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You got your child a spot at their summer camp of choice. Nice work! Your family is well on its way to planning the best summer ever. The count down is on, and everyone's excited. That excitement could take a dip when you or your child starts stressing about how to prepare and what to pack. But don't let that happen. Stay organized with these tips on what to pack for summer camp.

It's very important to follow the camp’s packing list to a T. Perhaps more important than their "what to bring" list is their "DO NOT BRING" list. Follow directions and don't risk it by letting your child sneak in something that doesn't belong.

Large ziplock baggies can be a big help during the packing process. Break up clothing according to the day of the week, or category it falls into (t-shirts, shorts, etc.). It will make unpacking a breeze for your kid and limit the time they need to get ready in the mornings.

Label their belongings! If they would miss it were it to get lost, grab a label or a sharpie and put their name on it. Things can get misplaced easily when they're having so much fun.

Pack together! Not only will it be a great bonding experience, but it will also limit your child's panicked moments when they're unpacking. They will know that you did pack their toothbrush, because they were right next to you when you did.

Of course every camp has different requirements when it comes to what to pack, but here are some basics that your child will need for pretty much any overnight camp.


  • shirts
  • sweatshirts
  • shorts
  • sweatpants
  • jeans
  • pajamas
  • swimsuits
  • underwear
  • Footwear
  • sneakers
  • shower shoes
  • sandals
  • rain boots
  • sheets/blanket or sleeping bag
  • pillow
  • laundry bag
  • warm jacket
  • rain jacket
  • towels
  • face cloth
  • soap
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • hairbrush
  • paper
  • envelopes
  • pens/pencils
  • stamps
  • journal
Miscellaneous items
  • flashlight
  • batteries
  • water bottle
  • camera
  • backpack
  • goggles
  • athletic gear
  • sunscreen
  • bug spray
  • sunglasses
  • prescription medications

To keep your child thinking about you after you've dropped them off, or to totally embarrass them in front of their new camp friends, pack a surprise gift or a letter. It could be some of their favorite snacks, some games to play before lights out, or a stuffed animal they loved when they were 5. Get creative!

By Stacey.