Gray is getting to the age where we are starting to talk about overnight camps – without us. It’s so hard to believe. Given how long it has been since I’ve been to camp and given that my mom packed for me, I started doing some research on how to properly pack a child for camp. It seems that most camps provide a packing list, but I also learned a number of helpful tips by talking to a friend.
- Label everything. My friend purchased an imprinter stamp with their child’s full name and stamped everything. Of course, a sharpie works just as well, but resign yourself to the fact that they will likely lose something.
- Don’t over pack. They don’t have much space for their things, and apparently they all wear the same things over and over anyway – even if they have clean clothes to put on.
- Use Ziploc bags. We all know that Ziploc bags are fantastic for toiletries, but I will likely divide Gray’s clothes by item and place them in labeled Ziploc bags as well. Ziploc also makes XXL bags, which are great for towels or bedding. I also read where someone kept a bag that a new comforter came in and used it for their child’s camp bedding. Terrific idea.
- Pack a clip on fan to clip to their bed. I wish someone had invented those things when I was a kid. One vivid memory of camp I have is just how hot it was. It wasn’t bad during the day because we were out having fun, but lying in bed at night sweating was no fun.
- Stationary, addressed and stamped envelopes, and pens. My friend told me not to be surprised if I don’t get too many letters or if they are very short. It’s likely that he is having too much fun to take the time to write, and in the event I do get a letter that sounds like he is sad and homesick – by the time I read it, he will be long past that.
But knowing how I am about being clean and tidy, my friend left me with a few words of wisdom – “He will survive a lack of showers and not brushing his teeth for a week or two. Every kid does it, and it is one of the many fun things about going to camp – getting to break mom’s rules.”