1. Check the Camp’s Packing Guidelines
Different camps may have specific rules and restrictions regarding what campers can and cannot bring. Review the camp’s packing list or guidelines provided by the camp organizers to ensure you’re in compliance.
2. Label Everything
Label all of your camper’s belongings with their name. This will help prevent items from getting lost or mixed up with other campers’ belongings.
3. Consider the Camp’s Duration
The length of your child’s stay at camp will influence the quantity of items they need. A week-long camp will require more clothing and supplies than a weekend getaway.
4. Involve Your Camper
Involving your child in the packing process can help them feel more comfortable and prepared for camp. It’s also an excellent opportunity to teach them valuable organizational skills.
The Ultimate Summer Camp Packing Checklist
- Underwear and socks: Pack enough for each day plus a few extra.
- T-shirts: Plan for at least one per day, with a few extras.
- Shorts: Lightweight and comfortable options for warm weather.
- Pants/Jeans: Consider cooler evenings or activities that require long pants.
- Sweatshirts or hoodies: For cooler evenings or unexpected weather changes.
- Pajamas: Comfortable sleepwear for a good night’s rest.
- Swimwear: If the camp has a swimming pool or water-related activities.
- Rain gear: A lightweight rain jacket or poncho just in case.
- Comfortable shoes: Sneakers or closed-toe shoes suitable for outdoor activities.
- Sandals or flip-flops: For showering or relaxing in camp.
- Hat: To protect from the sun.
- Bandanas or headscarves: Useful for various purposes.
- Laundry bag: Keep dirty clothes separate from clean ones.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste: Dental hygiene is essential.
- Soap and shampoo: Travel-sized bottles for easy transport.
- Towel and washcloth: Quick-drying and easily identifiable.
- Hairbrush or comb: To keep hair neat and tidy.
- Deodorant: Especially important during active camp days.
- Sunscreen: Protect skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Lip balm with SPF: Keep lips moisturized and protected.
- Insect repellent: To ward off pesky bugs.
- Prescription medications: If applicable, provide clear instructions to camp staff.
- Glasses/contacts and solution: Spare glasses or contacts, if needed.
- First-aid kit: Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications.
- Health insurance card: In case of emergencies.
- Sleeping bag: Suitable for the season and weather.
- Pillow: Compact and easy to transport.
- Fitted sheet: For added comfort and hygiene.
- Blanket: Depending on camp conditions.
- Backpack: For carrying personal items during activities.
- Water bottle: Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Flashlight and extra batteries: Essential for nighttime activities.
- Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife: Depending on age and camp rules.
- Notebook and pens: For journaling or taking notes.
- Camera: If allowed, to capture camp memories.
- Camp-specific equipment: If the camp provides a list (e.g., sports gear, art supplies).
- Spending money: In small denominations for camp store or souvenirs.
- Books or magazines: For downtime or quiet moments.
- Stationery and stamps: To write letters home or to friends.
- Favorite stuffed animal or comfort item: For added familiarity.
- Musical instrument: If your child plays, check with the camp about bringing it.
- Snacks: Non-perishable items for between meals or special dietary needs.
- Sunglasses: For sun protection.
- Camping chair or seat cushion: For comfortable seating during outdoor activities.
- Family photos or mementos: To create a sense of home in the cabin.
- Journal or sketchbook: For documenting camp experiences.