With the arrival of summer comes all the summertime activities! Days at the swimming pool, picnics at the park, cookouts with the neighbors, and, specifically for the kids, a week at sleepaway camp! Aside from the obvious things your children will need for sleepaway camps, such as sunscreen, bug spray, and clothes for roughin’ it in the great outdoors, there are a few other things you’re going to want to make sure they’ll have this summer.
Whether your kids are heading to a summer camp by a lake or at a camp with a pool or just one with lawn games and sprinklers, one thing is certain: they’re not going to want to miss out on all the opportunities to go for a swim or participate in other water activities. That’s why you can’t forget to pack a bathing suit or two for them. Include your son or daughter in the hunt so they can pick out the boys swim trunks or girls swimsuit they like best, and you use the opportunity as an occasion to spend some pre-camp quality time with your child.
Hiking boots or a solid pair of rugged, durable sneakers will be a necessity at sleepaway camp. If your kid is going to be out in nature, hiking wooded trails and exploring the great outdoors, they’re going to need the right shoes. A pair of mesh trekker sneakers are perfect if you know your child will be participating in outdoor activities for a long period of time. It’s a durable shoe but not restrictive, as it provides plenty of comfort and breathability.
In addition to a good pair of trekker sneakers, make sure your kid has a pair of swim shoes packed for camp. Having flip-flops or water shoes that are easy to slip on and off before getting into the water is necessary to keep their feet protected. And it’s something they’ll definitely want to wear in the camp bathrooms and showers. If the camp doesn't provide them, pack a fun beach towel in their bag so they can dry off quickly and head to their next adventure.
Camps that involve lots of outdoor activities will require good shoes and good socks. Your child will be doing a lot of walking and other physical activity, so it will be necessary to have several pairs of high-quality, durable socks to keep their feet comfortable.
If your child is going to be away for an extended period, be it a long weekend or several weeks at a summer camp, they’re going to need luggage. If you don’t already have one, invest in a high-quality suitcase they can bring to camp. Depending on the camp activities, your son or daughter may also need a kids’ backpack to store additional items or take on a long hiking trip.
Although you’ll definitely want your child to have plenty of SPF packed for camp, it’s not a bad idea to take extra protection against the sun by packing them a wide-brimmed sun hat or a baseball cap. This is something they’ll want to wear outside in the afternoon when the sun is shining the brightest.
There are bound to be some days during summer camp that aren’t as warm and sunny as other days. Have your child pack a light rain jacket in case they end up outside when the rain hits.
Although your kid will likely spend most of his or her time wearing short sleeves and shorts, if they’re going on any long hikes through the woods, it’s a good idea to pack them a pair of kids’ jeans to wear on those trips. Wearing pants in the woods is a good way to protect against poison ivy, ticks, and other potentially harmful elements.
Summer camps are typically very active programs with lots of outdoor experience and physicality. In addition to regular summer clothes like jean shorts and tank tops, pack a few more athletic clothing pieces, like a pair of running shorts or a breathable top designed for sports. Your child is bound to spend plenty of time playing games like kickball or capture the flag, so having the right clothing to wear for these activities is a must.
Sunglasses are for more than just looking cool! Since your child will likely be spending hours everyday outdoors, they’ll need to keep their eyes protected from the sun when it’s shining its brightest.
We’ve created a list of the top 10 essentials you’ll want to pack for your child or children before they head off to camp, but there are plenty of other ways to show them you care as they get ready for their summer adventure. Stash some notes with messages in different pockets, gift them a diary to scribble in, or send them off with tasty snacks to make fast friends with.