods, plants, or medicines?  
  • Were all my immunizations up to date and what were they?  
  • Did I have any special medical or dietary needs or conditions?

Mom also had to sign parental waivers and ensure the staff had names and contact information for people that needed to be contacted if something were to happen to me while away.  I'm not sure where the staff kept that information back in those days. Probably in a folder that they had to ensure made the trip with them and keep it close by in case something happened.

Today, some things have changed in preparing to send your kids off to camp but much hasn't.  For example, my co-worker just had to go through this exercise for her grandsons recently.  Instead of less information being needed before they could go, more information was needed.  Being the grandparent, she didn't have a lot of that information at her fingertips. She had to consult the children's parents, who in turn had to call Doctor's offices and even the school to get some information.  It seems that more legal documents and records of immunizations and prescriptions are required before a child is cleared to go to camp than ever before. I'm sure there are very good reasons for that....right?

Anyway, now that my co-worker has that information in her hands, she's going to upload those records into SafelyFiled for her grandchildren and their parents. No more having to call around to gather those records up in the future.

The grand kids are signed up and approved to attend camp in a few weeks and they are so very excited.

Here's some advice.  Don't wait until the last minute to try to sign your kids up for camp. You might find you'll need extra time to gather necessary documentation before you can enroll them.  You can provide the paper copies of those records to the camp staff but in addition, you can upload those records into your child's SafelyMD public folder and send them off to camp with a copy of that form or emergency data card in their luggage.  

Summer camp.  Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again.

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