There is so much going on right now that your head must be spinning. Awards ceremonies, finals and AP exams! One month left of school and so many days of summer still unplanned. Too many procrastinators for sure. And although there is still space, and we can find it for you, this article is dedicated to the PLANNERS!! (Listen to the slow clap in the background….)
So if you are one to prepare in advance, here is a simple and organized “to-do list” to prepare for sleepaway camp!
Click here for a great packing spreadsheet.
Plan Ahead — The camp will be sending you a list of items that are required, whether they go for 2 weeks or 7. Beyond shopping for clothing, the early order list will include: duffle bags and name labels that go on EVERYTHING. In addition, you need to know when the truck will be picking up the duffles in order to work backwards and deliver the bags to the loading site on time. If you are sending your kids to a uniform camp, you need to order those items in advance.!!!!!!!!!!
Review Camp Packing Lists — Individual camps should provide a recommended camp packing list, complete with any required equipment, preferred footwear, etc. Be sure to carefully review what is needed, with special attention to those items that may not be permitted at camp. Before packing your camper’s favorite game system or cell phone, be sure that the camp permits electronic items. Most camps do not allow electronic items in camp or at least out of the cabin.
Label Everything — Laundry pens, iron-ons, and press and stick labels will distinguish your camper’s belongings from those of other cabin mates. Most camps ask that you label each item, including clothing, personal items, and toiletries. Make sure that your child can identify the label used. And if you have multiple children, with the potential of hand-me-downs in the future, consider just labeling with the last name.
Break in Shoes and Boots Before Camp Begins — Make sure that your child’s clothing and footwear are comfortable and appropriate. Sending a camper in brand-new hiking boots can result in sore feet and time spent sitting out of exciting activities.
Prepare Together — The more ownership your camper has in selecting items to bring, as well as the action of packing, the easier will be their adjustment and transition to camp. In our house, packing became a contest. Each child packed their own “stuff”. They completed their spreadsheet and placed the items in front of their duffles for parental review. (It sounds like drill Sargent tactics but we made it into a game — at least at the beginning — LOL!). We would check off all the items together and place them in the bags. A copy of the spreadsheet was put into the duffle bag and went to camp.
At the end of the summer, they had their list and went scurrying around looking for all the items on the list, would check it off as they put it BACK into the duffle to come home. A week after their return from camp, their smelly bags would make it home and we unpacked and checked off to see which one of the boys brought home the most “stuff”. Every year, it was the same winner and he typically brought back everything. An age appropriate prize was awarded and we had a system each year that became a part of their excitement to go back to camp.
And don’t forget, after everything is packed, make sure to hide a few surprises!! Make sure to contact us for some great ideas!!