PACKING FOR SLEEP-AWAY CAMP
When it comes to packing for camp, it’s best to start preparing a few weeks ahead of time so you avoid feeling rushed or overwhelmed. Work together with your child so they know exactly what they have and where to locate it. Here are 10 tips guaranteed to take the anxiety out of packing for camp:
1) READ THE PACKING LIST PROVIDED BY THE CAMP – It will contain important details regarding not only what to pack, but also what to leave at home. If they have a special dress-up event or activity they will tell you what to include.
2) TALK TO VETERAN PARENTS – Typically parents who have sent a child to camp in previous years can offer helpful tips that may not be included on the list.
3) SHOP FOR CLOTHING AT SECOND-HAND STORES – Camp can be messy. Only send clothing with your child that you don’t mind tossing out. You can even instruct them to throw items away at camp if it is extremely dirty, wet or stained.
4) LABEL, LABEL, LABEL – For items that do need to make it home then be sure it has their name in it. Use a Sharpie, masking tape or label tape to clearly label everything.
5) PACK OUTFITS IN GALLON SLIDE LOCK BAGS – For younger children it can be especially helpful to pack entire outfits (shirt, shorts, underwear, shocks) in individual bags. Label them for each day they will be there. The air can be pressed out allowing for more compact packing. The bags can be reused to return wet bathing suits, shoes, or other soiled items.
6) DRAWSTRING KITCHEN TRASH BAGS HAVE MANY USES – Pack your child’s bedding in one and label it with their name. Include another one to be used as a laundry bag.
7) SHOWER SHOES AND A TOTE FOR TOILETRIES – Plastic flip-flops will do the trick and a small tote will make it easy for them to travel to and from the showers.
8) DISPOSABLE CAMERA – Since electronics are typically not permitted, consider including a disposable camera so your child can capture memories from their time at camp.
9) DRAWSTRING TOTE OR SMALL BACKPACK – These are perfect for carrying water bottles, bug spray, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and other necessities they may need during the day.
10) NOTES FROM HOME – Include a few surprises for your child to discover when they arrive. Some camps will provide instruction regarding where to send notes, cards, or treats ahead of time so they are waiting for them when they arrive.
Finally, if there are certain items like bedding, towels or bags that are only used once a year for camp, consider storing them all together in a lidded and labeled container so they are easy to locate every year.