* Involve them in preparations, including shopping and packing.
* Let them pack a favorie T-shirt or small stuffed animal.
* Let them spend the night at the home of a friend or relative as "practice."
* Talk about what they will be doing at camp so they will know the fun things they have to look forward to.
* Talk about your own experiences at camp or the first times you were away from home. Of course, these stories should be positive.
* Mention how things that children do well will be an asset at camp.
* If you think they would like it, mail a letter to your camper before they depart so it will be there to greet them.
For a week or so before your camper leaves, here are some things to work into your conversations:
* Campers all cooperate with each other -- be sure you do, too.
* If there is any problem, be sure to tell a counselor or some other leader.
* Cleaning up will be part of camp and it is important to participate.
* Try new things at camp even if you don't think you will like them or be good at them.
* If you are afraid to meet new people, try approaching just one. Ask questions about how they like camp, where they are from, and what they like to do, then be a good listener.
* Don't worry about being friends with everyone. One or two friends would be great.
* Have a wonderful time.