Soccer Moms everywhere will be needing these tips this summer! Soccer camp is a huge deal for our son, so I knew others could benefit from my experience. Knowing How to Prepare Your Child for Soccer Camp is a must if you have an enthusiast going away to sleep away camp for their soccer team.
How to Prepare Your Child for Soccer Camp
Whether this is their first camp experience or something they do every year, a soccer camp is going to be something your child is going to love! This learning experience is so fun for the kids that love soccer. They experience intensive training, but also tons of team building exercise and fun with fellow soccer players.
Prepare them for the dorm experience.
Most sports camps take place on a college campus. That means your child may be staying in a dorm room for the first time in their young lives. While they will have adults on hand supervising, it won't be like going on vacation with you in the room to help. This will be a time where they will need to be in charge of their own daily needs.
In many instances, this means they will be packing their own bedding. If so, they need to know how to make their bed, keep their things tidy, and even be responsible for keeping dirty laundry separated to bring home. While most tweens and young teens already do these things at home, it doesn't hurt to have a refresher course on keeping their area tidy and being responsible.
I also recommend helping them with alarms on their phone or watch to have set bedtimes as well as time to get up with plenty of flexible time for showers, brushing their teeth, and bedtime activities they are used to at home. They won't have you there to remind them to put deodorant on, so you may want to add that to the notes on their alarm just in case. Being responsible for themselves is going to be a bit different than their normal every day at home.
If it is a day camp and you are staying in a hotel be prepared to wash out soccer clothes in the sink. Take your own detergent in case you will be using a laundry facility in the hotel. If you don't have access to one the sink will work well. Just be sure you wring out the clothes well and hang up to dry.
Have the right supplies on hand.
Helping your child prepare for soccer camp includes following the tips given to you by the camp. Some provide more than others, and even more, have limitations on what they allow your child to bring with them. Make a list and stick to it when it's time to pack for their camp experience. Below are some things I recommend planning to pack.
- Refillable water bottle (1 or 2 to have on hand)
- Some high protein snacks for in between classes and events. We prefer peanut butter, granola bars, and beef jerky.
- A nice laundry bag that is easy for them to throw dirty clothes into and tie shut for the ride home
- Flip flops or sandals for the shower (you never know how clean they are and athlete's foot is not to be messed with)
- Earplugs in case their roommate snores
- Earbuds and extra chargers for electronics they are taking (I recommend limiting to the bare minimum so nothing is lost and labeling all cords)
- Blister prevention/treatment. Being on your feet all week requires some additional help. Be sure they are prepared.
- Snacks and drinks if allowed that full of protein and electrolytes.
- Sports Towel. When wet the sports cooling towel becomes considerably cooler than the outside air and provides cooling relief. Simply soak the towel in cold water and place it around your neck or over your head. It works well at outdoor events like soccer camp.
Talk to them about appropriate conduct.
One thing that I feel needs to be addressed for soccer camp as well as any overnight sports camp is behavior and what is appropriate. Kids can be rowdy away from home, and if staying in a dorm feel like they have fewer rules. While this may be true, it doesn't mean they should behave in a way that is wrong or not acceptable.
I recommend talking with your child not only about general polite behavior in a place that isn't home, but also it is a good time to talk about appropriate and inappropriate touching. While I feel our son goes to a safe place and have no concerns about inappropriate actions happening, it is always a good idea to remind him that if someone ever tries to touch him inappropriately he is to seek help immediately. This is just a good parenting practice in general, and this is a somewhat natural time to share a warning.
Remind them that this is not just about fun
Going away to any camp is fun, but soccer camp or a sports camp, in general, is not just about fun and games. Remind them that while they will have fun, there is also serious work to be done and they need to be prepared to work hard while there. This simple reminder is just a precaution so they don't get there and end up disappointed or misbehaving because they aren't realizing how serious a sports camp can be.
As you send your son or daughter away to soccer camp this summer, remember our tips to help keep them happy and learning while away!