July 2018 Archives

Is "Trial" Camp Best for Your Child?

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The free sample. The 30-day money-back guarantee. We love the idea of getting to try before we buy, and now summer camps are beginning to offer these trials as well.

The new trial camp trend is taking off, and it's perfect for parents and kids who just aren't sure if summer camp (or a specific summer camp) is for them.

What Is Trial Camp?

Trial camp isn't a free sample; you do have to pay.  But it does give kids or teens a small bit of the camp experience without the full commitment to an entire summer.

Most trial camps offer a few days and a few nights, so that the camper gets to experience what daily life at the camp would be like. Many even offer a tour for parents, who also get to scope out the premises.

Of course, you should do your research into a camp, but nothing replaces the experience of checking out the campgrounds yourself.

Which Kids Benefit Most from Trial Camp?

New Campers

While most kids love camp, experiences at summer camp are still subjective. For kids who have never attended camp before, trial camp might be the best choice.

Just getting to spend a few days at camp might allay any fears they have about going to a faraway place and sleeping in a bed that isn't their own. Then they can come back and let you know if they want to have the complete experience.

Special Needs

Trial camp also works for children with special needs. Every child is different. If you have a child with physical or mental disabilities, you're probably concerned whether or not your chosen summer camp can accommodate their needs.

Sure, it's nice to get guarantees from the staff, but a few days at camp will give you the information you need to commit to a complete summer experience.


Nothing's worse than knowing your child is crying somewhere else and wanting to be in your arms. If you're worried that your child might get homesick, trial camp is a great chance to try out the experience of being away from home.

The limited time period of only a few nights will give your child the overnight experience with the reassurance that they can return to home within days.

Unsure of Activities?

For some campers, the concern isn't being at home - it's what they're going to do when they're at camp.

Trial camp usually gives your kids a bit of a "sampler plate" of all the different activities. Whether the camp is focused on art or exploration or science or adventure, this appetizer will be enough to know if your child is ready for the main course.

And that's how you should think of trial camps - as a nice sample. If your child gives you a positive report, then you can be safe and secure in the knowledge that you made the right choice

Back to School: Best New Takes on a Camper Lunchbox Classic

Camp season has flown by! While we are sad to see the best time of the year come to a close, we know another adventure for campers is coming up- a brand new school year!

Seeing old classmates and meeting new friends, new classes, new teachers, and new schedules are sure to give your camper an appetite! Now it's time to refuel and a great go-to meal is the nutty, gooey, sweet, wholesome, and satisfying peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We are fans of the good-old-fashioned  PB&J sandwich, but did you know there are other ways to use this delicious combo? Behold: 10 Delicious News Takes on the PB&J.
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2.  PB&J Sushi
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Treasure Your Camp Memories in a Scrapbook

by Amanda Formaro

You don't have to be into scrapbooking to create lasting memories from the photos your child took at camp. We all know how some shots from a child's camera can turn out... out of focus, lots of motion, and even cropped off heads! The fun part about creating a scrapbook from all the photos your child took is making these odd ball shots fit into a fun theme while showcasing the better ones at the same time.

So before you decide to toss some of those photos, let's go through them and decide what works, and what just doesn't. While a picture of Johnny's chin and shirt may be salvageable, chances are the close up of Susie's thumb just won't. When sifting through the pictures, think of funny phrases that might work well with these misfit photos. For example, a picture of Tommy laughing with the top of his head cut off at the corner would be an ideal shot for a funny hat made from scrapbook paper. Use your imagination when it comes to framing these haphazard pictures.

Embellishments are a great way to jazz up pictures. Craft supply stores carry a huge variety of scrapbooking supplies, including themes such as summer and camping. There are three dimensional stickers, typography stickers, photo corners for holding photos in place and so many other items it's hard to list them all. You'll also find a wide variety of scrapbook papers, from solid colors to all different types of patterns. There are also textured sheets and themed papers, all available in a wide variety of weights.

You'll also want to gather any souvenirs that your child brought home from camp. Drawings, postcards and letters home, name tag from their cabin or clothing, or just about anything that will fit comfortably on a page without bulging the rest of the book. Even items from nature such as a leaf or twig that your child collected would make a nice addition to your scrapbook pages. You can even cut the camp logo from any t-shirt they may have acquired and use that in your book. After all, the shirt won't fit next year anyway!

Try building your pages chronologically, or maybe you would prefer to build theme pages such as a "game night" page and "outdoor activities" section. Gather photos, use your embellishments to perk up the page, and use typography stickers to add phrases or fun sayings. You can ask your child to hand write captions and include those, or find blank speech bubble stickers and have them write funny captions over their friend's heads!

Your scrapbook can also be a great place to keep all of your new friends' contact information. Create a "phone book" type page with your friend's photos and phone numbers so you can keep in touch.

If you don't want to spend too much money on scrapbooking supplies, there are plenty of things you can use from your kid's craft supplies, and even from things you can find around the house. Don't forget about the dollar store, there are plenty of inexpensive supplies to be had there! Things like coins and buttons make for great embellishments, while red, orange and yellow tissue paper makes a great looking campfire! Tiny pebbles and twigs found in your backyard are free and will look wonderful on your camp pages. Make use of scrap felt and fabric as well, they'll add plenty of color and texture.

Whatever you decide just remember to do it quickly before memories of camp start to fade. Talk to your kids and jot down some ideas while they fill you in on the details. Write names on the back of photos as your child shows them to you. Scrapbooking your child's camping adventures will be fun for both of you and will create memories that will last a lifetime!