1) Read our packing chapter here and our physical and medical prep chapter here. (Obviously, all physical and medical issues should be discussed with a family physician or pediatrician.)
2) Teach your child about safe and unsafe touch.
3) Talk to your child about homesickness. We recommend this DVD in addition to the free information in our book.
4) Go to the pharmacy or local store and spend 10 minutes in the travel accessories area looking for small sizes of items your child might need at camp. You might not need 1000 cotton swabs for a week of camp...
5) Pick up some freezer or lunch bags to begin packing small items. Get some permanent markers to label the bags. In one bag, make a postage kit of pre-addressed labels or envelopes and some stamps. Get envelopes and stamps that have a no-lick, peel-off adhesive. Muggy summer camp cabins are the death of regular stamps and envelopes.
6) Buy some labels to label your child's clothes. Just type "camp labels" in this search box and you'll find several companies:
7) Start teaching your son or daughter to regularly use sunscreen according to the label of your favorite brand.
8) Consider trip insurance.
9) Is your footlocker or luggage going to make it through the summer? This company makes excellent products and is having a shipping sale. If you decide to buy a trunk locally, make sure you can stand on it. Footlockers are furniture in most summer camp cabins.
10) Talk, talk, talk with your children about camp. Only through communication will you find about their concerns and goals for the summer.
Good luck and check back often. Also, please tell your friends, blog about us, or twitter your parents club about us. Thanks!