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Whether your child is packing for a one-week or eight-week camp session, making sure that nothing is forgotten can be a daunting task. With a little organization and communication with your child’s camp, packing can be a breeze and should be an exciting project for the campers involved. Here are a few valuable tips:
Check to see if the camp provides a list of recommended clothing items, toiletries, special items for overnights off-site, sporting equipment, and costumes for special evening/talent activities.
Be sure to check for things that are NOT Allowed. Some camps prohibit electronic items (phones,ipods,video game devices) and snacks and sweets.
Does the camp require a uniform – some camps want to eliminate competitive dressing by requiring a uniform. Make sure you are aware of what is needed. Sometimes it is a shirt with a logo and some camps can require a full uniform. Be prepared, the uniform can be pricey!!
Bedding & Sleeping Bags – most camps do not provide sheets/blankets/pillows/towels. Check the list that the camp provides to make sure you have the necessary items. Don’t bother with a top sheet – a fitted sheet and warm blanket will suffice.
DON’T BUY ANYTHING NEW FOR CAMP – find your sheets with holes and stained towels and old blankets and send them to camp!! This also applies for clothing. Clothes get trashed and lost and nothing looks remotely the same when you first packed it.
Label EVERYTHING. You can sew it in, iron it on, or use a sharpee but you must label all items with your child’s name. Toiletries are no exception – use a piece of masking tape and write your child’s name on all items. Bug repellent is a popular item so pack plenty of it and LABEL it.
MUST PACK ITEMS – these items might not make it on a list but they are essential for your camper – flashlight with extra batteries, insect repellent, benadryl spray or cream for itchy bites, band-aids (the infirmary might be a hassle), small fan if electricity is an option, self-addressed and stamped postcards so your camper has no excuses, all-in-one soap/shampoo, extra toothbrush and sun screen on a stick (if you’re lucky, your camper might remember to use it).
Choose the right type of luggage – trunks and duffles are great. They are heavy but most camps will help your child with their heavier items. SHIP WHATEVER YOU CAN. Most camps will allow, and some prefer, that you ship your items ahead of time. Remember, most campers will wear the same thing almost everyday – pack lightly. Some camps will let you ship home as well – arrive for pickup with labels and boxes if necessary.
THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT - remember to send all forms that are necessary, update your contact information (if you are planning to travel while your child is at camp, make sure the camp knows how to reach you), include all medications and instructions that go with, have a discussion with your child regarding expected behavior, respecting others and being a good friend and camper while you are there.
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