Whether this is your child's first time away from home or they attend camp every year, we want it to be a smooth transition for both parents and children. We've put together a list of camp-must-haves so you can be confident you won’t forget anything. We’ve also recommended a few affordable necessities and included tips to make your packing experience easier!
Prescriptions - Make sure you’ve read about the camp’s specifications on medications such as who they should be given to and how they should be stored.
Bedding - Help your kid get a good night’s sleep with bedding essentials. If they’re only going to a short overnight or weekend camp, you may want to just send them with a sleeping bag because it’s convenient to pack up and transport. But if they’re going to be gone for a longer period of time, make sure they are comfortable with a fitted sheet and blankets. Either way, don’t forget a pillow and their favorite stuffed animal!
Towels - Pack two for the shower and two for swimming so they can be rotated while the other dries.
Shoes - Comfortable gym shoes will be your kid’s best friend. Make sure to bring a pair that are broken in and that can get dirty. You’ll also want to bring flip flops for the shower and sturdy sandals for by the lake.
- Shirts and shorts they can get dirty during activities
- Sweatshirt or light jacket for chilly days and nights
- At least two swimsuits they can rotate between. Remember to check your camp rules for any restrictions.
- A few pairs of lightweight pajamas
- Lots of socks and underwear! It’s a good idea to bring two of each for every day.
Toiletries and Shower Essentials -
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Shampoo, conditioner, & soap
- Hairbrush, comb, & other hair accessories
- Consider using a travel kit to keep them organized
Rain Gear -
Protection from the Sun -
Small Bags (to carry things on a hike or down to the lake/pool) -
- Bug spray
- Reusable water bottle
- Extra ziploc bags or plastic bags for wet or dirty items
- Pens and stationary to write home
- Disposable camera
- Shower caddy to keep toiletries organized
- Extra money
Final Packing Tips
Label Everything - Laundry or fabric markers can be used to put your child’s name on all their clothing. Masking tape is an easy option for toiletries and other small items.
Pack Together - Depending on your child, it might be easiest to just pack everything for them, but including your kid in the process could be helpful for both of you. They will probably have some opinions about what items they need or don’t. Plus if you take the time to tell them exactly what is packed, you’re more likely to get it back at the end of the week.
Write an Inventory List - It would also be helpful to make your child an inventory list so they don’t leave anything important behind when it’s time to come home. Even so, it’s best not to expect your kid to remember everything- there’s a good chance they will be returning with a few less clothing items.
We know goodbyes can be hard, but your child will be making life long memories and friends while away. They will be back home begging to go again next year before you know it!