Sunday, June 2, 2013

Up, up and away . . .

Just after 6 this morning, my middle child joined his school friends at the airport -
ready for his first interstate trip to Sydney and Canberra.
I'm feeling a little strange about it, to tell the truth. I know rationally that he'll be perfectly fine,
 but it does seem odd to send my own flesh and blood off in an aeroplane, thousands of
kilometres away, without me. This, even though he has an older brother who has
done it all before! Anyway, I thought I'd share a couple of tricks I've learned over
the years of school camps, for the benefit of those who haven't done it before . . .

1. Snap Lock bags are your friend. Get the big ones - something like 30 x 35 cm.
That way, you can pack enough clean clothes for each day into separate packages.
(Boys especially  have been known to wear the same pair of undies for a week on camp,
 left to their own devices. Eeeew!) The added bonus of the bags is that you can
 squeeze them as you seal. This takes the extra air out and makes a smaller parcel.
This is particularly helpful for 'fluffy'things like beanies and scarves, 
which can take up lots of room.

2. A pillowcase makes a great laundry bag. Pack an old one, in case of sand or mud 
(depending on where the camp is, and at what time of year). If you pack it inside out, the 
camper can use the exposed flap to hang it on the end of a bed, doorknob etc. 
Also include a plastic shopping bag for wet things, mostly generated on the last day.

3. If your school has provided a full itinerary, print out a copy and stick it inside the suitcase. 
That way your camper will know exactly what they're doing each day
 and what to wear/take.
This is especially useful for kids who might have anxiety issues.

4. Though most camps will have first aid readily available, it's comforting for young campers 
to know they'll be OK on their own with minor catastrophes - I always include a tube 
of paw-paw ointment (good for cuts, scratches, insect bites, blisters, rashes and chapped lips),
 band-aids (especially for blisters, caused by much more walking than usual!) and good quality 
throat lozenges. None of these items have to be lodged as 'medication'with staff so can
 go in with the toiletries.

5. Don't over-pack! Most of the time, campers will need to be responsible for their own 
suitcase and will need to be able to carry it. Practice at home to make sure they can manage.

And that's it.  Send them off with a photo and plenty of smiles, ready to 
hear all about it in just a short week.
P.S.  "If you would have your son walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them - not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone."  Anne Bronte

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Great idea with the old pillowcase Paula. I learned the snaplock bag one when Nathan went off to Cuboree last year for scouts, it's a good one too!


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