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Sleepaway camp gives kids a chance to grow and develop in ways that are often not possible with day camps. The right summer camp for kids offers them the opportunity to experience new things and maybe even make lifelong friendships. While some kids are excited at the prospect of attending a summer camp simply because of all the exciting summer activities, others may be more reluctant to spend several nights away from home. Here's how you can prepare your child for the fun:

Honor the Packing List

Most sleep-away camps send you a packing list of necessities that your child will need. Chances are, this list will also contain a few optional things as well. It's natural to want to include extra clothes beyond what's recommended... but chances are they'll just get in the way.

Stick with the essentials like bug spray, bathing suit, sunscreen, sleeping bag and toothbrush—along with the number of changes of clothes the camp suggests. If your child suffers from seasonal allergies, don't forget to include any medication recommended by a healthcare professional. Of course, keep your child's development in mind, too -- if possible, send clothing he or she can put on and take off easily without assistance.

Talk to Your Kids About Camp

Go over the camp's brochure and website together. Point out the activities and events that you think she or he will enjoy. Group events such as pool time, dances and campfires are great for building a sense of camaraderie. Smaller activities like archery, sailing and ropes courses provide your child with the opportunity to make new friends while learning new skills.

Address Concerns

Most sleepaway camps have a well-established schedule that you can go over with your child. Make sure that the foods served are liked by your kids and that there are accommodations made for any allergies, if necessary.

Discuss the sleeping arrangements with your child, especially if he or she doesn't share a bedroom at home and hasn't had much sleepover experience. Acknowledge that your kids might feel especially homesick at night as they are winding down for bed. A favorite stuffed animal or family photo can help ease this separation anxiety while gently reminding your child of home.

Preparing for sleep-away camp—one of the most iconic summertime activities—can help your kids have a memorable experience. Chances are, they'll be sad to leave all the kids and counselors they made friends with at camp!

Need a physical prior to camp? Visit MedPost online to schedule an appointment at your local clinic.

Urgent Care Association of America