Packing for Overnight Camp? Reduce Stress and Send Your Child Off Well Prepared!

By Leah Howard, Assistant Director of Policy and National Initiatives and mother of three

For many youth, overnight camp is a highlight of the summer break.  It is a time to reconnect with friends, enjoy some independence from mom and dad, and build memories to last a lifetime. But for us parents, the effort of preparing and sending off your “little one” can often lead you to stress and angst. While I cannot make the drop off and final goodbye any easier (although for me just knowing you are not alone in wondering how they grew up so fast helps!), my colleagues and I can offer you a few tips to help make the packing experience a little less painful.

When it comes to packing for camp, BlazeSports’ staff has heard it all – from the favorite hat forgotten at home, to too many items of clothing (or not enough), to what defines appropriate camp attire, to the forgotten toothpaste, or the realization after a youth has arrived that last year’s bathing suit is too small.  So whether you have a child headed to BlazeCamp on June 5th or another overnight camp program near your home, we offer you the following  packing tips to get your child’s week started off on the right foot!

What to Bring 

Any necessary medication (along with required camp medication form(s))

Casual clothing and/or sports attire (enough to cover entire cap stay without laundering plus extras as appropriate):
Shorts of appropriate length
T-shirts (please DO NOT bring spaghetti strap shirts, low-cut v-necks, or clothing with inappropriate graphics and/or    advertisements)
Long pants
Rain jacket or poncho
Comfortable tennis shoes
Sweatshirt or long sleeve
Hat & sunglasses if sun sensitive
Bathing Suit
Personal floatation device if needed for swimming
Personal sports equipment if camp is offering different sports
Toiletries (Placing these items in a waterproof bag is helpful.)
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Bug Repellant
Personal care supplies as needed (cathing supplies, Depends or disposable undergarments, Wipes-be sure to bring   EXTRAS.)

Other Helpful Items
Alarm Clock
Small sling bag or book bag (optional) –prevent several trips back to the cabin throughout the day.
Disposable Camera (optional)
Blanket (optional at BlazeCamp as linens are provided by facility. Check your camp’s policy)
Your favorite pillow (optional), camp pillows sometimes just don’t do the job
Beach Towel (optional)
Flashlight & new batteries (optional)
Water Bottle with your name on it!!!

What to Leave at Home
Expensive sound, photographic or video equipment (i.e. DVD players, cell phone, etc.)
Other Valuables (i.e. jewelry, extra money).
Candy or gum.

And don’t forget, labeling everything with your child’s name increases the likelihood of the items coming back to you at the end of camp!

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