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YOU CAN'T WASH YOUR HAIR IN THE SWIMMING POOL AND OTHER LESSONS IN STAYING CLEAN AND LOOKING GOOD AT SUMMER CAMP

OT Advises Moms to Give Boys Both Guidance and the Right Shower Equipment to Help Them Stay Clean and Healthy in the Heated Action of Summer Camp

As kids across America begin dreaming of summer camp, moms need to be reminding teen sons that they can't wash their hair in the swimming pool and that staying clean and looking good is important even when you're away from home.

Experts on teenage boys and summer camp say a lot of boys away from home for the first time really let themselves go to the dogs - sporting long grubby fingernails, greasy hair and smelly armpits that can make a bunkhouse smell like a barn.

"But summer camp is a great chance for moms to teach their sons the importance of good grooming while promoting self-sufficiency, which is a big part of what going to camp is about," said best-selling author Kathy Peel, spokeswoman for OT, the first complete line of personal care grooming products for guys 9-16.

Peel, known as "America's Family Manager," spoke with Dr. Chris Thurber -- a psychologist at a boy's boarding school, a spokesman for the American Camping Association and author of "The Summer Camp Handbook," (2000 Perspective Publishing) -- to gather tips for how to prepare your son for a few weeks of good, clean fun away from home.

1. Be direct. Explain that camp is a unique experience of community living away from home, but that being an accepted part of the community means making sure your body, breath and feet don't smell. Tell your son to shower daily.

2. Explain the importance of using warm water, soap and shampoo to remove germs from your entire body. Water alone isn't enough. Clean bodies are less prone to colds, fungus and other health plagues of camp life. Check your body for ticks and if you find one, have the camp nurse remove it with tweezers.

3. Be clear that just because you don't look dirty doesn't mean you don't smell bad. And even if you like the way you smell, others may not. Smelling bad can lead to teasing. So, be considerate and use deodorant or antiperspirant to make sure you smell fresh throughout the day. By the way, you can't see the germs that cause odor and disease.

4. Remind him that changing clothes every day is important. And yes, this means clean underwear every morning. If you feel self-conscious about changing clothes in front of others in the bunkhouse, as some boys do, wrap a towel around yourself to dress. Don't run around too long in wet socks, which can lead to athlete's foot, or a wet bathing suit, which can lead to worse.

5. Pack 1-1/2 times the everyday items your son needs. So, if laundry is done once a week, pack 10-11 changes of clothes. Pack the shower equipment you need to stay fresh and looking good, like shampoo, body wash, deodorant or antiperspirant and hair gel or pomade.

"Sending your son to camp promotes self-sufficiency, teaches responsibility, and helps him learn respect for others." Peel said. "Makes sure he packs the things he needs to stay clean, and remind him to use them, to practice good hygiene daily for his own well being - and because it's a way of showing respect for others!"

OT is available in Target Stores nationwide and in Meijer Stores throughout the Midwest. The products, designed by boys for boys and licensed by the Procter & Gamble Company, are just the kind of thing that boys will be happy to pull out of their duffle bags in the bunkhouse. They're designed on a sports theme, in bold red and yellow bottles with black sports grips, with names like Head-to-Head Just Clean Shampoo, Lid Lock Hair Gel and Pomade, Body Slam Sports Wash and Pit Defense Deodorant and Antiperspirant. And, since no guy wants to smell like his sister, the products come in two proprietary scents - Vertical Blast and Power Rush - to keep guys smelling fresh.

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