As school winds down, summer camp season is revving up. Whether your child is going to a day camp or a sleepaway camp, there are certain “must-haves” to make the experience an enjoyable one. Check out our summer camp survival guide before your child leaves the house.
Bathing Suit & Towels
Swimming and summer camp go together like peas and carrots. That’s why you need to pack two of everything in this department. Two bathing suits, two towels, and two pairs of flip flops or water shoes are a must. It’s no fun sitting in a wet bathing suit! Even better, pack an extra set of clothes, including underwear. Depending on where your child is swimming, there may be an area to change before heading back to base. You’ll also want to make sure your child has sunscreen and knows how to apply it properly. Having a little “sunscreen application 101” course isn’t a bad idea before heading off to camp!
It may be sunny and bright when they leave for the day, but quick summer showers and downpours are common in the afternoon. Pack a rain jacket or foldable poncho with a hood. If they’re heading out in the rain in the morning, a light pair of rain boots may also not be a bad idea. Wet socks lead to wet feet which lead to sick kicks!
“But Mom, I just want to wear my flip-flops!” Flip-flops are not the shoes of choice when it comes to summer camp. Since kids will be outside, a sturdy pair of shoes with a good sole is essential. Playing on the playground, going on hikes, and other outdoor activities all require good shoes. Save the flip-flops for those weekend family trips to the beach.
The meals and snacks offered vary from camp to camp. When you sign up your child be sure to ask what food is included. You’ll want to pack your child with extra snacks and any meals that are not provided. Be sure they are peanut-free, as many camps do not allow foods with nuts due to allergies. Your child also needs to have plenty of water with them to avoid dehydration.
If your child has allergies, asthma, or another medical condition, be sure the camp is supplied with the proper medication. Most camps will ask for this type of information at sign-up.
Some extras you may want to consider packing with your child include anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer. Many times soap and a sink are not nearby, but plenty of germs are. Having these on hand is always a good idea. If your child is at a sleepaway camp, an extra blanket, books to read, and any other comforts from home are a good idea. You just don’t want to pack anything that’s invaluable as things can easily get lost at camp. That’s why you’ll also want to make sure your child’s name is on everything they bring to camp.
The most important thing to remember is to tell your kids to have fun! Isn’t that what camp is all about?