Summer camp is right around the corner!  It’s time to start thinking about what to pack for your child’s summer adventure! We’ve compiled a general list of the basics every kid should bring to summer camp.  Be sure to check with your child’s summer camp for any other items they may need to bring.

  1. Duffle Bag – We all know that you will lovingly fold and pack everything your child needs for camp. Let’s be honest.  It’ll only stay that neat and tidy for the ride to camp.  After that, they’re probably going to go searching for something and before you know it everything will end up in a pile and they are most likely going to wad up their dirty camp clothes and throw them back in their bag to “pack up” to come home.  Using a duffel instead of a suitcase for camp is a great option as long as you don’t overpack it, and some duffel bags even come with wheels to make it easier to move. By leaving a little extra space in the bag, it leaves room for their dirty clothes, any crafts they made, and other goodies they will want to bring home!
  2. Clothes – It’s important to pack necessities – shorts, shirts, underwear and plenty of socks, but don’t forget about PJs, swimsuits, UPF UV blocking sun shirts, sunglasses, hats, and at least two sets of shoes! (We guarantee that somehow one pair of shoes will get soaked and will need to dry before they can be worn again so a back-up pair of shoes is a must!) Don’t forget to pack a raincoat or poncho.  Weather in Maryland is unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared. Throw in a few light pants and long sleeve shirts or a sweatshirt is also great for keeping warm at night around the campfire.  Remember, these clothes are going to get dirty and possibly torn or lost, so be sure to leave their best new clothes at home and consider sending clothes and accessories that are high quality, but gently loved like the ones sold at Kid to Kid Bel Air (at prices up to 70% off the cost of new clothes at retail stores)!
  3. Toiletries – Travel sized shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and lotions in a Ziploc baggie save room in their duffle. Throw in a hairbrush, toothbrush, and tooth paste in a baggie so they’re easy to tote to the bathroom.  Don’t forget to send a full-size bottle of water-proof sunscreen and bug repellent and a basic first aid kit, depending on the age of your child and what the camp allows.
  4. Sleeping Gear – Sleeping bags or blankets and sheets, and don’t forget a pillow and your child’s favorite lovie or stuffy, if they have one.
  5. Reusable Water Bottle – Campers will be on the go all the time and staying hydrated in the summer heat is important. Sending your child with a reusable water bottle will help them quench their thirst and it helps to keep disposable plastic water bottles out of landfills!

Don’t forget to label everything with your kid’s name!  Once your child gets to summer camp, they’ll be more interested in trying out all of the fun camp activities than they will be in paying attention to where they put their stuff.  (Just think of how they are at home…if they can somehow manage to lose their shoes in the living room, just think of all the opportunities they’ll have to lose things at camp!)  Labeling ALL of the items your child takes to camp will help camp counselors find the lost item’s owner, and help to prevent other campers from taking your child’s items accidentally.

Need to do a little pre-camp shopping?  Stop by Kid to Kid Bel Air where you can find almost everything on this list at prices that just can’t be beat!