9 Helpful Hints From Camp Parents

Posted June 01, 2018  | Written by PJ Our Way Team

Are you sending your child to overnight camp? Here is some great advice we received from camp parents from across the U.S.

WHAT NOT TO PACK

Sneakers

 

Don’t pack things that you or your child will be upset if they get lost or messed up, e.g. their favorite, brand-new pair of sneakers or a sentimental piece of clothing.

Also, do not pack food, cell phones, money, or other valuables (unless your child’s camp tells you to include money for a field trip or other specific items).

 

SOME THINGS STAY AT CAMP

Shower Caddy

 

There are some things that shouldn’t be brought home, e.g. opened bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or body wash; clothes from a messy program; or old, muddy shoes.

 

DON’T FORGET TO TELL YOUR CAMPER TO HANG WET CLOTHES AND TOWELS

Towels

 

Make sure to tell your campers not to put wet clothes or towels in their laundry bag and to hang them to dry first. And when there are wet or muddy things that need to come home, send large Ziploc bags and encourage your camper to use them to pack anything wet or muddy.

 

SPECIAL “FRIENDS” CAN GO TO CAMP

Teddy Bear

 

Is your child afraid to sleep without their comfort stuffed animal or blanket? It’s ok! Favorite stuffed animals can go to camp. Explain to your child that it might get dirty or wet, but that’s ok…it can visit the “spa” (the washing machine) when it gets home.

One mom had a great solution for her son’s most loved blanket…she cut a square of it and sewed it in the inside of his pillow case. That way he had his treasured blanket at camp and didn’t have to worry about something happening to it.

 

BE PREPARED FOR LAUNDRY DAY

Ziploc Bag

 

Kids get excited about laundry day and send everything to get cleaned. Make sure they still have clean, dry clothes while everything else is being cleaned by packing one towel, one pair of underwear, one t-shirt, one pair of shorts, one swimsuit, and one swim towel in an XL Ziploc bag. Label it “laundry day” and let your child know to save it for laundry day.

 

SEND WET WIPES & HAND SANITIZER

Wet Wipes

 

One of the best parts about camp is getting to play in the dirt – one of the hardest parts about camp is trusting kids to keep clean on their own terms. Items like wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and Tide pens help make that easy.

 

PACK SPECIAL SURPRISES IN THEIR DUFFEL BAGS

Glow Bracelet

 

Hide glow sticks, stickers, magazines, small travel games, and notes in your camper’s duffel bag or suitcase. Kids love finding surprises when they’re unpacking!

One PJOW member said, “My mom packs little gifts in my suitcase that I open on certain days. It brings a fun surprise since you can't send packages!”

 

SEND AN EXTRA PAIR OF SHOES

Dirty Shoes

 

Camp is super fun and super messy – kids may find themselves running through mud, going on rainy hikes, or just wearing down their favorite pair of sneakers. Pack an extra pair of shoes just in case.

 

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE FUN CLOTHING ITEMS AND COSTUMES

Rainbow Socks

 

Camps have fun and creative theme days, evening programs, and color wars. Help your camper be prepared by sending crazy socks, a tutu, bandanas, a cape, fun hats, and other fun (small) costumes.

Want more suggestions for what to pack? Check out last year’s 12 Must-Pack Items for Summer Camp blog.

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