Summertime is underway and that surely means one thing:
Sleepaway camp is fast approaching. And now is the time to start thinking about what you’ll pack for your kids before they head off!
Of course, there are the obvious summer camp essentials, like a sleeping bag, a hat, and a swimsuit. But there are other important items that often go overlooked when the time comes to pack.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of sleepaway summer camp packing. That way, your child has the ultimate summer camp experience!
Your Child Won’t Miss out on Activities
If your child has everything they need, they won’t miss out on the summer camp fun! Seems simple enough, right?
It actually goes a bit further than that.
Of course, the more active your child is at camp, the more fun they’ll have. But the activities planned at camp is also prime time for kids to make new friends. If your child can’t fully take part in the activities, they’ll miss out on opportunities to socialize.
Let’s say your child’s camp has regular outings at a creek near the camp, for example. For safety reasons, the camp may only allow children with water shoes to go.
Or, there could be a scheduled day trip to a beach with a sand castle building contest planned. If your child doesn’t have his or her own shovel and pail, they may not be able to participate.
Know the camp’s entire itinerary and all scheduled activities and trips. It’s likely that the camp will have many of the items needed to enjoy its activities. To be on the safe side, contact the camp and inquire about which items they recommend for the campers.
Keep Your Child’s Stress Levels Down
In the weeks leading up to the first day, you should be talking with your child about what they can expect at camp. After all, homesickness and anxiety are common among first-time (and even returning) campers. The more confident and comfortable they are going in, the better time they’ll have.
Mentally preparing your child for camp is crucial, especially if he or she is prone to anxiety. To some extent, packing is much easier in comparison. But how you pack for your child can make or break their experience.
The last thing any parent wants is a phone call from an upset child who has forgotten something. Or worse, a homesick child who is anxious because they don’t have something they need.
Your child will not only be physically far away from you. They’ll also be far from the familiarity of home. If they don’t have something, they can easily feel overwhelmed not knowing where to go or who to go to.
This may be your child’s first time at sleepaway camp. Even if it’s not, thorough packing and preparing can keep your child’s stress levels down.
Involve Your Child in the Packing Process
As you compile the summer camp packing list, involve your child in the process. Sit down with them and ask them which items they would like to bring.
These items should be sources of comfort to your child. Some examples include a stuffed animal, photographs, their favorite book, or a personal memento.
Dissuade any temptation to bring toys or electronics. You can do this by telling them about other fun activities they can enjoy at camp. You can also encourage them to use items they can share with fellow campers, like boondoggle, colored pencils, or a deck of cards.
It’s important to limit personal items not only to reduce clutter in their baggage. Sleepaway camp helps children learn to be away from home. Kids can easily become dependent on personal items and not get the full sleepaway camp experience as a result.
Your Summer Camp Packing List
You may find that you can pack efficiently and quickly all on your own. You should, however, have your child assist you during the packing process. That way, they’ll be familiar with what they’re bringing to camp.
As you pack, go over each item one by one. They may not understand what some items are for, such as a shower caddy or a laundry bag.
Explain to them how to properly use or apply certain items, like bug repellent or sunscreen. You should also take this time to show them how to address and stamp an envelope if they don’t know already. That way, they can write letters to their friends and family while away.
Don’t Forget to Pack These Items
Our ultimate summer camp packing list stresses the importance of towels, toiletries, and extra clothes. In addition to this list and the camp’s own checklist, you should also pack the following:
- Extra shoes
- Flip flops
- Waterproof boots
- Toothbrush container
- Spare flashlight batteries
- Reusable water bottle
- Swimming goggles
- Nail clippers
- An extra backpack or tote bag
If your child takes prescription medication, make sure to order enough to last for the duration of camp.
Ziploc bags are also helpful for packing things like toiletries and extra clothing. They’re not only reusable but are easy to label.
Speaking of labeling items… Label everything with your child’s name! This will ensure that more of what you pack returns home.
Ready for Sleepaway Summer Camp?
Sleepaway camp is only a few short weeks away. Now is the time to make sure your child has everything they need to have their best summer yet!
In addition to the summer camp packing essentials, there’s more you can do to prepare your child for sleepaway camp. For more information, check out more on our blog!