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Summer Camp for Kids: What to Pack

Summer Camp for Kids: What to Pack

summer camp

Summer camp can be a very exciting time for children and parents, especially if it is an overnight camp where the kids get to stay in cabins with their peers and camp counselors.  For many this is the first time being away from home and the guidance of mom or dad giving them instruction as to when to shower, what to wear, when to eat, etc.  The kids usually love the freedom and the feeling of being empowered, but as a parent I know this can be very stressful when your child is young.  As long as you find a good camp you will more than likely worry for no reason.  I remember growing up in Upstate NY going to camp and it is an experience I will never forget.   Be sure to look around your state.  Camp Chateaugay is located in the Adirondacks and has become an annual tradition for many families in the NY area.  I’m not sure if that was the one I went to as a child, but it is definitely similar.

One thing that really helped me when I sent my son to camp for the first time was having a suggested packing list.  I have provided some examples below of what to pack, but you should consult your individual camp.

Comfortable Clothes (play clothes or casual)

  • shorts, jeans, slacks, t-shirts (at least five changes)
  • tennis shoes (or other closed toe shoes)
  • underclothing (at least five changes)
  • one sweater/light jacket/sweatshirt (for cool nights)
  • bathing suit / swim clothes
  • rain gear
  • socks
  • pajamas or something comfortable for them to sleep in

Personal Articles (I put these in a ziplock bag)

  • wash cloth
  • shower shoes
  • two (2) towels (swimming & bathing)
  • comb or brush
  • toothbrush, toothpaste
  • insect repellant
  • soap & shampoo
  • plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • deodorant
  • sunscreen

Bedding (for bunk-style beds)

  • pillow and case
  • two (2) sheets & light blanket or sleeping bag

Other items (optional) label items clearly with camper’s name

  • water shoes
  • water bottle (very important for hot days)
  • hat
  • flashlight
  • alarm clock
  • sunglasses
  • pen, paper & stamps (for letters home)


Do not bring expensive items to camp such as electronic games, jewelry, radios etc. No money, candy, gum, snacks, knives or fireworks should be taken to camp. For identification purposes, be sure to put your child’s initials or name on items.


  1. Mary Ambrosino says

    Forget the letters home unless the camper is forced or miserable you won’t be hearing from them.