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How to Pack Your Child for Summer Camp

Updated on July 8, 2013
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Mom. Homeschooler. Editor. Wife. These are a few words to describe notyouraverageal. Her life is anything but average.

The Mission is to Get All This Stuff Ready for Camp!

It's Time for Summer Camp!

I've been packing my kids for camp for many years. Through the years, I've gathered packing tips from other smart moms. I can't take credit for these ideas. I've just compiled the ideas and learned from my mistakes.

The first year I sent my kids to camp, their clothes were packed in rolling suitcases. Boy, was I a newbie! Rolling suitcases don't work in dirt, so they are not the best idea. Also, if your child's cabin is anything like ours, there won't be room for a suitcase. Instead, I've found that plastic drawers are the better way to go. My daughter is willing to pack in these. My teenage son said, "No way!" He packs in a backpack.

Here are some handy tips I've learned. I hope these will make your summer camp packing easier and more efficient.

My daughter packs in drawers instead of a suitcase.

We bought our drawers at a local mass retail store.  They came with wheels, but we left those off.
We bought our drawers at a local mass retail store. They came with wheels, but we left those off. | Source

We pack each day's outfit in a separate Ziplock bag.

That way, if something gets spilled or a wet towel gets put where it shouldn't be, all the clothes don't get wet.
That way, if something gets spilled or a wet towel gets put where it shouldn't be, all the clothes don't get wet. | Source

Plastic zipper bags like this work great too.

For those of us who are not SuperMom and don't think to save things like this, Ziplock bags will have to do!
For those of us who are not SuperMom and don't think to save things like this, Ziplock bags will have to do! | Source

We pack her toiletries in a basket like this.

We got this basket at a mass retailer, and it's perfect.  It's large and has handles to hang it up with.  It won't be ruined if it gets wet in the shower.
We got this basket at a mass retailer, and it's perfect. It's large and has handles to hang it up with. It won't be ruined if it gets wet in the shower. | Source

There's plenty of room for everything!

My daughter can carry all her toiletries, her pajamas and her towel and washcloth in here when she heads to the bath house for a shower.
My daughter can carry all her toiletries, her pajamas and her towel and washcloth in here when she heads to the bath house for a shower. | Source

Snacks need a place too!

A plastic shoebox like this works perfectly for storing snacks in.  It fits right on top of the drawers, and it can hold a week's worth of goodies.
A plastic shoebox like this works perfectly for storing snacks in. It fits right on top of the drawers, and it can hold a week's worth of goodies. | Source

Basic Packing List for Camp

All items should be labeled with your child's initials or name.

______ Two outfits per day x _____ days

______ Underwear (2 per day x _____ days)

______ Socks (2 per day x _____ days)

______ Closed toed shoes that can get muddy

______ Water shoes

______ Flip flops for shower

______ Pajamas x ______ nights

______ Swimsuits (At least 2)

______ Cover-up for swimsuits (for girls)

______ T-shirt to swim in (Boys and girls - In case of sunburn)

______ Sweatshirt or jacket for cool nights

______ Rain jacket or umbrella

______ Laundry bag

______ 2 beach towels

______ 2 bath towels

______ 2 wash cloths

______ Fitted sheet for mattress

______ Sleeping bag

______ Pillow

______ Nightlight (Another cute idea I've seen if the child is afraid of the dark but embarrassed about it is to wrap the bunk bed with Christmas lights. They can claim it is just for decoration, but the lights will provided enough light to make them feel safe.)

______ Flashlight

______ Bug spray or an Off Clip-On

______ Sunscreen (Preferably spray-on, so kids can put it on easier)

______ Medication (bagged and labeled to give to the camp nurse)

______ Toothbrush/paste

______ Shampoo/conditioner

______ Soap or body wash (my son uses a body wash that is shampoo too, for ease)

______ Deodorant (if needed)

______ Razor and shaving cream (if needed)

______ Hairbrush

______ Bands to pull hair up in ponytail (for girls)

______ Old rug (to put by bed for wiping feet at bedtime)

______ Playing cards (for rainy days)

______ Notebook or journal and pen or markers (for writing down their thoughts and feelings)

______ Bible (for Bible camp)

______ Snacks and/or money for the canteen

______ A few surprises (toys from the dollar store, etc.) to hide in your child's belongings


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