This time of year is so exciting! It’s no summer, mind you, but it is almost summer, and that’s cause for some celebration. It is also a great reminder that there are things to do before summer (and more importantly, summer camp) starts. There is so much to keep track of in our busy lives, but don’t worry – it’s time for our annual Summer Camp Checklist, aka all the things you need to do NOW to get ready for a great time THEN.
☐ Camper Forms
Before your camper heads off to camp, you’ll need to complete camper profiles and medical forms. Make those medical appointments now. Many of our Maine Camp Experience member camps make it easy to complete forms now (as well as email campers, see photos, and read camp updates during the summer) with partners like CampMinder and Bunk1.
☐ Camp Trunk Pick-up
If your camp uses a baggage carrier, now’s the time to register so they can schedule a pick-up for your camper’s trunks. Many of our camps use Camp Trucking.
☐ Take Inventory
Get those trunks out and see what you still have from last year, what you didn’t end up using last year, and what you need new this year. Check if clothes and swimsuits still fit, if fans and flashlights still work, and how much stationery, stamps and working batteries you have on hand.
☐ Summer Camp Shopping
Once you have an updated list, it’s time to re-stock. Amerasport and Camp Spot are great options for camp clothing, and Modell’s is perfect for sports gear. Added bonus? From April 1 – 4 MCE families can save 20% on camp goods online and in stores at Modell’s. From then until June 1, you save 15%! There’s even a Spring Giveaway where you can win a shopping spree worth up to $500!
☐ Transportation Arrangements
Every camp has different ways to get kids transported to camp. Some take chaperoned flights; others have a place to meet an all-camp bus. Now is the time to check with your camp and lock in those travel plans!
☐ Camp Schedule
Many camps provide the opportunity for campers to choose some activities on their daily schedule. This can be a choice between a couple activities within specific focus areas or electives that give campers a broader selection of options to try new things or have more time to do the things they love most. It will soon be time to review and choose, which is really fun.
☐ Visiting Day Plans
This is the fun one for parents and siblings! Maine is a popular summer destination for LOTS of people, and with good reason. Now is a good time to confirm or book transit and accommodations. As it gets closer, use sites like Maine Camp Experience, Maine Office of Tourism and Portland’s Convention and Visitors Bureau to plan where to stay, where to eat, and what to do while you’re in Maine. And for parents who will be “empty nesters” with all their kids away at camp – now is a good opportunity to make some summer vacation plans for yourselves too. We’ve made this easy for you, as MCE is a proud alliance partner of Virtuoso, the luxury travel network of the world’s finest travel agencies and advisors.
☐ Pay the Bill
This is an important one! Know you’re making a great investment … camp is the greatest, most long-lasting gift you can give your child.
REMINDERS: Of course there are other things to do, like:
- reviewing basics with your camper including tips for how to take care of themselves/their hygiene
- filling out an address book with your camper so s/he can write to family and friends – including some pre-addressed envelopes also helps
- letting your camper know it’s okay to feel a little homesick, and telling your camper s/he will be well cared for by counselors and camp directors
- reminding your camper to be open to the new, exciting friendships and experiences that await
- starting or continuing pre-camp traditions like the night-before-camp dinner as a family BBQ or at a favorite restaurant
But most of all, get excited, because another amazing, confidence-building, life-altering, beautiful summer in Maine is just a few months away.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Campcierge™ to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.