Top 10 Summer Camp Packing Tips

Summer camp is a great time for children to focus on fun, foster friendships and enjoy nature.  My girls go away to summer camp every summer and are just as excited to spend some time in the sun and breathe some fresh air this year as they have been in previous summers.

Top 10 Summer Camp Packing Tips

Summer camp gets my daughters outdoors, away from the media. The fresh air nourishes them and they have opportunities to foster lasting friendships. They are physically active for the entire week from the time they wake up until the plop in their bunk at night. They also develop emotionally as I am not there to solve any issues that may occur. There are so many benefits to summer camp for my daughters.

The biggest benefit to me is that I do not have to organize any of this fun they will be having!

But, I do need to organize what they bring to summer camp since they are gone one full week.  They will need to keep track of all their own belongings the entire time they are away as I won't be there picking up after them. I want to make this as easy as possible and Mabel's Labels 2016 Limited Edition Sleepaway Camp Labels Pack ensures just that.

What to Pack for Summer Camp

A SMALL DAYPACK TO CARRY AROUND ALL DAY: So my daughters will not have to repeatedly ask to return to their cabin, they carry a small daypack(think small backpack) with them all day long. Inside they carry a small personal first aid kit, hat, bug spray, sunscreen, water bottle and their flash light. Last year, they carried their umbrellas because it rained on and off every day. But really, anything else that comes to mind your kiddos would need each day.

THE FLASHLIGHT: Nothing fancy here, just simple and one that works. You child will probably lose it anyway. The flashlight is for finding their way to the bathroom in the middle of the night and for annoying camp counselors and their friends.

THE CLOTHES: I think camp attire is pretty basic, shorts, t-shirt, socks, sturdy shoes, flip-flops for the shower. I put each day's outfit in their own ziploc bag and label it Monday, Tuesday etc and I put underwear and socks in their own ziplock bag. I also put pajamas in their own bag as well.  I send two swimming suits in case one is too wet or gets lost. Miraculously, last year, every sock came home with my daughters! Don't select clothing for fashion, select for comfort.

10 Summer Camp Packing Tips

TOILETRIES: Put all the toiletries into a small zipped bag or basket for your kids to just grab and head to the bathrooms.  Don't add additional that your child really doesn't need. I know some girls who showered and didn't even use soap for the entire week!

SLEEPING BAGS: I recommend a good nylon sleeping bag, a couple of flat sheets to cover the bunk bed and a pillow. An extra light blanket if there is room in the trunk.

TOWELS: Pack two towels, two wash clothes and one pool towel. Also include XXL ziploc bags for these wet items because they are not coming home dry.

WATER BOTTLE: This is important as your kids will be refilling this all day long at water stations. Get a really good water bottle for your kids. Here is a good tip as well, start your kids early on drinking water . . . before they go to camp. Get them drinking a lot of water so when they arrive at camp, they will drink water and not become dehydrated. Your kids are going to be outdoors all day long.

RAIN GEAR/HAT: It may rain. If your child is lucky, it will not rain. But, it might, send a rain jacket or poncho along just in case. Have a hat as well, because it will be hot most days.

SUNSCREEN / INSECT REPELLENT: Pack enough sun screen protection;  sunglasses, and sun block, lip balm with SPF, as well as insect repellent. An extra pair of prescription glasses may be a good idea if our child wears glasses. Tip: Leave retainers at home unless they are permanent.

LABELS: Label EVERYTHING! Simple as that. If you want it back, label it. Every sock. Each pair of underwear. The water bottle. The flashlight and batteries. Sunscreen, Clothes. EVERYTHING! 

What to leave at home

TECH / PHONES / IPODS / NINTENDOS / EXPENSIVE DEVICES: Cell phones and electronic devices are not allowed at summer camp. The camp my girls attend will actually confiscate any of these items. Summer camp is a place where children get away from their normal lives and try something different. It's all camp, all day., all night, every day, for the entire week!

These are just a few tips that helped me survive summer camp packing the last couple of year last years. I'll be using these same tips this year as I send my girls off to summer camp in one short month.

My girls will be prepared. When I pick them up at the end of the week, they will be exhausted and smiling and saying goodbye to new friends.  Their bags will be filthy, everything will be a mess and wet. There might even be some items missing, but those lost items will all be identified with my daughter's names! I will have two girls who will be begging me to sign them up for camp next summer. That 's what they did last year!

What are some of your tips for summer camp?

.Top 10 Summer Camp Packing Tips