NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s a summer ritual for thousands of children in the Tri-State area. They’re heading off to camp and many of them this weekend.

But there are some things every parent will need to know before the kids get on the bus.

Adam Weinstein with the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey has some tips:

Preparing Your Child For Camp

Decisions about where to go to camp should be discussed and made together. Encourage your child to talk about these feelings. Parents should let their child know that they are confident in the child’s ability to handle being away from home.

Do not make pick up deals where you agree to come get your child if he or she is unhappy for a period of time. Pick up deals tell your child you think they will fail when in fact you think they will succeed or you would not have signed them up.

Check The Camp Packing List 

For overnight camp, camps send packing lists to parents ahead of time and often post them on their websites. Besides usual items like t-shirts, shorts and sneakers, families should also remember to pack items such as sun protection like sunscreen, hats and lip balm as well as reading materials, appropriate foot wear and proper bedding such as sheets and/or sleeping bag.

When considering electronics, parents should check with the camp about policies. 

Know The Camp’s Communication Policies

If your child’s camp has a no-phone-calls policy, honor it.

If you get a letter or call from a child saying he or she is homesick, parents should know that severe homesickness is rare and tends to pass quickly. Parents should let their child know they are confident that they will have a great time and will be away successfully. Avoid the temptation to take the child home early. If a “rescue call” comes from the child, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame into perspective. Remember, camp staff are trained to ease homesickness. 

Communicate With Camp Director

You have chosen a camp because you trust the camp directors to handle any issues that may arise at camp. But if at any time during the summer you are having concerns about your child, whether it,s from a letter or a call you received, parents should feel comfortable calling the camp director to discuss these concerns.

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