Every Parent Should Know - New Camper Blog Series

Parents, you are going to love our New Camper blog today! We are bringing you advice from current parents – things that our current camp families think that you should know before your first summer at Greystone. You’ll love these great tips!

Before we jump in, if you are a current camp parent, or are about to be a first time parent, make sure to join our Greystone Parent Facebook page. We found many of these parent suggestions on that page, and we know you’ll love connecting with parents before you even arrive.

Let’s jump in! Here’s what our current families think you should know:

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Opening Day:

  • Duck tape and zip ties are a must for Opening Day. You can use them for many things. Also, recommend bringing a Sharpie (and even leaving it with your daughter!) to put names on things purchased at camp.
  • Hang fun pictures on the bunk on Opening Day – everyone does it!
  • Carry your bedding from your car to the cabin. Use your laundry bag or a large tote bag.
  • Drop off pre-written postcards in the bins on the Opening Day porch before leaving; this allows for your daughter to have mail those first few days of camp. Camp also provides postcards you can use to write a few notes – stop by the office on your way out.
  • The grass at drop-off is wet, so don’t wear flipflops or sandals – you’ll be sliding all over the place. Wear something with tread!
  • Explain to your daughter that her counselor is a fill-in mom while she is at camp. Anything she would talk to you about, she should talk to her counselor about. It will help your daughter know that she can go to her counselor if she needs anything.
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  • Don’t forget a water shoe. [Note: Many parents say that rain boots are a must, and just as many others say that their girls wear a water shoe in the rain (i.e. Chaco, Keen, etc.). Whichever your daughter would enjoy, don’t forget them!]
  • Check out the towels sold in The Greystone Store. They fold up really small, and you can pack 6 of them in the same space it takes to pack one regular towel.
  • Your daughter’s clothes are going to get really dirty. Pack some that you don’t mind getting messy. She’s going to want to slide down that muddy hill during a rainstorm!
  • Get a shower bucket with holes in the bottom so that the water can drain out.
  • Crazy Creek chairs are a must. Girls love them.
  • Pack a lot of dress up clothes. When unpacking, leave them in her trunk or bag on the porch, instead of unpacking them in the cabin, so they don’t take up valuable drawer space.
  • Consider putting an outfit for each day in a ziplock bag, so everything is ready to go. [Note: We get this suggestion a lot for younger campers, and many parents say it is a game changer. We also have equal numbers of parents comment that it isn’t worth it because their daughter pulls everything out of the bags anyways OR because after laundry day, the clothes don’t get put back in the bag. You’ll know your daughter and which would work best for you!]
  • Make sure your daughter has some fun notecards to write home.
  • Consider a mesh laundry bag; it will let things air out a little bit more.

Camp Pictures:

  • Greystone posts so many pictures it can be overwhelming. Set up a time to check them everyday, like in the morning, and then just check the photos from the day before. Then, you won’t be checking photos throughout every day.
  • Sign-up for Waldo, Greystone’s facial recognition service. Waldo will text you photos of your daughter. It’s a game changer and a summer lifesaver. [Note: Many parents commented that because Waldo texts you pictures, you will know which outfit your daughter is wearing that day, making it easier to find her when looking through all of the camp photos, if you still choose to look through them all.]
  • Tell your daughter to jump in front of the camera. You’ll want to see pictures when she is gone, so remind her to jump in photos taken by the camp photographers.
  • Don’t stress if you don’t see your daughter in a picture during a particular day. It just means she’s off having a blast! You’ll catch her in a picture soon.
  • Create a Shutterfly type album with all her summer camp pictures; you can give it to her for a Christmas present or as an end-of-summer surprise.
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While your daughter is away:

  • Write hand written letters! These are treasured.
  • Some girls write a ton, some occasionally, and some not at all. Don’t worry! Your daughter is well taken care of, and there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Subscribe to the blog so that you can get the daily updates on everything going on in camp.
  • You will miss her more than she misses you!
  • Know that camp is a life changing experience. You will love hearing stories on the way home, but also know that part of camp is about internal growth that is hard to put into words. You’ll be able to see it, but she may not be able to explain it.