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What to pack for summer camp - Getting kids ready for a sleepaway camp

Updated on July 21, 2011
The original Meatballs
The original Meatballs
First day of camp
First day of camp

"There will be...bugs"

Meatballs (Special Edition)
Meatballs (Special Edition)

The ultimate summer camp movie featuring Bill Murray as a camp councilor.


My kid is off to sleepaway camp, here is what I packed

Last fall we got invited to one of my friend's house to see a slide show of a sleep away camp in New Hampshire. At first sending my 11 year old away for summer camp was the farthest thing from my mind. I used to go to a one week Boy Scout camp but never anything longer than a week. Since we do a lot of things as a family I never really thought about sending him away.

But after seeing the slide show of all of the activities at this classic camp on Squam Lake (On Golden Pond) in the White Mountains will archery, swimming, sailing, water-skiing, crafts, woodworking, sports and even things like blacksmithing my son was jumping up and down and begging to go. As parents we made the hard decision to 1. layout a substantial sum of money for three and a half weeks of boarding camp and 2. give up three and half weeks with our son - what are we going to do while he's gone?

We can totally justify this as giving our son the gift of three plus weeks of totally unplugged fun. I love the fact that this camp is traditional without trying to be trendy like a lot of camps with their focus on sports or computer programming or something. I think its great that our at times technology focused son will have some time to give his brain a break and gain new experiences.

So now to pack. The camp provides a long list of items to bring along to camp including the exact number of underwear, socks etc. A laundry pen is a must to put his name on all of his clothes so he'll get them back after they go through the laundry.

We'll probably be purchasing a number of insect and sun protection items in addition to the camp's list of items. Like most kids, our son is particularly sweet to bugs and he reacts to them easily unlike his cow hide parents who have been bitten so many times over the years we barely notice them.

We've had so many ticks this year already that we'll be trying the "Repel Permanone Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent" which gets applied to gear and clothing, not the skin and is suppose to last for two weeks. Its suppose to be great for ticks and lots of backpackers swear by it.

Our son also hates to apply sun screen so maybe these wipes will be easier for him.

Other than that we'll send him along with is camp recommended list of gear and hope that we won't get too son-sick because I really don't think he'll get homesick, they'll keep him too busy for that.


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