How to Pack Your Teen for Summer Camp

The place has been chosen, and all the forms are signed. Your teen has been pestering you to go for ages, and you’ve finally decided a fun adventure away from home in a teen summer camp is just what your kid needs. What’s the next step for your excited camper? It’s time to pack! Here’s a list to make the first trip to summer camp a success.

  • Trust the “suggested packing list.” This list contains information from people who’ve worked at the camp. Ask the parents of former campers if there is anything they would add to the list. Study the camp website and look for reviews from prior campers and parents for extra insider information.
  • Use a plastic footlocker. It’s easier to clean, and it’s lighter to carry. Have your teen print their name on it clearly and affix a list of everything packed inside to the inside of it.
  • Place each outfit in a clean gallon-sized plastic bag. Add underwear, socks, shirts and socks to each bag. This will keep your teenager organized as well as keep their clean clothes separate from the dirty ones. Consider adding a laundry sack to their footlocker as well. Make sure all the clothes you pack are camp-appropriate. They should be easy to move in and easy to wash clean.
  • Label everything! Label clothing, towels, water bottles, sleeping bags, backpacks, swimsuits, sheets, toiletries and electronics. It’s so easy to lose your things when they look just like everybody else’s. Be sure to pack mailing supplies, like pre-stamped envelopes, pens and paper. It’ll be fun to hear from your teenager and to know they are doing well and thriving in their new environment.
  • Don’t forget the shower shoes! Camp bathroom floors aren’t known for their cleanliness. It’s also a great idea to send their toiletries in a small bucket or clear bag, so your teenager will be able to easily carry their products to the camp bathroom.
  • A good water bottle will be reused over and over again to keep your camper hydrated. Investing in a few stainless steel or reusable plastic ones is a great decision. And, again, don’t forget to label them!
  • Remember to pack any needed medications, clearly labeled with a note to the camp director explaining why they are important to your teenager.
  • Think about packing a few items for a teenager to use in their downtime. These can be books, board games, a drawing pad with colored pencils or cute new journal.