How to pack for a great day at camp.
April 6, 2019
All the Right Stuff – Packing for A Great Day at Camp!
Packing just the right “stuff” for camp is a huge part of the challenge for every parent!
Lunches, swimsuits and towels…..oh my! Packing so much for just a few hours of fun away from home each day never seemed so daunting. Looking at that backpack with all of the organized and labeled items beside it you think to yourself……”how is all of that going to fit into that small space” Well never fear – we have asked many camp parents over the years how to tackle this daily task and their advice is all here for you to take advantage of. By the time you finish reading this article you too will be ready to pack the seemingly un-packable!
Tip #1 – Create a Camp Calendar (this is most applicable to summer camp with many weeks of camp in a row)
No matter how many camp programs you will be registering for it is helpful to see it in black and white (or let your campers decorate it and see it in multi-colour and sparkles!). A simple piece of bristol board or a regular wall calendar can help you to have your schedule of camps planned out for the whole family to see. You can add simple facts for each week that will tell you all of the special items that you will need. For example – Name of Camp – enter camp name here, Special Items Needed – bathing suit, packed lunch and snacks, running shoes, pie plate for special craft on Tuesday etc…you can even list web sites for last minute reference on this list for easy last minute double checking of all of the facts you will need.
Tip #2 – Read the Camp Documentation
Most camps will have a list of “What to Bring to Camp” on their web site or in the confirmation package. If they do not be sure to email them to ask if there is a list you can have to ensure success while attending their program. For example – Kids Inc Camp is an outdoor camp so our list of what to bring to camp may be very different from a camp program that is indoors. Each unique factor of a camp program will change your child’s packing requirements so stay informed for the best results.
Tip #3 – Read the Camp Policies
Some items may be prohibited at some camp programs so you will want to be informed about the do and don’t pack items based upon the camp policies. Here are some examples of items that each camp may have policies with regards to – peanut products, nut products, personal video game devices, cell phones, I-pods, valuable items, medications, and of course there may be other items as well. You will want to be sure that you are informed about all policies that may impact how and what you pack each day.
Tip #4 – Label Everything
Please take the time to label all of your campers belongings. You may choose to do iron on labels or you may simply choose to write on the tag of their clothing in permanent marker. Either option works well and will help you to find lost items. Please include first and last name on each item. Initials do not help as much as a full name. Make sure that you read “Lost and Found” policies for each camp program so that you understand the time frame that you are working with to get lost items back.
Tip #5 – Unpacking is just as Important as Packing!
Please do not forget about the process of unpacking each day. This end of day ritual can tell you a lot about what happened at camp that day. Check their lunch box and water bottle to see how much food and water were consumed. Check things like their sunscreen to see if they closed it tightly after re-applying or you may end up with a bag full of lotion, Check to be sure that everything that went to camp came home. You may also find camp treasures in their bag like pinecones, works of art, stones, twigs, or other campy items that can lead to great family conversations about what happened at camp today.
Please remember that what you pack can help to make your campers day at day camp all that it can be! Send them ready for the camp they are registered for by following all of these tips that have been provided to us at Kids Inc Camp by successful camp parents. Remember that you can always call or email the camp office to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about what you are considering sending to camp with your child. When unpacking if you have come upon any item that leaves you with questions or concerns about your campers day at camp this can be a great time for follow up with the camp office too! Communication is the key to a happy camp experience so do not hesitate to reach out if and when you need to do so.
Happy Packing and Happy Camping!
Mary-Kay Amos – Camp Owner, and Camp Director