School is out or almost and that means getting ready for sleep away camp. My daughter will be headed to Camp Seafarer for the second year and my son will be headed to Camp Sea Gull for his 5th summer. I will be packing for one week for her and 4 for him. This is how I make it happen with as little stress and expense as possible.
XL duffel bag with wheels. Don’t need to spend a lot of money, mine is from Wal-Mart and I had them monogrammed at Alphabet Soup. I pack sheets, towels on bottom and clothes on top. I always try to only have one bag go to camp.
Inexpensive twin sheets and light weight blanket, foam egg crate and zippered pillow case. You can find inexpensive sheets at Ikea, Bed, Bath, Beyond, Target and WalMart.
Inexpensive towels and washcloths. I color coordinate sheets and towels to make it easier for my children to keep up with. I also by cheap because they are kids and this stuff gets DIRTY!
Combo shampoo/body wash. Easier for them to use and less that they have to carry to the shower. I found a basic caddy at Bed, Bath Beyond to hold all toiletries.
Pre-stamped postcards from the Post Office. My kids are not big writers and this guarantees I will at least get a couple of lines home.
Shorts, t-shirts and swimsuits from Target and Wal-Mart. You don’t want to spend a fortune on this stuff and it gets very dirty so if something needs to be thrown away, no big deal.
My secret little tip, until recently my son still slept with his favorite blankie but did not want friends to know that he did. For camp, I fold it inside his pillowcase so that he knows where it is but it can’t be seen.
Clip on electric fan. Found mine at WalMart.
Disposable cameras. Great way for kids to take pictures but not potentially ruin a nice camera.
I have discovered that girls like to dress up their space – small(2×3) colorful rugs are one way they personalize space. Can be found at Pier One.
Plastic storage bin. After camp store all sheets, towels and camp related gear in the bin. Tuck away in the attic or closet shelf until next summer.
Labeling your child’s clothes – I use a sharpie and write their names on labels, waistbands, etc. Many use iron-on labels. Check out etsy for some creative labels. This is one site that I like. Many local shops also can do iron on labels.
If your child will be at camp for a week and can receive care packages, plan to drop it in the mail the day before you drop them off for camp and have your letters ready to be mailed to them. I like to go to Toys & Co to pick up several inexpensive trinkets like glow sticks, whoopie cushions, yo-yo’s, mad libs etc to send.
What are your tips? Please share and help us all make the packing process as easy as possible!