Many working parents are transitioning from school mornings to camp mornings and will quickly discover that it’s no less chaotic than the school year. Your morning will look different depending on the camp, the daily activity and even the weather. It’s not as easy as the school year when you’ve settled into a routine.
Here are some things to consider packing and preparing in the weeks leading up to camp to help yourself have smooth mornings. This list is everything you’ll need to know for how to pack and label for day camp.
Firstly, you need a label pack! Everything that goes back and forth each day will need to be labelled. These are all new kids, and there will likely be look-a-like items. Plus, with new kids, they can’t easily tell who’s is who. Labels are essential and often mandated at camp.
The best pack for day camp is the Day Camp Label Pack. It will include everything you need for camp. We’ll include how to label each item in the list below.
It’s time to look at the school backpack and decide whether it will survive the summer; often, by the end of the school year, we notice the backpack is on its last thread. This backpack will take a beating, so make sure whichever you choose can withstand summer camp.
You can use your Bag Tag to properly label their backpack; it’s included in the Day Camp Label Pack!
Change of Clothes:
Summer camp is nothing if not messy, and your kids will get covered in paint, water, mud, and grass stains, you name it (actually, you probably can’t name that mystery stain – but it’s a stain nonetheless!) So don’t buy them expensive clothing for camp, or send them in clothes they love. This is a great time to stock up on shorts and tees on sale. Nothing fancy is the name of the camp game!
Extra socks and underwear:
Because accidents happen, and when they do… they can dribble down their little legs, so pack extra socks too.
Layers and weather:
As much as we’d like to believe that summer camp will be all sunshine, it won’t. There could be chilly mornings and wet afternoons – so make sure you have the layers and raingear they may need. Especially if your camp is primarily outside.
depending on your camps program, you may not need swimwear at all. But it’s smart to keep a spare ready to go in a bag, even if a ‘water day’ pops up.
Don’t forget the towel, goggles, water shoes (and a plastic bag for wet stuff).
Another option that parents love is the Custom Clothing Stamp – not included in the Day Camp Pack, but an add-on that is great for tagless clothing like swimsuits.
Non-negotiable sun protection:
-Waterproof Sunscreen (check with your camp about it- as some don’t allow spray)
-SPF lip balm
Your small rectangle labels are included in the Day Camp Label Pack and are perfect for the items!
Keep one in their bag for wet or dirty clothes.
Sure, they’re not sleeping away, but they’ll still need personal items like sunblock- labelled, bug spray- label it, and it doesn’t hurt to include hydrocortisone cream and some band-aids! (First aid will always be on site, but kids often pull off band-aids to “look at the boo-boo,” and so they often need multiples)
-Tissues or wet wipes
-chapstick with SPF
*Make sure that if your child needs medication, make yourself familiar with the process and policies in place at your camp.
In the heat, it’s imperative that your kids drink enough. Always send them with a refillable, labelled water bottle.
A fun way to label your water bottle is with the Water Bottle Band.
Lunchbox and Snacks:
Check with your camp to see the guidelines and schedule for lunch. Always be aware that when you’re packing lunch, it may not go into a refrigerator, so make sure to pack ice packs and don’t include lunch items that may not fare well on a hot day. Don’t forget the spoons, forks etc!
*Make sure you’re aware of the food schedule so you know that you’ve packed enough to cover all the breaks if needed.
Overall, always check in with your camp director to understand the day-to-day activities, requirements, and policies, as these may change how your pack for camp each day.
If your child is nervous about day camp, it’s a nice idea to include a little note or give them a photo or stuffy that will make them feel a little more comfortable.
Remember that summer camp can be very long days for our kids, with lots of exercise, fresh air and new experiences, so they’ll come home exhausted each day. Expect that they may be a little grumpy, tired, and irritable. The smoother you can make the process, the easier it will be for everyone.
Heading off to sleepaway camp? Here is a pack list for your kids camp experience!