It wasn’t like you hadn’t been asking, but, seemingly out of the blue, your kid wants to go. It might be because their friends are going or they want to get away from their sibling(s) or because they now realize that you are not going to let them stare at screens 20 hours per day until September.

Don’t panic! It’s still possible to find a space at some camps and some money to help you pay the bill.

What should you do first?

  1. Call the camp. Ask if there’s space. If they are full for the session you want, consider another session. (Second sessions and mini-sessions tend to have more room.)
  2. If there’s space, register.
  3. Check this website to see if your family is eligible for a first-time camper grant. (Remember to scroll down until you see the “apply for a grant” button.)
  4. Take a deep breath.
  5. Begin getting ready. Start by getting your child in for a physical and downloading the packing list.
  6. Involve your soon-to-be-camper in assembling what they need.
  7. Ask the camp to connect you with other families of children near you who go to the camp. If there’s time before camp starts to meet them, that’s great. If not, you might meet on drop-off day.
  8. Label everything. A sharpie will work just fine.
  9. Remember you may be more nervous than your child is.
  10. Smile. You did it!