Packing for summer camp

Published Jan 2, 2020 | Updated Feb 11, 2020

Overnight camp is very exciting, but can also be nerve-wracking for a first-time goer! Preparation is key. A good habit to get into is creating an inventory list for packing, and over the years you can add to it if you realize there was anything missed the previous year. As you pack everything up from your list, place your inventory list in the bag as well so your child remembers what should be coming back with them! 

A good list of the necessities to get you started:

  • Clothing: Pack lots of comfy clothing and make sure they're prepared for all types of weather. Plenty of t-shirts and shorts, along with items for layering like a light sweater, heavier sweater, pants, jacket, rain gear. Remember nights can get cold, and covering your skin helps protect from bugs! Then of course pj's and swim wear
  • Footwear: Shoes take up lots of space, so I try to limit kids to one of each necessary item. One pair of each: flip flops, strap on sandals or water shoes, running shoes, rain boots
  • Plenty of sun care protection: hat, sunglasses, SPF 30+ sunscreen, SPF 30 lip balm and don't forget a good insect repellent
  • Bathroom Kit: 2-in-1 shampoo (saves space), body wash, hair brush, deodorant, lotion, tooth brush, floss, nail clippers, quick dry cloth, shower shoes, towel
  • Send any required medications separately, and schedule a call with the camp nurse of any special medical requirements or food allergies
  • Photos and mementos of home: let them bring things to personalize their space and make them feel more at home (stuffed animal, family photos, posters, etc.)
  • Things to do in the down time: books, cards or other small games, stationary
  • Other handy items: flashlight, small sewing kit, band-aids, tissues, lots of plastic bags and zip-locks


Packing tips:

  • Put socks and undergarments in a washing bag with holes, to keep them neatly stored and separate
  • Roll the clothes! It is a more effective use of space and you'll fit everything much easier
  • Group things together in large plastic bags and label them (pjs, t-shirts, shorts, bathing suits, etc)
  • Put breakable items inside larger cushioned items (such as a blanket or sleeping bag). This saves space but also protects the breakables


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