Packing for Camp

We ran across this great information from the American Camp Association (ACA) about packing for camp and thought parents might find it useful for kids who are going to camp the second half of summer. The ACA encourages parents to contact their camp for specific packing lists and guidelines. In addition, the ACA suggests the following guidelines for parents to keep in mind when packing for camp:

  • Headgear – Parents should pack items to protect a camper from the sun: scarves, bandannas, baseball caps, or sunhats, as well as needed eyeglasses, sunglasses, and swimming goggles.19-Ropers.jpg
  • Clothing – Clothing is a necessary component of camp, just do not expect any to return home clean! Include T-shirts, a swim suit, and shorts for hot days; a jacket, sweatshirt, and jeans for cool or cold days; and a raincoat or poncho for rainy days. Also, long pants will protect a camper from poison ivy, bugs, and thorns during hikes.
  • Footwear – Appropriate footwear is one of the most important items to pack for children at camp, especially when they are hiking, spelunking, running, and heading to the beach. Consider packing boots, tennis shoes, sandals, lots of socks — and dress shoes if the camp requires them. Remember that shoes should be broken in prior to the start of camp.
  • Bed and Bath Needs – For children attending a resident camp, parents should remember to pack the home basics: towels, as well as a blanket, pillow, pillow cases, sheets, sleeping bag, laundry bag, and mattress pad. Bathroom Kits are essential. Families should pack a brush and comb, shampoo, soap and soap container, toothbrush and holder, toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellent, sun block, and lip balm with sun block in it.
  • Additional Items – Pack some additional items including books and magazines, flashlights and batteries, Frisbees® or other toys, a water bottle, and writing materials. When considering electronics, musical instruments, and other special gear, check with the camp about policies. 

Decisions about camp, including from what to pack, should be made together as a family. When children participate in the decision-making process, their likelihood of enjoying a positive experience is improved.

For expert advice on what to pack, or preparing for camp, visit ACA’s parent resource site at

Where are you sending your kids to camp this summer? Tell us about your camp experience!