A Parent’s Guide to Summer Camp Survival

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.


Summer Camp Preparation and Survival by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com


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.


How to Pack for Overnight Camp by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com

 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.


How to Pack for Overnight Camp by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com


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.


How to Pack for Overnight Camp by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com


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.


Summer Camp Care Package by coconutheadsurvivalguide.com


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.


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17 comments on A Parent’s Guide to Summer Camp Survival

  1. Cynthia L
    June 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm (2 years ago)

    You are just perfect! I love all of these ideas. I was not nearly as prepared as you are when I first sent my daughter off to camp. I love the idea of disposable clothing! You never know if what you send them off with will come back!

    • Holly
      June 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Cynthia – I think I picked up about half of “disposable” clothes for maybe $5.00 at yard sales and thrift stores. It didn’t matter what the shirts looked like or if they were too big. I knew they would be covered in mud in a matter of minutes. Hugs, Holly

  2. Dawn @ We Call It Junkin
    June 6, 2014 at 7:09 am (2 years ago)

    Good tips, esp about the kids not know what day of the week it is, so # the bags.

    • Holly
      June 6, 2014 at 9:42 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Dawn – One can try, but kids being kids at camp will still probably wear the same clothes all week LOL! Hugs, Holly

  3. Patti
    June 6, 2014 at 11:06 am (2 years ago)


    • Holly
      June 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Patti – Thank you for stopping by and pinning! Hugs, Holly

  4. Joey Lynn Resciniti (@BTaC_blog)
    June 7, 2014 at 7:36 am (2 years ago)

    I’m going to pin this for next summer. We decided not to do a multi-night camp this year, but it’s going to happen soon. I like that zip lock bag idea. I just wonder how all of that looks when it comes home?

    • Holly
      June 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Joey – Coming home… everything is covered in mud and needs to be seriously disinfected LOL! Hugs, Holly

  5. Melissa French
    June 7, 2014 at 5:52 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a very helpful post, thanks for sharing. Hello from Creative Collection Linky Party.

    • Holly
      June 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Melissa – Thanks so much! Hugs, Holly

  6. Rebecca
    June 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm (2 years ago)

    What a great list and walk-thru. I will be saving this for when my boys are a little older 🙂 I’d love to see you link it up at Off the Hook Monday!

    • Holly
      June 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Rebecca – Thank you for stopping by and for the invitation! Hugs, Holly

  7. Carrie Groneman
    June 11, 2014 at 12:10 am (2 years ago)

    Where were you and your great list when my kids were going to camp!?! You have done a terrific job putting this together and very useful information. Co-hosting from Wonderful Wed Blog Hop, Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

    • Holly
      June 12, 2014 at 9:05 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Carrie – On words it looks good, but the clothes still come back from camp covered in mud and half of the bags not even opened LOL! Hugs, Holly

  8. Carrie Groneman
    June 11, 2014 at 12:57 am (2 years ago)

    Holly I featured your post! Love the information. Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow, fb

    • Holly
      June 12, 2014 at 9:06 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Carrie – Thank you soooo much for the feature. You are so very kind! Hugs, Holly

  9. Meala
    December 29, 2015 at 11:04 am (5 months ago)

    Good ideas


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