Are you sending your kid off to summer camp for the first time? Wondering what to pack? Truett has been going to summer camps for 4 years so I thought I’d share our summer camp packing list and tips to help you and your child have a fun & organized adventure!
SUMMER CAMP TIP #1 – Research
Spend a little time researching the camp so that you know what to expect. Truett attends 3 different camps every summer and there are some differences in each one. You can do your research by simply checking out their social media pages, the photos they have on their website, or even googling the camp and looking at images. For example: One camp Truett attends, they show up, get on the bus, and head to the camp but at another camp where the parents drive them in, they go ALL out on decorating their cars! Does that mean you have to? No, of course not, but it does make the summer camp adventure WAY more fun if you participate! I’m not gonna lie, the first year we went, we didn’t know people did this and we felt super lame with our undecorated car!
SUMMER CAMP TIP #2 – Storage
Suitcase or trunk? This can vary on the camp but I highly recommend a trunk that your kid can use every year. I, instantly, noticed all the decorated trunks (even the boys) but what I loved, was on the inside lid, you could see printed photos of previous summer camps. What a fun way to remember those times! It’s also a great ice-breaker for kiddos. Truett was able to start a conversation easily by asking about some of the photos in one of his cabin mate’s trunk. They were buddies the rest of the week!
SUMMER CAMP TIP #3 – Organization
Organize your kid’s clothes with ziplock storage bags! Gallon size work great and no need to spend much on these. We buy ours at our local Dollar Tree. These are not only great for their everyday clothes but if the camp they are attending has nightly themes, then this is a fantastic way to keep things simple so that your kiddo can just grab-n-go! Place their daily outfit in one bag; shirt, shorts, socks, and underwear. While this is great for the kiddos, who are we kidding? This is more for our sanity than anything. We want to know things are organized and dressed appropriately. How dare we even think about them wearing an unmatched outfit just because it got mixed up in the trunk. *gasp*
SUMMER CAMP TIP #3a – Notes
You won’t see your kiddo for a week so the next best thing is to put notes of love, humor, & encouragement into their things. One way to do this is to stick a note into each of the clothing ziplock bags if you follow tip #3. When I make notes, I usually put something like, put your deodorant on, brush your teeth and I love you! I usually change it up each day.
SUMMER CAMP TIP #4 – Care Packages
If your camp allows care packages, start saving those shoe boxes! Another option is to head to Michaels and grab some decorative boxes when they’re on sale! This is a neat way to gift your kid some fun goodies midweek. Things we put in our care packages include trail mix, glow sticks, eye cleaning cloths (just in case they lose theirs or it gets yucky), etc. I always have a cap specially embroidered for Truett as a surprise! Something else that’s fun, is to take some silly photos of yourself or you and your spouse, print them and stick them in their care package.
SUMMER CAMP PACKING LIST
This is the ultimate summer packing list. Some may or may not apply to the camps your child attends.
- Trunk or Suitcase
- Gallon Size Ziplock Bags to pack daily clothing sets in.
- Daily clothing/Themed clothing/sleepwear
- Water shoes
- Light Jacket
- Water Bottle
- Swimming trunks/Swimsuit
- Bedding – sheets, blanket, pillow
- Towels (shower & beach) I recommend microfiber towels. They take up less room.
- S hook to hang the towel on.
- Toiletries in a shaving bag or shower caddy travel bag
- Insect repellent
- Laundry bag
- Small rope or slingback bag (to carry water shoes, water bottle, eyeglasses case, etc)
- Goggles for swimming
- Index Cards/Pens – great for swapping addresses to keep in touch. (ask parent permission first)
These are just a few things!
Download and print our complete SUMMER CAMP PACKING LIST!