Tips For Packing For Summer Sleepaway Camp

Getting your kids ready for camp can be overwhelming because you need to make sure they have everything they need with you not there to assist.

My kids headed to Muskoka, Ontario for a trip away from us for the first time this past weekend.  Over the last couple of weeks, I have been compiling a list of must-haves and tips from friends and family whose kids had been to camp. 

Tips For Packing For Summer Sleepaway Camp 2022

Here is our Packing List For Summer Sleepaway Camp 2022:

  • Insect spray & after bite
  • Sunscreen(2) & After sun gel
  • Toiletries – Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant
  • Shower caddy that can hang off the stall
  • Flashlight
  • Two beach towels
  • One shower towel
  • Face cloth
  • Twin flat and fitted sheets
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Backpack to take their gear with them to the beach and activities
  • Notebook, books to read, travel games
  • Insulated water bottle
  • Bandaids and polysporin(I packed this just in case they got a cut/blister and didn’t want to go to first aid)
  • Snacks(peanut-free)  We sent some treats like gummies, chips, pretzels, beef jerky, and licorice.
  • laundry bag
  • charger for phone or camera
  • sunglasses
  • hairbrush – clips, ties, or ribbons

Basics for one week:

  • 7 tee shirts
  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 9 pairs of underwear (we always pack extra for vacations – just in case so we used the same principle for camp)
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • Runners, flip-flops, and swim shoes – Your child may need rain boots if their camp is in the country.
  • 2 pairs of jogging pants
  • 2 long sleeve shirts
  • 2 hoodies
  • 3 pairs of pajamas
  • 4-5 swimsuits/shorts
  • 3 spf swim shirts
  • 2 hats
  • one shirt they can wear if there is an event at the end.  Our camp had a dance at the end and I didn’t send anything fancy. 

If they are going to a more rugged camp they may also need rain boots and rain gear.

I sent more than what they needed in case some of their items get wet or dirty.  Items like swim shorts, jogging pants, hoodies, and pajamas can be worn more than once so we sent fewer. 

packing for summer camp tips

Many of the kids at camp arrived with plastic Sterilite 4-5 Drawer White Towers or Wheeled Underbed Storage Boxes.  This is a pretty genius packing strategy for parents as you just need to load what they need into the drawers and they can grab what they need easily. We packed everything into duffle bags for our boys, but many kids were coming with everything in plastic totes.  This is ideal for rugged outdoor Summer camps where bugs or rain could be an issue.  The cabins at our kid’s camp are airconditioned and insulated so there is no issue of the elements getting into their items.  The totes do, however, keep everything contained.

packing for summer camp containers

I packed my boy’s clothes in packing cubes.  In the largest cube, we created rolls for each day’s outfits – shirt, shorts, and underwear in each roll.  The medium cube had pajamas and night clothes like track pants and long sleeve shirts.  Bathing suits in another cube, and socks and extra underwear in the smallest cube.  I like the cubes because they keep everything in their spot.  I roll everything in the cubes to save a bit more room.

packing cubes

The sheets we sent we grey along with a flannel-lined sleeping bag and one pillow.

None of the clothes we sent were white and only a few items were name brand.  If they are going to lose or possibly destroy something I don’t want it to be an expensive hoodie or something we will need for our other trips this Summer.  Lots of $5 grey, black and navy tees. 

Our camp does not allow electronics like computers, iPad, or portable game consoles.  One of my sons has his iPhone.  The camp secures it for most of the day and only allows them to have it for a couple of hours after the day programming is over.   My oldest brought an older iPod so he could listen to music during downtime and a digital camera to take pictures.

We also didn’t send any sports equipment like a soccer ball, basketball, or water inflatables.  Unless specified by the camp leave those at home as they are likely provided during the daily programming.

Do you have any Summer Camp Packing Tips?  Share them below!

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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