Summer camp is absolutely fabulous for kids, especially if you can find a very adventurous one. I spent one week of every summer at a camp in Washington State. There was a lake and lots of adventures. We were able to go water skiing, canoeing, arts and crafts and at the end of the week we put on a fair and a dance. It was so much fun. I hope that I can find a similar place for my kids to camp. I always went with my best friend which made the adventure even more fun.
Kids need to be prepared for an excellent trip and have everything that they need. You should also send care packages during the week if you are allowed to do so. Send them early so that they arrive while they are still at camp. My mom would send a box of candy and snack items. Some camps also allow kids to buy things at a little store. Make sure you send your child enough cash to buy an extra snack each day just in case they get hungry. Make sure you inform the camp of any allergies your child may have or any medical conditions. Medicines and medical devices may need to be kept by the camp staff and given to your child when needed. Your child should absolutely love summer camp, if they do not love it, do not make them go back next year.
TOILETRIES – Your child should have everything that they would normally use at home. You can leave out some unnecessary products such as hair gel, etc., but you should talk to your child first to see what they really want to use. My general rule is that you should send everything they would normally use at home. Use a large one gallon zip top bag to keep the items, also send an extra bag just in case. Here is a common list that you can adjust to fit your child’s needs: Tooth brush (with a cover if possible), small toothpaste tube, comb or brush, deodorant (if they use it), sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen, seven cotton swabs, shower cap, mini facial tissue pack, dental floss, mini bottle of fluoride rinse, mini bottle of shampoo, mini bottle of conditioner (if they use it), hair bands or clips and nail clippers. You may want to include some mini pads and or maxi pads if your daughter may have her period or is at the age when it may start at any time. Do not send any perfume or perfumed products. Send just the amount that you think they will use in one week. You may want to mark each time with a permanent black marker, just so that they are not mixed up with another child’s items.
FOOTWEAR – Your child will need flip flops to where into the shower and athletic shoes for daily wear. Optional shoes are: hiking boots, water shoes or sandals. Campers may be able to many adventurous activities that may soil or soak their shoes. They should have at least one extra pair of shoes just in case they need to allow their regular shoes to dry overnight.
CLOTHING – Robe to wear to the shower, 7 shirts or tops, 7 pants or shorts, 2 bathing suits , 7 pairs of underwear, 7 pairs of socks, 1 light weight jacket or sweater, pajamas or sweats, sun glasses and one sun hat. A bathing suit cover up is an optional item. I don’t think I ever wore long pants at summer camp, but you may want to send one pair of jeans just in case. Things like belts and jewelry should be left at home if possible. Campers should not be hampered with additional accessories that are unnecessary. They should be having fun, not worrying whether or not their necklace may fall off while they are canoeing. Campers may make many crafts and some of them may be jewelry items.
ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES – If it is allowed kids may also want to bring their own pillow with pillow case, and they should definitely bring 2 bath towels and 2 wash cloths. A beach towel is optional if needed at their camp. They should have an overnight bag to keep everything in and everything should be labeled with their name either sewn onto the garment or printed with a permanent marker. It is also optional for them to bring a back pack for a day hike. It is also optional to send some non perishable snacks such as beef jerky, corn chips, etc. You may not want to send any chocolate items because they could melt onto other things. Cameras are optional if the camp allows them. You may want to send a disposable camera just in case it is lost or destroyed. Cell phones are not appropriate for summer camp, but if you want to send one, tell your child to keep it turned off unless there is an emergency. Try not to over pack your child for camp, but make sure they do have enough of necessary items and everything that they need. If they are well prepared your child will have an excellent time at summer camp.
Try to find a camp for your child that has many activities such as archery, canoeing, arts and crafts, water skiing, boating, sailing, swimming and other activities. Let your child know that summer camp should be one of the best times of their life. If they are really miserable, they can ask a counselor to call you. Also let them know that they should enjoy as many of the activities as possible. Tell them to follow the safety procedures for every activity such as wearing a life jacket when out in the water. My summer camp required everyone to take a swim test on the first morning. Kids were not allowed to get into the pool if they had not passed the swim test. It was not actually a pool, but just a roped off area of the lake. My your child’s summer one to remember for a lifetime.