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Get Ready for Summer Camp!

Get Ready for Summer Camp!

This summer, my family will be entering entirely new territory—Boy Scout and Girl Scouts’ sleep away camp! You could say the excitement and nerves are taking over my home for my 11 and 14-year-old. 

The Girl Scouts sent over a packing list which was tremendously helpful for a new sleep away camp mom. Fortunately, we were also able to ask a friend who went last year, what were the top items we should be bringing? 

So for the past month, I have researched and ordered large roll away duffel bags for each of the kids. The cheapest bags I could find were the big plastic footlockers. But in my mind, all I kept thinking about was where I was going to store these huge pieces, so instead, we bought the “body bags” as my kids like to call it.
We went down the list and determined what essentials needed to be bought in advance online and what could be purchased at the store. In my case, I have one child going one week and another leaving the following week. Many of the items such as the headlamp, bunk sheets, alarm clock, and fan, I bought in neutral colors, making it easy for them to share. 

From my experience, and from what I hear from other parents, at any sleep-away camp or sleepover adventure, you’ll want to follow these tips!

  • Write an extensive list of what your child needs, and highlight or circle the items that should be purchased ahead of time or ordered online. 

Now that you’ve established what you need, buy it! Once the items have arrived at your home, have your kids try on anything that you may need to return: water shoes, hats, bathing suits.

  • Start labeling! Since your kids will be in a cabin tent with other children, everything needs to be labeled. Start sooner rather than later.

You might like using oil-based markers for the larger items. You could use Sharpies to label the items as well, but they tend to wash out after multiple uses. I like to place duct tape on water bottles and lunch boxes, and then I add Sharpie to make it clear who it belongs to. You can find vinyl fabric labels from Avery on Amazon or Mabel's Labels—which work perfectly for camp.  
  • Now it’s time to pack! Put essential items such as sheets in a backpack, that way, you will have it on hand if the duffle bags are put on a cart.

All personal hygiene and bathroom products can go in the shower caddies inside the duffel bag or simply place it in the trunk. That way it’s already good to go once your child arrives at camp.

  • When packing for camp, you have a few options. The first is rolling up a complete outfit into a Ziploc bag, including socks & underwear. You can also pack outfits in a packing cube. Most packing cubes can hold about six outfits, so this is a great tool to condense your kid’s luggage. 
In my case, I am going to bag each outfit in a Ziploc bag, with a separate bag for towels and washcloths. Extra socks and underwear and bathing suits and any extra clothes will be packed away in their own cubes. This way, all my daughter has to do is pull a black bag out, put the clothes on, and when she’s done wearing it, she can put it back in a zip lock bag or throw it in her dirty laundry bag!
  • Double-check the list to ensure you didn’t miss anything. Gather any medicine that is needed and be sure to keep it in original containers. Hand it to the camp counselors with instructions as soon as you drop your child off. 
  • Make the trip to camp fun and exciting, not sad! Before you leave, make sure to sign up for any communications the camp offers so you’ll be in the know during the duration of their stay. 

I also think it’s a fantastic idea to leave your kids with addressed envelopes so they can mail you a letter home. And most importantly, enjoy the break and know that your kids are having the time of their lives! 

Want to get the house in shape while the kids are at camp? Now’s the perfect time to book a maintenance check! Even a well-organized home will build up clutter and mess over time. Let’s chat about how you can straighten up the spaces you already love. 

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