Overnight summer camp can be a lot of fun for the kids, but stressful for the parents – here are 12 tips and one DIY for your own summer camp survival.
Preparing for Summer Camp
These tips will help you prepare for summer camp, even before you know all of the details. Keep a large box in your child’s room and use it to hold all of the items needed as you gather them.
1. Make a list of what you need.
2. Look for coupons and sales.
3. There are some items that will definitely be needed, even before you get “THE LIST” – band aids, neosporin, flashlight, and other medical supplies.
4. Purchase water shoes if needed. They usually sell out quickly.
5. Pick up extra socks and undies.
6. Hit the thrift store and yard sales for “disposable” t-shirts and shorts – ones that if they don’t return or return ruined, you won’t be upset.
7. While at the thrift store, pick up extra towels or sheets if you don’t have them at home.
8. Check with other parents – is there gear you can borrow?
9. Plan for the unexpected and for Murphy’s Law to rule. If they are calling for 90 degree heat, it will be 50 degrees and raining. Just sayin!
How to Pack for Summer Camp
These tips are in addition to all of the special items your child needs for camp. Most of the time, parents will get a sheet of paper listing what to pack.
10. Lay out an outfit for each day of camp, plus one extra day. Also note if there are any special days for the kids to wear camp t-shirts or a certain color t-shirt.
11. Place each day’s outfit in a plastic bag that seals. Use Washi Tape or other decorative tape to number the bags. The kids will have no idea what day of the week it is, so the numbering system works better than the days of the week.
12. Roll the clothes for each day in a separate bag. You will want to include a t-shirt, shorts, undies, and socks. Pack in reverse order so the kids will see #1 first.
Like I said, this is in addition to EVERYTHING else you will need to pack. One can only hope that the kids will wear clean clothes each day. We can at least try, right?
How to Make a Care Package
This craft is customized for Stepson’s favorite print – Camo. You can obviously customize it to your child’s favorite colors and interests.
1. Find an old shoe box.
2. Wrap in colorful Duck Tape.
I don’t have one of those fancy schmancy Sillouette machines, so I had to stencil Stepson’s name by hand.
3. Paint or stencil your child’s name on top of the box. I used a military style print.
4. Fill with their favorite goodies that will not break, spoil, or melt. Gummy candies, Twizzlers, and Skittles are always a favorite. I also like to include a little flashlight. Even if they have one, kids love to play with flashlights in the dark.
5. A note to let your child know that you are thinking about them is always a nice touch. Even though they will go straight to the candy.
6. Either give the care package ahead of time to the camp leader, or be sure to mail it in plenty of time to arrive for the mid-week homesickness.
7. If you really want to score points as parent of the year, ask the camp leader if you can donate the ingredients to make s’mores for one night.
Last but certainly not least… schedule some alone time with your spouse or friends or even yourself and enjoy the peace and quiet!
Connect and Share
What about you? What are your favorite summer camp survival tips?
Love, hugs, and always be prepared.