Ah, summer camp! As a child, it meant an incredible adventure with a bunch of friends in the woods. As a parent, it means a summer that is full of free time to go to museums and barbeques while knowing your child is taken care of.
Sending your child to summer camp for the first time can be difficult, especially when trying to navigate what a summer camp packing list looks like so you don’t get a phone call three days in that they are out of clean socks.
That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a complete guide to packing your child up for summer camp so that they are prepared for the fun months ahead, and you can have a stress-free summer.
Let’s talk about that.
Summer Camp Packing List Essentials
Before we start talking about clothes and sleeping bags, let’s cover the basics: personal hygiene.
Now, chances are that your child will be spending their time in the woods learning all sorts of neat things, like different types of knots and birds. But that also means they are getting in contact with all sorts of germs.
Packing hand sanitizer is an absolute must. Okay, so maybe they won’t be washing their hands or brushing their teeth as often as they would when you’re home asking them about it, but at least you can send them with a surefire way of killing germs with minimal effort on their part.
Speaking of brushing teeth, make sure to send them with a toothbrush (or two, if they are prone to losing things), some toothpaste, and deodorant. You don’t want your child to be known as the smelly kid.
Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash come next. Send them with a little plastic shower caddy so they can bring it into the shower with them and take it when they leave. This greatly reduces the chances of a mixup with some other kid.
Sunscreen can vary from child to child. Make sure they have the SPF that they need based on their skin tone. Waterproof/sweatproof is ideal, because they will probably spend a good amount of time in the water, and if they aren’t all that running around will work up a sweat.
Bug spray is vital- you don’t want any ticks or mosquitos getting to your child. Send them with a couple of bottles, since they’ll be using it every night.
Now that basic ointments and products are covered, let’s talk clothes.
Clothes and Crocs
When it comes to packing clothes for your child, it is better to overpack than under pack and leave them without a clean shirt on laundry day.
Make sure you send them with extra socks and underwear because you never know when they’ll be doing laundry on schedule.
Label all their clothes. You can use a label maker, sewn-in tags, or just a permanent marker. You want their clothes to be identifiable as theirs.
Send them with a good amount of tank tops and t-shirts, but also pack a hoodie or two. The nights can get cold sometimes, and it’s always helpful to have an extra layer.
Same goes for pants- pack some shorts, some jeans, and some sweatpants. You want them to be prepared for rain or shine.
Speaking of rain, pack a raincoat and umbrella for them. Summer showers are lovely when you’re in a house, not so much when you’re in a tent or cabin.
Pack a few pairs of pajamas and gym shorts. Make sure they have enough bathing suits or swim trunks to last them a week, so they don’t have to wear the same one too often.
Send them with at least 2 towels so they can have one when the other is in the laundry. Speaking of laundry, make sure you pack a mesh laundry bag for them that has their name on it. For most camps, a pop-up hamper is also acceptable.
You’ll want to send them with several types of shoes as well. Sandals are vital, but also be sure to pack them some sneakers and some form of slippers or crocs for when it gets muddy and rainy.
Send them with two sets of linens and two pillows, as well as a sleeping bag in case they spend the night outside to look at the stars.
Other than that, you’ll want to send them with any medications they take (make sure their counselor is aware of that to keep track if needed), their retainer if they have one, a flashlight with extra batteries, and a whole bunch of snacks.
Send Your Child Prepared
As hard as it can be sometimes to send your child off to summer camp, as long as your summer camp packing list is complete, there is nothing they can’t tackle.
Summer camp is meant to be full of scrapes, mistakes, and getting clothes dirty. It’s all part of the fun of being a kid.
Double check their luggage to make sure you sent them off with everything they need, and always, always, always pack a couple of extras- they’ll need it.
If they get homesick when they’re away, send them with a small reminder of home- that way, they can think of you while still being out adventuring.
If their camp is a specialty camp, double check with the camp counselors to see if they need you to pack anything specific for your child.
Don’t worry too much about the band-aids and Neosporin- the nurse’s cabin will have all of that and more.
Be sure to let the counselors know of any allergies they may have, and remind your child before they go that they are there to have fun. Summer camp is a great time, and as long as you sent them prepared, they’ll thank you for it.
For more information, be sure to get in touch.