Article Summary:How to pack for summer camp for your child.
Fun filled days, new friendships, being away from home for the first time. These are all memories of summer camp. You remember that experience don't you? Now that you are a parent, you want your child to experience that same childhood rite of passage. For some children and parents alike, this can be the first experience, and you may have a pinch of apprehension. Instead of feeling uneasy about this wonderful time in your child's life, take time to prepare yourself and your children for this fun-filled experience. Being prepared may ease some of the conerns you may have.
Most camps will provide comprehensive lists, which I highly suggest you follow. Start packing at least 2 weeks before departure and get your child involved in the process. This allows for extra time in case some items need to be purchased, and helps your child familiarize themselves with their gear. Here are some tips which may help you get your child ready for camp:
Durable plastic lockers available at most sporting goods shops are fantastic for any camper. They are rugged, water resistant and more secure than a cloth type gear bag, and can be locked with a combination lock for extra security. Print the combination for the lock with a permanent marker inside a belt or shoe so your child can remember it.
Make a list of any questions if you are unsure of anything on the camp packing list. One simple phone call to the camp PRIOR to packing can be extremely beneficial.
If your child needs medication while away, write a clear, detailed dosage schedule for the camp nurse/doctor to follow. Be sure that your child's name is clearly marked on the medication and store in a zip top plastic bag or plastic container, to keep dry while in transit.
Label ALL your child's belongings, no matter how insignificant you think the item is. A fine tip permanent marker or iron-on pre-printed labels for clothing, bedding, etc can easily do the trick.
A photo of your family or pet can be easily laminated and tucked into your child's belongings, guaranteed to bring a smile to their face!
Don't pack anything of monetary value or sentimental value. If these items are lost or stolen, it will possibly make your child unnecessarily upset. Most camps do not allow hand held electronics such as gaming toys, radios, CD players, etc. Let your child experience the outdoors without all the modern conveniences they have at home, they will most likely have more fun without them.
Pack a couple smaller plastic trash bags in your child's camp gear to use for dirty or wet clothing. Likewise, a few 2 gallon zip top bags to pack clothing in will keep clothing dry and clean, plus keep any creepy crawlies out.
Depending on how long the camp stay will be, pack one or two self-addressed stamped envelopes with a couple pieces of paper inside so your child can send you a letter from camp. Don't forget a fun, cool pen!
Disposable cameras are ideal for the camp experience. For a few dollars you can rest easy about sending a more expensive camera with your child and they are so simple to use. Just point and shoot.
Water socks pull double duty. Great for swimming in the pool, essential for lake or river swimming and they are wonderful to take showers in as well. Standard flip flops don't offer the same overall protection for your child's feet.
Packing a small plush toy is a welcome addition to night time sleeping. Keep it small, as packing space is at a premium.
Taping a laminated card inside your child's plastic locker with essential information, like home phone number, parent's cell number's, emergency contact information, or anything you want your child to remember and have access to.
Don't forget to put fresh batteries in their flashlight, and put an extra set inside their gear. You know how it goes - they are kids after all, and flashlights sometimes are left on "by accident".
Janine Godwin, of Nooks and Crannies Professional Organizing enjoys educating the public on the benefits of organizing. As a Professional Organizer, she also writes articles, develops interactive workshops and is a public speaker on the topic of organizing. Nooks and Crannies is located in Katy, Texas and you may contact her by visiting Nooks-and-Crannies.com