Sleepaway camp can be one of the most exciting and memorable experiences for a child. It’s a time to make new friends, try new activities, and explore the great outdoors. But before you send your child off to camp, it’s important to make sure they have everything they need to make the most of their time away from home.
One way to ensure your child has a blast is to pack some fun items that will help them enjoy their time at camp even more.
Here are 15 fun things to bring to sleepaway camp.
- Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is essential during physical activities and outdoor adventures. Packing a reusable water bottle is a great way to ensure that your child has access to clean water all day long. Look for a durable and leak-proof water bottle that can hold enough water to last throughout the day.
Encourage your child to drink water regularly, especially during hot summer days. It’s also a good idea to label the water bottle with your child’s name, so they don’t lose it or confuse it with someone else’s.
At sleepaway camp, it can get dark quickly, and it’s important for your child to have a flashlight to navigate their way around their cabin or the campsite. Choose a durable and reliable flashlight that is easy to use, even for younger children. Teach your child how to use the flashlight before they leave for camp, so they feel confident using it when needed. You can also pack extra batteries, just in case the ones in the flashlight run out.
- Comfortable Shoes
Sleepaway camps usually involve a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and sports, so it’s essential to pack comfortable and durable shoes. Make sure the shoes fit well and are appropriate for the activities planned for the camp.
Closed-toe shoes with good traction are ideal for hiking and sports, while water shoes are perfect for swimming and water activities. Encourage your child to wear their shoes around the house before they leave for camp to ensure that they are comfortable and broken in.
- Rain Gear
Even in the summertime, rain can be unpredictable. Packing a raincoat or poncho and waterproof shoes can help your child stay dry during rainy days. Make sure to choose a lightweight and breathable raincoat that can be easily packed in their bag. Waterproof shoes can also double as regular shoes for hiking and other outdoor activities.
- Hat and Sunglasses
Spending time outdoors means exposure to the sun, which can cause sunburn and eye damage. Packing a hat and sunglasses can help protect your child from the sun’s harmful rays. Look for a hat with a wide brim that can shade the face and neck, and choose sunglasses with UV protection. It’s also a good idea to label the hat and sunglasses with your child’s name, so they don’t get lost or mixed up with someone else’s.
- Swim Gear
Many sleepaway camps have swimming pools or lakes, so it’s important to pack swim gear. A swimsuit, towel, and water shoes are all essential items to pack. Look for a swimsuit that fits well and is appropriate for the activities planned for the camp. A beach towel or a quick-dry towel is perfect for drying off after swimming. Water shoes can protect your child’s feet from rocks and other hazards in the water.
A camera is a great way for your child to capture memories of their time at camp. Disposable cameras or small digital cameras are perfect for sleepaway camps. Encourage your child to take pictures of their new friends, activities, and the beautiful scenery around them. Make sure to pack extra batteries or a charger for the camera.
Even though sleepaway camps are full of activities, there will be downtime for your child to relax and unwind. Packing a few books can help your child pass the time and keep their mind active. Choose books that your child is interested in and appropriate for their reading level. You can also pack a journal or notebook for your child to write about their experiences at camp.
- Comfort Item
Being away from home and in a new environment can be difficult for some children. Packing a comfort item like a stuffed animal, blanket, or pillow can help ease any anxiety or homesickness. Encourage your child to choose a comfort item that they can easily pack in their bag and that will provide them with comfort when they need it.
- Card Games or Board Games
Playing card games or board games with new friends is a great way to bond and have fun at sleepaway camp. Packing a few favorites like UNO, Monopoly Deal, or Bananagrams can help your child make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure to label the games with your child’s name, so they don’t get mixed up with someone else’s.
- Musical Instrument
If your child enjoys playing a musical instrument, consider packing it for sleepaway camp. Many camps have music programs, and playing music is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day of activities. Make sure to label the instrument with your child’s name and pack it securely in a case to prevent damage.
- Outdoor Games
Packing outdoor games like frisbees, footballs, or soccer balls can provide hours of fun for your child and their new friends. These games are perfect for outdoor spaces like fields or open areas around the campsite. Encourage your child to invite others to play, and they might just make some new friends.
Sleepaway camps usually provide meals and snacks, but packing some of your child’s favorite snacks can provide a little taste of home and comfort. Look for non-perishable snacks like trail mix, granola bars, or dried fruit that can be easily packed in their bag. Be sure to check with the camp about any rules or restrictions regarding food items.
- Sunscreen and Insect Repellent
Protecting your child’s skin from the sun’s harmful rays and pesky insects is important during outdoor activities. Pack sunscreen with a high SPF and insect repellent to keep your child protected. Make sure to label the bottles with your child’s name and pack them in a separate bag or pouch to prevent spills.
A journal is a great way for your child to reflect on their experiences at camp and record their memories. Encourage your child to write about their favorite activities, new friends, and any challenges they faced during their time at camp. They can also use the journal to write letters to family and friends back home. Make sure to pack a pen or pencil as well.
In conclusion, there are plenty of fun items your child can bring to sleepaway camp to help them make the most of their time away from home. From water bottles to costumes, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Just make sure to check with the camp beforehand to see if there are any restrictions or guidelines for what can be brought. With these items in tow, your child is sure to have a blast and create memories that will last a lifetime.