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June 21, 2024

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Packing for Sleep-Away Camp

Trunk? Check. Sleeping bag? Check. Summer camp's almost here and it's time to pore over our handy list for your child.

School will soon be out and many kids will soon be packing for sleep-away camp. Many camps send out their own packing list, but you never know if your kid is going to use all that you painstakingly fret over. Bug repellant? Maybe. And fancy water bottles? Camp Lost and Founds are loaded with them at the end of camp sessions. The following tips from the American Camping Association (ACA) can help you have a successful experience with getting everything you need together.

Packing for Sleep-Away Camp List

Keep in mind the camp experience comes will several different types of activities, so think ahead and pack smart. And LABEL everything. Mabel’s Label’s provides waterproof name labels for kids. The ACA recommends the following packing list:

— Camp Trunk (make sure you match the camp’s size specification) or suitcase. Great trunks are found at Rhino, for example.

Headgear — scarves, bandanas, baseball caps, eyeglasses, swimming goggles, sunglasses.

Clothing — Nothing fancy! T-shirts/tank tops, shorts, long pants, a jacket, swim suit, pajamas, robe and underwear.

Footwear — boots, tennis shoes, sandals, and socks.

Bed and Bath — most sleep-away camps put campers in cabins outfitted with single twin beds or bunk beds. A common combination on camp packing lists is a sleeping bag plus a twin-size sheet. Also include a blanket, pillow/pillow cases, extra sheet, sleeping bag, laundry bag, mattress pad. For towels, include a couple of bath towels and a couple of pool towels.

— Bathroom Kit — brush and comb, shampoo, soap and container, toothbrush and holder, toothpaste, deodorant. Stock everything in a portable tote.

Other Items — Insect repellent, sun screen, flashlight and batteries, books and magazines, water bottle, writing materials, portable fan to hook onto your child’s bunk area, laundry bag. Check with the camp about its policies about electronics, musical instruments and other special gear.


Don’t Pack List

• Cell phones + other electronics — although it’s true (can camps know) that parents hide cell phones in their kids’ luggage, try to avoid it for your kid’s sake. They know if they’re breaking the rules. Your child will be able to reach you if something’s wrong. Try to follow the camp’s guidelines for your child’s best experience.



About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.