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Preparing My Child For Summer Camp, Vol. 5

Are you getting excited for this summer at Camps Kenwood & Evergreen?  We sure are!  We are so looking forward to spending the summer with our community – playing together, learning, sharing, growing, and especially getting to know our new campers! 


Parents often reach out to us and say “I’m not sure how to prepare my child for summer camp.” We know that first-time campers and parents have all sorts of questions about what camp is going to be like, and how certain things work (like laundry and meal time and bunk cleanup and the bus ride up to Camp).  So we have put together these answers to some of the questions new campers and parents seem to wonder about in anticipation of each summer.  Throughout the year we’ll be posting them on our blog and sending then directly to our new families in packages, too! We hope that this information is helpful, and that it helps you feel better prepared, less anxious, and even more excited for the summer of 2014!


Where do I keep my toothbrush?

Preparing My Child For Summer CampIn Camp Kenwood you will be able to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries in the back room bathroom, and in your front cubby.  Please don’t leave your shampoo and soap in the shower, as the shower is used by everyone in your bunk and there isn’t enough space. 



In Camp Evergreen you will have space to keep your toiletries in the bathroom.  Some campers also keep their toiletries on the top of their dresser.  Please don’t leave your shampoo and soap in the shower, as everyone in your bunk needs to use the shower and there isn’t enough space.  Many campers bring a plastic shower caddy that holds everything in a neat and contained way.



How does laundry work?

Preparing My Child For Summer CampNew campers are often curious about how this works.  When you get to Camp you will find where your counselors have hung your laundry bags up in the bunk or living room.  When your clothes are dirty, please place them in the laundry bag.  Once a week your bunk will be asked to bring your laundry bags to get washed at the Laundry.  You and your bunkmates will cross the road with a counselor, and make sure to put your belongings in a barrel that is clearly marked with your bunk’s name on it.  If you put your bag in another bunk’s barrel it may take a long time to get your clothing back!


The following day you will hear an announcement by your head counselors at Assembly letting you and your bunkmates know that your laundry is ready.  Ask your counselor when will be the right time for you and your bunkmates (with a counselor) to head back to the Laundry.  When you get there your shirts, shorts, towels and other laundry will be clean and neatly folded into piles.  Your socks and underwear will be stuffed into the laundry bags.  Please make sure that you only take what belongs to your bunk!


It will probably take you and your bunkmates a couple of trips to get all of the clean laundry back to the bunk.  Once everything has arrived, all of the campers and counselors in your bunk will sort through everything, and make sure that everyone gets back what belongs to them.  Make sure that you stay in the bunk until every article of clothing has been returned to its owner, and that all of the clothing has been put away.  If anything that doesn’t belong to you or your bunkmates has been placed in your laundry please return it immediately to the Laundry.  Somebody will be looking for what you found! 



In Kenwood, what goes in my Back Cubby?                                       

When you get to Camp you will see that your bags have already been unpacked by your counselors.  In your back cubby you will find neat stacks of your shirts, shorts, pants, socks, and underwear.  On the top shelf you will find your towels and sheets.  Your raincoats, ponchos and jackets will be hung up either on hangers, or on pegs.  Please make sure you look around and make sure you know where your belongings are located!


In Kenwood, what goes in my Front Cubby?                                      

preparing my child for summer camp

Your front cubby is a great place to put all of your other stuff, including your stamps and stationary, your music, your water bottle, hats, games, cards, books, magazines, bug spray, and sun tan lotion.


In Evergreen, what goes in my Dresser?

preparing my child for summer campClothes that can be folded – socks, underwear, t-shirts,

bathing suits, shorts, pajamas.  Pants, sweatshirts, jackets,   

 etc. will be hung in closets in the bathroom.



In Evergreen, where are my towels and sheets?

Sheets – linen closet in the bathroom

Towels – linen closet in the bathroom, stacked on shelves in living room, in window bins in the living room



Where do I keep my shoes?

You may have seen in the Cloz catalog that they offer something designed to hold your shoes.  It attaches to the end of your bed.  Many campers find this very useful, as it keeps their shoes organized and off of the floor.  Other campers keep their shoes lined up beneath their bed, or in the bottom of their front cubby (in Kenwood).  Whichever works best for you is fine with us, as long as you are keeping track of them.  Throwing them in a pile in a corner of the bunk is messy, and a great way to lose a shoe.



Keeping the bunk clean

Preparing My Child For Summer CampAt Camp everyone has the responsibility of keeping the area in which they live clean and tidy.  We also have the shared responsibility of working with our bunkmates and counselors to keep the bunk neat.  This summer, if you struggle with this please speak with one of your counselors.  They will have all sorts of ideas to help you, and will work with you to make the situation easier.  Cleaning the bunk can actually be a fun time with your friends if everyone helps out.


Some campers are responsible for keeping their room at home clean.  For some, this will be something new. The counselors know that different campers come to Camp with different levels of responsibility at home.  We ask you to be tolerant of your bunkmates who are more or less cluttered than you are.  While we need the bunks to be clean, we also need everyone to get along.  If you are ever frustrated by a bunkmate during cleaning time please speak with a counselor, instead of taking matters into your own hands.  Here are some of the tasks that you will be responsible for: 

  • Making your bed

  • Putting your clothing into your laundry bag

  • Putting away your belongings when you are done using them

  • Hanging up your wet bathing suit and towel so that they can dry

  • Your daily assignment on the Work Wheel


So what’s a Work Wheel?  A Work Wheel typically looks like this:


preparing my child for summer campAs you can see, it has the names of every member of the bunk (including the counselors), and it also has the names of all of the tasks that need to be completed in the bunk each day.  They include:


  • Front Sweep – taking a broom and sweeping the main area of the bunk (where the beds are)
  • Back Sweep – taking a broom and sweeping the back area of the bunk (where the bathrooms or back cubbies are)
  • Lines– checking the outside railing to see if any bathing suits or towels have dried.  If they have, it is your job to bring them in and return them to their owners.
  • Grounds – checking the area outside and around the bunk for litter.  If you find any, please pick it up and throw it away                  
  • Dustpan –being available with the dustpan to help the sweepers remove the dirt from the bunk.  If you are not sure how to do this please ask a counselor.
  • Backroom or Bathroom – making sure that the back area of the
  • bunk is clean and uncluttered.  This may mean straightening out the area around the sink or shower, or helping pick up clothing that has been left on the floor.
  • Helper– being available to help out any member of the bunk who needs it.  Being Helper is an important task, and does not mean that you have a day off!
  • Day Off– on this day you do not have an assignment other than to keep your area clean.  Even on a Day Off every member of the bunk must make his/her bed and cleanup around his/her bed area.


You will have one of these assignments each day of the summer.  The wheel is turned by a counselor each morning.  After you have finished cleaning up your own area please remember to look at the Work Wheel to see what your assignment is for the day.



Picking Up/Cleaning Up after a period or activity

You will be taking part in so many fun and interesting activities each day, and it will be easy to forget that you have an important responsibility at the end of each one.  Please make sure that you and your group helps to clean up and put everything you have used away.  For sports this will mean returning the bats, balls, and helmets to where they were at the start of the period.  This will also mean remembering to take your water bottle, baseball glove, shin guards, hat, t-shirt, sweatshirt, or other belongings back with you to the bunk.  For arts periods this will mean cleaning up surfaces, equipment, and materials that you used, and making sure that the studio or lab that you’ve been using is ready for the next group.  Your counselors will work with you to make sure that this happens, but you will need to make sure that you are doing your part after each and every period.


Was this information helpful? Are we doing all we can to you prepare your child for their first foray into summer camp? Please share with us what you thought of this posting, and if there are additional questions that you’d like us to cover in future blogs. And please make sure to share this information with your new Kenwood & Evergreen camper!