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Summer camp packing checklist

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Everything your child needs for camp

Packing for camp is an art form. Unlike sending your child for a sleepover at a friend's house, a stay at a resident camp can last from a week to an entire summer, with a camping checklist of things equally as long. So before you zip up that knapsack and send him on the bus to summer camp without enough underwear, check out this summer camp packing checklist.

woman-making-to-do-listThings to remember while packing for camp

Before packing for camp, check with your child's camp packing list provided by the organization. There may be things like bedding that you'll need to include in your child's gear.

Next, wash all new clothing before packing and remember to mark everything your kiddo will be taking, from socks to soap cases, with his name or initials.

Now, armed with an empty truck and your camping checklist, calculate how much clothing your child will need. The Summer Camp Handbook recommends you pack your youngster enough clothes to last one-and-a-half times the number of days he'll be at camp for camps that run a week or less (they probably don't provide laundry service), or the number of days between laundry service for camps longer than one week.

Find more hints on camp chatter: touring camps>>

Camp packing list

Here are the things you and your child will need to pack for a typical summer camp:

  • Bandanna/scarf
  • Hat
  • Glasses/contacts and cleaning solution
  • Prescription medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles for swimming
  • Dress clothes and coordinating belts and shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Jeans
  • Raingear or umbrella
  • Shorts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim shirt with UV protection
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Underwear
  • Sweat pants or warm up pants
  • Pajamas
  • Cotton bathrobe
  • Bras
  • Athletic support (jock strap)
  • Boots
  • Cleats
  • Flip flops
  • Shoes plus a spare pair
  • Socks
  • Bedding -- check with your camp checklist for what, if any, to bring for bedding
  • Hand towels
  • Beach towels -- can be used for bath or swimming
  • Shower caddy
  • Comb or brush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bug repellant
  • Lip balm
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream and razors
  • Soap in carrier
  • Sunblock
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush, toothbrush container, and toothpaste
  • Camera
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Laundry bag
  • Reusable water bottle or canteen
  • Writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, and stamps or calling card
  • Spending money (but check with camp for policies)
  • Comforts of home, like a family photo or a stuffed animal; just be sure it is replaceable
  • Entertainment, like books, hackey sacks, and deck of cards
  • Small backpack or tote for day-trips

>> Get ideas for care packages for kids at camp

 

 

 

 

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[ More about summer camps! ]

According to The Summer Camp Handbook author and psychologist Dr. Christopher Thurber, the first thing on your camping checklist when packing for camp should be to give yourself plenty of time to help your youngster pack for camp.

Also, remember to make it a team effort. "When you pack together and take your time, your excitement about summer camp can rub off on your child while also ensuring that nothing is forgotten when it comes to checking off your summer camp packing list." That way, you can relax knowing junior has everything he needs while away and can focus on having fun!

More summer camp tips


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