by Tara Lorenz
It’s that time of year! School is winding down, weather is heating up, and after a VERY long year things are starting to look a bit more “normal”. Barbecues, beach days, and summer camps are on their way. Whether your child is enrolled in a dance camp or a true old fashioned sleep away camp in the woods there are basic things every camper needs. Below find some camp preparation tips to make sure your camper has the best summer ever!
MAKE A LIST
Make a list of every item your child will need for camp. Always check your enrollment forms to make sure you have everything required for the camp’s specific activities and location. If you are going to a specialty camp like a sports camp, ask what equipment is required for each activity and what is being provided. Then you can add things your child may need or want to the list. Make sure you are checking the items that are NOT allowed at camp. If you don’t see any items ask. Some camps do not allow electronics of any kind, and if found the camper is asked to leave.
When creating your list, we recommend organizing it into categories, such as items you already have and items you need to purchase. You can also separate the list into types such as swimwear, bedding, footwear, and sports gear. Having your list grouped allows you to easily track what you have packed by checking off each item as you go.
START PREPARING NOW
Like right now! Do not wait until the day before. You want to start early so you can identify anything you need to purchase and allow time for it to arrive. Some camps, especially overnight camps, have a website they have an affiliation with to make purchasing necessary items easy. If your unsure what you may need, or where to find it, Everything Summer Camp is a great resource!
Remember buy over time, not all at once. Items for overnight camp can add up quickly!
We can’t stress this enough! Kids lose everything we all know that. They get so caught up in the fun of camp they rush through putting their things away. If everything is labeled it will make it a lot easier for the camp directors to help get everybody’s rightful possessions home for the night. Backpacks, water bottles, shoes, even ice packs! Labels can be as simple as a permanent marker or customized waterproof stickers. Check out Mabels Labels for an extensive collection of adorable personalized camp labels and stickers.
PACK & SHIP EARLY
Pack items early to avoid rushing & missing anything. It always nice to pack items with your child and explain what things are for. Many overnight camps require different color shirts for spirit days, or clothing for special events. A great option for these special items is to pack them in gallon ziplock bags and label them so your camper knows exactly what it’s for.
Gone are the days of dropping off your camper with their luggage. Many camps require the use of a truck service like FedEx or UPS. Ask the camp what service they prefer and if there are any discounts available if you mention the camp when booking. Book early to make sure you allow time for the items to arrive.
Here are a few things we recommend packing, regardless of them being required by the camp.
Change of clothes – at least one full change of clothes is good. Spills and accidents happen!
Appropriate Footwear – Always include shoes the camp may suggest, like sneakers for a sports camp, but include an easy on/off shoe as well for the time in between activities.
Wet Bags – if there will be swimming or water activities, include a wet bag for your camper to prevent the bathing suits and towels from soaking their other items.
Weather Items – always send an extra sweatshirt for a cool morning, a hat for the sun, rain coat for wet days and extra sunscreen!
Snacks and Lunch- check the enrollment forms on what your camp offers. Some camps offer all snacks and meals, some offer just snacks, and others may ask you to provide it all. Remember to check their allergy policy and ask about any items you are unsure of.
Stamps & Paper – your camper may want to write home or to a friend from camp. Send them with pre-addressed envelopes, stamps, and paper. You can also sneak in a few letters from home for them to open.
Summer camp is an amazing time for your kids. We hope these tips helped you take control of your camp preparation. Are there any tips we missed? Let us know!