The age old dilemma of what to pack for camp, when you send your child away for weeks at a time, is one that has been daunting families for years. At our office, we spend lots of time trying to simplify problems that are as complex as predicting exactly what your child will need to "survive" the next several weeks on their own. Packing for camp shouldn’t be a challenge once you have answers to the following questions:
- How much storage will they have in their room?
Rooms are likely to have a closet or dresser, you may also find space in desk drawers to store smaller items. There may be space under the bed to stow luggage, which can also double as additional storage! Remember that students may have to leave their room to shower so be sure to pack a robe, shower shoes and a shower caddy.
- May they do laundry while they are at camp?
Typically students can do their own laundry or buy laundry service. If using the laundry service, you could pack less and may even save money on baggage or shipping fees! Ask your camp specifically what's available. Be sure to find out about how to pay for this service. We recommend marking the students name in their clothes.
- What will they be doing and is there a dress code?
Think about what they'll be wearing during instruction time, evening activities and weekend trips. Remember to keep in mind any special events that may happen like dances, formal dinners, trips to the beach, sight-seeing, etc. Be sure to ask your camp for a packing list, if one is not already provided to you.
- Where are they going?
Do a little research to determine the average temperatures where their going to help you plan. Find out if the bedroom, classrooms, and dining halls are air conditioned.
- How long will they be there?
Just because they are at camp for multiple weeks doesn’t mean you have to pack different outfits for every day! Try to pack items that can “mix and match” to create different looks. If you take advantage of laundry service, you could cut packing in half!
- Can we ship items ahead of time or ship things home?
Find out if there is an address where you can ship linens, larger equipment (like golf clubs or tennis racquets), clothing, personal items or care packages. Most camps are happy to accept packages and deliver them to students during their stay and help send things home after camp.
- What if they forget something?
Find out if they will have a chance to go shopping for any necessities while their at camp. Plan to have some spending money set aside for incidentals just in case they need to make a purchase during their stay. Some programs even have a camp store.
These are the most important questions to ask if you are packing for camp. If you have more questions, call your program to discuss them with the camp directly.