In an earlier article, we have explored when is the right time to send girls and boys to camps, let alone overseas? It’s a tricky subject, but as your child gets older, the list of questions and considerations shortens.
But still, many parents have specific guidelines on sending their kids abroad. Doing research will help parents and kid campers alike to prepare for the experience. For parents, it is a must to take into consideration the following prior to registering or applying for such camps.
- Transportation and travel time. Is the visa processing, airline expense and travel insurance covered in the fee? Where and when is the pick up and drop off? How many people will be ferried into points of departure and arrival? What time will the campers leave the country of origin and arrive at the airport? How long is the plane journey? Is there a big time zone difference?
- Accommodation. Where is the hotel, boarding house, school/university, house, or camp site? Do they have basic facilities like hot water, electricity, and heating? Is a police station, hospital or clinic, or fire station nearby?
- Health. Does your child have allergies? Is your child on medication for conditions like asthma? Have you prepared a first aid kit and medicine box? How much clothes and footwear will your child bring? Has your child recently been for a medical check-up? Have you notified the supervising adults in the camp of your child’s medication needs and/ or doctor’s prescription?
- Environment and culture. Have you seen the weather forecast for the camp days? How is the camp place different from the country of origin? What kind of wild animals and insects are endemic in the area? Do the people in the area speak English? Are the signs in English?
- Communication. Does the camp allow internet connection or mobile phone contact? If so, what times are the campers allowed to receive calls or post on the Internet?
If summer camps aren’t suited yet for your kids, why not send them for a visit with their grandparents?
“[It] can be a treasured time, full of memory-making adventures,” says Dr. Gail Gross in her article on The Huffington Post. Grandparents can be extremely clingy (of course in a good way) to their grandchildren, sending them lots of love and care that’s even better than what you had when you were a child. The bond between the two different generations is special and deep, and children can gain “confidence and independence as they experience life adventures in a supervised environment outside of [their]immediate family unit,” says Dr. Gross. Kids’ Health says grandparents “can be positive role models and influences” who can equip kids with the knowledge of family history and cultural heritage. 
While grandmas and grandpas welcome your child with all their hearts, remember that it’s still a different environment for your child. It will help if you discuss your plans and schedules first with your parents, and then exchange information about your child’s medical history (for your part) and household dangers (for their part). Then talk to your child about behavioral expectations, as grandparents will be in charge of everything in their home.
 Prepping Your Kids for Vacation With Grandparents: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/prepping-your-kids-for-vacation-with-grandparents_b_7332292.html
 Bonding With Grandparents: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/grandparents.html
Featured photo from emailme3 via Pixabay
This is an updated version of the article that originally appeared on p. 56 of beijingkids March Issue.
Download a copy here.