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How Did This Happen?
The excitement at our house right now is about summer camp.  That is partly because we live at a camp, and summer is our busy season.  It is also because both of my kids will be "going" to camp this coming week.  I put going in quotation marks, because they aren't actually going anywhere.  They'll be staying in cabins at our camp where we live.

Regardless of how far the commute is, they have to pack.  Since they aren't allowed to cross the boundary to come home (my rule), we have to make sure they have everything they need for the week.  As I looked at the Goose's room today, I realized that we have a lot to get done in a short amount of time.  Good thing I'm a champion at this.

I've been packing my kids for camp for many years. Well, more accurately, my kids have been packing themselves for camp for many years.  (We'll call it a homeschool lesson in problem management and life skills.)  Through the years, I've gathered packing tips from other smart moms. I can't take credit for these ideas. I've just compiled the ideas and learned from my mistakes.

The first year I sent my kids to camp, their clothes were packed in rolling suitcases. Boy, was I a newbie! Rolling suitcases don't work in dirt, so they are not the best idea. Also, if your child's cabin is anything like ours, there won't be room for a suitcase. Instead, I've found that plastic drawers are the better way to go. The Goose is willing to pack in these. The Beetle said, "No way!" He packs in a backpack.

Here are some handy tips I've learned. I hope these will make your summer camp packing easier and more efficient.  I would say that most of these tips are for girls.  They're more fun to pack for anyway, right?

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The Goose packs her belongings in these plastic drawers.  We got these at a mass retailer, and they came with wheels.  We just left the wheels off, since wheels and dirt don't agree.


You can get a good deal on these at Amazon, and they'll deliver them right to your house!   Here's a link to buy them on Amazon:

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We pack each day's outfit in a separate Ziplock bag.  That way, if something gets spilled or a wet towel gets left where it doesn't belong, all the clothes don't get wet and dirty.


I will say that, while the Goose thinks this is a brilliant way to pack, the Beetle is having no part of it.  He says that the other guys in his cabin will think he has potty accidents.

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Plastic zipper bags like this work great too.  For those of us who are not SuperMom and don't think to save things like this, Ziplock bags will have to do!

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We pack her toiletries in a basket like this.  We got this basket at a mass retailer, and it's perfect. It's large and has handles to hang it up with. It won't be ruined if it gets wet in the shower.

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There's plenty of room for everything!  The Goose can carry all her toiletries, her pajamas and her towel and washcloth in here when she heads to the bath house for a shower.

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Snacks need a place too!  A plastic shoebox like this works perfectly for storing snacks in. It fits right on top of the drawers, and it can hold a week's worth of goodies.  Now, you can pack a week's worth of granola bars and fruit!  


Who am I kidding?  M&M's, watermelon gum and 3 Amigos (AKA 3 Musketeers - The Goose calls them 3 Amigos) bars are going in there!

Basic Packing List for Camp


All items should be labeled with your child's initials or name.

______ Two outfits per day x _____ days

______ Underwear (2 per day x _____ days)

______ Socks (2 per day x _____ days)

______ Closed toed shoes that can get muddy

______ Water shoes

______ Flip flops for shower

______ Pajamas x ______ nights

______ Swimsuits (At least 2)

______ Cover-up for swimsuits (for girls)

______ T-shirt to swim in (Boys and girls - In case of sunburn)

______ Sweatshirt or jacket for cool nights

______ Rain jacket or umbrella

______ Laundry bag

______ 2 beach towels

______ 2 bath towels

______ 2 wash cloths

______ Fitted sheet for mattress

______ Sleeping bag

______ Pillow

______ Nightlight (Another cute idea I've seen if the child is afraid of the dark but embarrassed about it is to wrap the bunk bed with Christmas lights. They can claim it is just for decoration, but the lights will provided enough light to make them feel safe.)

______ Flashlight

______ Bug spray or an Off Clip-On

______ Sunscreen (Preferably spray-on, so kids can put it on easier)

______ Medication (bagged and labeled to give to the camp nurse)

______ Toothbrush/paste

______ Shampoo/conditioner

______ Soap or body wash (my son uses a body wash that is shampoo too, for ease)

______ Deodorant (if needed)

______ Razor and shaving cream (if needed)

______ Hairbrush

______ Bands to pull hair up in ponytail (for girls)

______ Old rug (to put by bed for wiping feet at bedtime)

______ Playing cards (for rainy days)

______ Notebook or journal and pen or markers (for writing down their thoughts and feelings)

______ Bible (for Bible camp)

______ Snacks and/or money for the canteen

______ A few surprises (toys from the dollar store, etc.) to hide in your child's belongings



I hope these tips are helpful for you and your family, so you will have happy campers this summer!  -Al



 


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