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Summer Camp Essentials: What to Pack & What to Leave Behind

Summer Camp Essentials: What to Pack & What to Leave Behind

©Alexandr Vasilyev / Dollar Photo Club

Your child is off to summer camp before school begins again- how exciting! They will get to meet new friends, learn new things, and spend some time away from home. While this is a great time for a kid, being away form home can be scary. So, what do you need to pack for them to be happy, safe, and comfortable while away from you? Try these essentials.

Bathing Suit

Summer and camp means lots of swimming. Pack a few suits, a few towels, and some swim shoes. Don;t forget sunscreen, goggles, earplugs, a hat, and a few swim covers, too. While your child may not use all of these things, it is nice to have them in case they do need them. Remember, you won’t be there and they won’t be near, so it is best to be over-prepared than under-prepared. 

Bug spray and medications

Does your child need medications? Don’t forget to pack them with a note detailing how they should be taken. And don’t forget the bug spray! Even if your child like creepy-crawly things, a mosquito bite is not what they want to be showing as a souvenir from summer camp. 


Okay, it’s camp- a time to be outdoors! Do not send your child with video games and phones. DO, however, send them with a camera and extra batteries so that they can snap photos of all the fun things they do while they’re away. When they return home, you all can look at the photos together and hear about all the fun they had. 

Flashlight and books

Let them read with the flashlight on! It isn’t like they’ll be watching television before bed, so give them something else to do and expand their reading skills at the same time. Send extra batteries and more than one book. It is better to send too many books than not enough, and your child may want to share his or her books with friends they make. 


Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, floss, mouth wash, lotion, and a few towels- that’s really all your child needs to bring along to keep clean while at camp. Some camps may provide these things, but it is always best to send along what your child is comfortable with to keep them happy and connected to home while away. 


Pack enough that your child has two complete (yes, underwear included) outfits per day they will be away. Camp is messy! Clothes get dirty and tear, so make sure you send clothing you’re okay with being ruined and that your child can be comfortable in while at camp. Also make sure to send various seasonal styles (like a jacket and pants, instead of just shorts) in case the weather changes. 

Outdoor essentials

Sleeping bags, water bottles, and rain ponchos are all needed when camping, so send them with your child! This will make sure they have everything covered, rain or shine! 


Snacks, teddy bears, and even family photos can help ease a lonely child’s mind when they are away at camp. Many kids report missing their families while at camp, so make sure your child has something from home to make them smile on the days when they miss you most.


kathy downey

Saturday 21st of November 2015

Bug spray and sunscreen would definitely be my top needs

Elva Roberts

Tuesday 14th of July 2015

I think this is a great post for what one should pack for your children going to camp, especially if it is the first time. It is better to be well prepared, and this post certainly tells us what to take and what to leave home. Well done.

heidi c.

Monday 18th of May 2015

Bug spray, sunscreen, a good hat and a camera (even disposable)should be with every camper:).

Stephanie LaPlante

Sunday 17th of May 2015

Bug spray and camera would definitely be my top necessities!

kathy downey

Saturday 16th of May 2015

I love the photo of the kids walking down the path,thats a framer