The end of the school year is almost here! For many families, summertime means sending kids to sleepaway camps. Getting ready for summer camp takes some preparation. This article provides a helpful packing checklist to ensure your child has everything necessary for camp. It also offers suggestions to help kids adapt emotionally to their first time spending nights away from home.
Originally posted in 2015, this popular article has been updated with new information. The goal is to make it easy for parents to access essential camping gear recommendations and advice as the summer camp season starts.
Summer camps allow kids to gain independence while learning new talents. Options include STEM programs, sports training, arts immersion, and more. Camp durations vary too – from day visits to multiple overnight stays. Children often create great memories and lifelong friends at camp!
Packing requirements depend on camp length, planned activities, and child’s age. This list covers the basics. You may need to add specialized items like sports equipment. If the camp has no laundry facilities, pack plenty of extra clothes. Include 2 swimsuits so one can dry out. Since evenings can be cool, pack a sweatshirt and rain jacket.
For first-time campers, consider adding comforting items like stuffed animals or favorite books. Older kids may want toiletries and electronics, if permitted. Confirm with the camp which items are allowed.
This packing list covers essentials for any summer camp. Print it out and mark items as you pack!
Before drop-off, provide medications to the camp nurse. Offer spending money for snacks and extras, if provided. Highlight reusable water bottles, hats, reusable bags, and sunscreen.
In addition to packing, prepare kids emotionally for camp. Here are some tips:
– Emphasize how fun camp will be with new activities and buddies daily. Silly themed activities add enjoyment.
– Explain they’ll get hot, sweaty and tired – and that’s okay! Ensure they stay hydrated and nourished to maintain energy.
– Friends may change day-to-day with flexible schedules. Urge them to enjoy the time they have with each new pal.
Parents also need advice for adapting to camp season:
– Expect dirty clothes and cars. It shows they fully participated and were active.
– Young counselors are trained professionals, but ask questions to confirm your comfort level.
– If kids are anxious, validate feelings are normal with new situations. Reassure them they’ll soon enjoy camp.
– Have snacks and drinks ready when they return home to refuel and share camp stories.
Summer camp prevents “summer slide” in learning. Most importantly, it allows kids to make memories and gain confidence. This packing list and preparation tips aim to enable a smooth, successful camp experience!