Summer is a time for relaxation, fun, and just getting away to do something which is the opposite of the last few months of school. Sometimes, people don’t mind if they are made aware of things to bring to summer camp that will help them be more comfortable throughout the summer.
Staying positive and happy is a challenge during the summertime when you’re away from home, but it’s possible. Summer camp is a time for fun, adventure, and making new friends. However, it can also be a process of getting into some serious learning.
As a child, summer camp was my “happy place” where I could be free of responsibility and pretend. With so much time to explore and explore (I know, sounds like a high-school cliché), I made sure to bring these 30 things with me for the journey.
These items are not just things to bring to camp for fun, they were incredibly useful as I used them for food, comfort, and entertainment during my short stay in the woods. Ahh, summer camp. You know what it is and the concept behind it, but do you know exactly the things you have to bring to summer camp?
Not sure if those chips and jerky are good for you? Not sure what to pack for summer camp teenage girl? Well, I have a fun list that will help you double your happiness while at camp.
Here are 30 things I bring to summer camp each year to help me stay positive and happy.
Table of Contents
- Things to Bring to Summer Camp for Fun
- Summer Camp Counselor Packing List
- Things to Bring to Overnight Summer Camp
- Summer Camp Packing Hacks
- Fun Things to Bring to Sleepaway Camp
- What Should You Bring to Summer Camp?
- What Can You Not Bring to Summer Camp?
- How Do I Pack My Kids for Sleep-Away Camp?
Things to Bring to Summer Camp for Fun
Summer camp is a magical place. You get to spend the summer with your best friends, learn new things, make memories, and have the time of your life. It’s time to hit the campground.
But before you head off in your camper, I’ve got one last thing you need — a positive attitude. But what if you could make camp even better? What if you could double your happiness? Here are 30 things that will help you do just that:
1. Bring Some Snacks (But Make Sure They’re Healthy)
The food at summer camp is usually very basic, so bring some snacks like fruit or nuts if you want something different than what’s available at camp that day/night. This is one of the smartest summer camp packing hacks no one tells you about.
2. An Extra Pair of Socks
Even if they’re only worn around once or twice, they are still useful because they can cushion your feet from the ground when playing sports or doing other activities outdoors.
3. A Water Bottle (or Two) So That You Can Stay Hydrated All Day Long
Everyone loves water but drinking enough water to stay hydrated can get a little tricky at summer camp. Staying hydrated is important, as your body processes water faster if you’re hydrating properly.
If you know anything about camping and staying in the wilderness, you probably know that one of the most important things you can bring with you is a water bottle (or two).
Summer Camp Counselor Packing List
When you are a counselor at summer camp, one of your most important roles is being able to help the children in your charge have a wonderful time.
Still, there are a few things that you should remember as a counselor to ensure that your campers have an enjoyable stay at camp. Keep reading for great tips on the summer camp packing list for counselors.
4. A First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a lifesaver. As a counselor for a summer camp, a first aid kit will be a valuable addition, especially if you are the type of person who can’t stand being stuck with anything to do. You can always be prompt and help where necessary.
5. A Journal and Pen
A journal and pen/pencils are essential for any campers. It can help keep you organized and in the moment. Whether it’s to write about what you did that day or record all the awesome adventures that happened, a journal is one of the best things you can think of.
6. Flashlights/Headlamps (and Batteries)
One of the most important things is a flashlight. If you run across a creepy old tree that’s gnarly on your hands at night, you might get pretty startled.
And before that happens, save yourself the trouble and buy a new headlamp for this summer, it’s one of the good things you can do for yourself when you go camping.
Things to Bring to Overnight Summer Camp
Overnight summer camp can be a blast for kids. The best part about it? There is no homework! You just have fun hanging out with the camp counselors and going on adventure after adventure.
Out of the two options, I highly recommend an overnight summer camp experience for ALL kids and their parents.
7. Extra Clothes in Case of Emergencies (Just in Case)
On the first day of camp, you will realize it’s not as easy as you thought. No one tells you that extra clothes are a must-have item at summer camp.
You thought bringing a towel and bathing suit would be enough but it’s not. You’ll find yourself needing a new outfit or two, or three. It’s not just about comfort, it’s about feeling like you can do anything.
8. A Pillow or Two (Plus an Extra Blanket for When it Gets Cold at Night)
When you sleep, your body’s complex system of nerve fibers and muscles use this time to recharge. A good night’s sleep is essential for feeling alert and focused throughout the day. Thus, one of the things to bring to overnight summer camp is a pillow.
9. Music Player/Speakers
So that you can play music on your phone or computer while playing games or doing other activities outside in the evenings (and charging cords for those devices too). Your favorite music or playlist. This can be anything from classical music to hip-hop, and you can also bring your favorite headphones
10. Sunscreen (Preferably SPF 50+) and Bug Spray (Preferably DEET-Free)
To Keep Mosquitos at Bay! You may be tempted to skip sunscreen and bug spray because you’re not camping in the sun, right? Wrong! Camping is a great time to slather on sunscreen and bug spray, as well as drink a lot of water.
It’s also a great time to take care of your skin and hair. If you don’t wear sunscreen every day, it’s not too late to start.
Summer Camp Packing Hacks
Packing for camp can be stressful. I’ve packed for summer camp before, and I know how hard it is to get everything organized. The last thing you want to do is forget something or pack something wrong (like my brother did).
We asked our friends at The Family Handyman and received a handy list of summer camp packing hacks that will help you when it comes time to pack for summer camp, even if you want to know what to bring to summer camp for a week.
11. Organize and Optimize Space
Just because you’ll probably be taking only one suitcase or duffel bag, use the space to its full potential by rolling all clothing and towels instead of folding them.
Additionally, consider saving some extra space if you want to bring home items from the camp store or any projects or arts and crafts you made at camp. While you want to ensure you are prepared for camp, it’s important not to overpack.
12. Be Prepared for the Elements
One of the top summer camp packing hacks we recommend is to always pack in plastic. This means your important clothes, towels and other items like your gadgets will stay dry if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Make sure to label everything with your first and last name, so that nothing gets lost or mixed up in someone else’s bag. Label each pouch, plastic bag, and backpack to help you stay organized during your time away at camp.
Any effort you make to stay organized will help you avoid digging through the lost and found when you return home.
Fun Things to Bring to Sleepaway Camp
Cool things to bring to sleepaway camp are some of the hardest things to decide on. Are you bringing your laptop, or trying to be ultra-light? What will you need that you probably don’t even know exists?
That’s why I’ve made a list of some fun things to bring to sleepaway camp to make your time there memorable.
14. A Good Book
It’s not just for reading, but a good book will make the time fly by. Nothing beats a good novel, especially in the summertime when you don’t have to see anyone else. This is also a great way to keep up with what’s happening in your favorite author’s world.
15. A Friend or Two (or Three)
You don’t have to be in the same cabin, but it is nice to have someone to chat with while you’re playing sports or spending time with your group of friends.
16. A Sense of Humor
Camp is full of fun activities and friends who will make sure you have a good time (unless they’re mean). So do yourself a favor and make sure your sense of humor matches theirs — otherwise, you will not find it funny!
What Should You Bring to Summer Camp?
If you’re heading off to summer camp, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll need to pack some stuff. But what should you bring? You may be surprised at the things on this list that are not essentials — but they are too. You should probably bring them.
17. Extra Toilet Paper (Just in Case)
If you are camping, there is nothing worse than running out of toilet paper, it’s running out of toilet paper and then having no idea where to go for more. To prevent this from happening, always keep extra toilet paper in your bag so that you know exactly where you can go.
18. Sandals/Flip Flops
If you plan on spending any time barefoot in the water or around lakes/pools at camp (but not if someone else is going barefoot in the water with you). You can wear them once they’re wet and then put them back in your bag until they dry out again later in the day.
19. Lightweight Towels and Washcloths
Lightweight towels and washcloths for everyone in your family (this one is especially important during showers). A towel and washcloth (to dry off after swimming) and a hand towel, if needed (to wipe off after swimming). You can use these towels as blankets, too.
20. A Journal or Planner
It doesn’t matter if it’s real or digital; having one will help you stay organized and focused during your time at camp, where things can get pretty hectic (especially if you’re the type of camper who likes to party).
What Can You Not Bring to Summer Camp?
In summer, it’s all about adventure and fun. But even if you’re used to taking life seriously, there are still things you can’t bring to summer camp. Better to be safe than sorry. This list of what not to bring to summer camp will help you:
21. You Probably Shouldn’t Bring Your Laptop
You probably shouldn’t bring your laptop, but you can bring your phone. This is because it will be a temptation for other campers to do away with the power adapter unless it’s necessary or it’s a tech summer camp.
You also should avoid bringing any valuables that you might not need, especially if you’re being tempted to show off. You might regret it. Besides, do not bring instruments of any kind to the campgrounds that are not welcome there.
22. Things Not in Harmony with Camp Etiquette
There are many things that you can bring to summer camp, but there are some items that you simply cannot take with you. For example, if you’re going to a Christian summer camp, then you probably won’t be able to bring anything strong.
However, if it’s a secular camp, then this may not be an issue at all. In addition to this, some things are also not allowed at any campsite. This is because they’re considered stuff that is in no harmony with camp etiquette.
What Makes a Summer Camp Fun?
Summer camp is one of those things that everyone looks forward to, and yet the activities can sometimes seem like it’s the same thing on repeat in countless summer camps.
It can be frustrating to go to summer camp after summer camp and not see any differences at all. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Camps are filled with unique things that make them more fun than anything else. Some tips for how you can make your next program more fun for kids include:
23. The Activities
Summer camps are fun because of the activities. The activities range from swimming to horseback riding and everything in between.
Summer camps are also a great way to make friends, which is especially important for kids who may not have many friends at school. Summer camps provide a great opportunity for kids to learn new things and have a good time while they are doing it.
24. The People
Camp is also the perfect place to make new friends. You meet so many different types of people who have interesting stories and different interests than yours. And it’s great that you get to spend time with them outside of school or work for a few weeks.
25. The New Experiences
Summer camps are fun because of the new experiences. They can also help you learn new things like how to swim and how to ride a bike and develop skills that will help you later in life such as teamwork skills or leadership skills.
How Do I Pack My Kids for Sleep-Away Camp?
Summer is approaching and you’ll soon be packing up your kids for a summer sleep-away camp.
Sleepaway camp is becoming increasingly popular as schools want to keep kids busy outside of the classroom, but also get them interested in socializing and improving their group work skills.
Here are ways to pack some extra fun into the trip.
26. Pack Lightly
This can be a challenge when you’re trying to pack for multiple days of activities and overnight stays. But remember that campers get plenty of time outside in their cabin, so pack light and don’t overstuff your child’s bag with items they won’t use.
27. Prepare Your Child’s Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag should be comfortable and warm. It should also be able to keep you dry and free from bugs. And it shouldn’t have any holes or tears that could let cold air in or bugs out.
28. Make Sure They Have Their Medications With Them
Children are often given medications at the doctor’s office, but you should also keep their medications with them in case they get sick. You should also make sure that they have their inhaler if they suffer from asthma or allergies.
29. A Cool Hat or Bandana for When it Gets Hot Out (or Even Cool) Outside
You never know what weather your kid might encounter at camp — so having something that covers half of his/her face will help keep him/her comfortable at all times.
30. Get Them Involved
The best way to pack your kids for sleep-away camp is to get them involved in the process. Here are some tips for packing and preparing for camp:
Start early. The more time you have, the better. It’s a good idea to start a month before camp begins so there’s plenty of time for them to get used to their new clothes and shoes.
Prepare for the weather. Check the forecast and pack accordingly. If it’s going to be hot, make sure they’re wearing light clothing that wicks moisture away from their bodies so they don’t get overheated and dehydrated.
If it’s going to be cold (or rainy), make sure they have warm layers — a waterproof jacket, long underwear, etc. — that will keep them warm and dry when they go outside after bedtime or during outdoor activities like hiking or swimming.
Pack appropriately for activities at camp. If they’ll be playing sports or doing other active things, make sure they have appropriate athletic gear (shoes, shirts/pants/swimsuits/etc.) so they’re not uncomfortable while they’re having fun.
I hope this article on things to bring to summer camp added great value to you.
Finally, the great thing about going on a summer camp is that you will get to experience new adventures, meet new friends and make memories that would last a lifetime. Plus, you could also bring home new skills and enhance your existing ones.
Summer camps, whether yours is for sports, news, arts, hobbies, or anything else you can think of, are great for all ages, sizes, and skill levels.
Even if someone wants to try something uniquely theirs for the first time, chances are there is a camp of that sort that would be perfect for them.
If you are looking for a fun way to keep your kids busy this summer and help them make new friends while they stay in shape, then consider sending them to day camps held at parks, recreation centers, and churches.
They’ll not only learn new skills but also be able to spend their time in a creative environment with kids their own age that they don’t see day-to-day.