Packing for summer camp – or thinking about packing for camp – can be daunting to say the least. What should I pack? What should I leave? Will I really need that many t-shirts? Sunscreen, shin guards, shoes – so many things! There’s no way around it, packing is a monumental task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help make packing a (somewhat) stress-free process:
Use the Packing List. Our packing list is designed from years of experience and has everything your child will need for the summer. Use the packing list as a guide for what you need and a checklist to cross off what you’ve packed. Keep your packing list handy – it’s in the Camp Spot catalog you received in the mail, online and on Camp in Touch. The reality is that you will probably refer back to it many times, up until when the duffels leave for camp.
Less is more!! Historically we’ve found that the more girls bring to camp the harder it is for them to keep track of it all, stay organized and have a comfortable, tidy space of their own. Please do not exceed the recommendations for what to bring to camp, especially for bedding, pillows and towels. Also, the girls don’t need lots of extra “stuff”. Camp is a place where we focus on relationships, activities, nature and the beauty around us.
Label it all. Take advantage of the Camp Spot’s service to sew name labels into anything they can. The name stickers are great for items like flashlights, hairbrushes and tennis racquets, but please do not put name stickers on clothing or linens as they often come off in the laundry. The name stamper or a good old-fashioned sharpie is a quick way to label items you already have at home.
The bag. Large, “soft” duffel bags work best. They should be big enough to have some extra space after everything is inside for last minute items and also because girls accumulate a wide variety of keep-sakes throughout the summer. Within the duffel bag you can invent your own ways to organize things. Large zip lock bags work well for things like underwear, socks and toiletries. The bags are stored at camp and brought out at the end of the summer to pack-up.
Toiletries. Just send enough toiletries for them to get through the summer. If they need more of anything, Vega has a “canteen” with the necessities should your child run out. And while Vega has sunscreen and bug spray for use around camp, please send a supply for your daughter to put on before she leaves her cabin (and with the help of counselors for the little ones of course).
Medication. Please don’t send any medication in your child’s bag, even if it is over-the-counter. The only medicine allowed in the cabin are creams or emergency medicines like epi-pens or inhalers. If your child needs medicine or vitamins on a daily basis be sure to note it on her health forms and register with Campmeds. Please refer to the Campmeds info on Camp in Touch and the Parent Handbook (also on Camp in Touch) for more info.
Water bottle. Every camper needs a water bottle. Maine can have hot days in the summer and the campers are always busy. Drinking water is a top priority for us at camp, and we are constantly reminding the campers to drink throughout the day and in the bunk at night. Having a water bottle makes this a much easier undertaking. And please avoid sending water bottles with straws or other small parts, as these can get lost and make cleaning the water bottle more challenging.
And remember the saying, “Slow and steady wins the race!” We are always here to help if you have questions and please be assured that if your daughter is missing anything, we will let you know!