Packing for Camp

Editor’s Note: The following post was written by Leann Strnadel, Pine Cove camper and counselor mom. She has some great tips on packing for camp that we think will be very helpful for anyone heading to camp this summer!


There is always a lot of excitement when getting ready to attend Summer Camp! My two children have been going to Pine Cove since day camp, and now I have a son at the Shores and a daughter who will be spending her second summer as a counselor at the Timbers. I was a camper myself, and I remember one thing vividly: a specific reaction from mothers when my best friend was picked up wearing the same outfit that she had been wearing when she was dropped off! This story has been retold countless times, and my kids are aware that if they wear the same thing all week, they had better wash up and put on something clean for my arrival on Saturday morning! Over the years, I have done a lot of camp packing and smelly washing! Here are a few things that work for our family:

1. Make sure your child is involved. Let them pull out the clothes/swimsuit/theme night outfits that they want to wear.

2. Follow the list provided on the website – I print it out and let my child cross items off as we pack.

3. Put an outfit for each day in a gallon Ziploc freezer bag and label it by day (I even put socks and underwear inside). This keeps the outfit dry and is easy for them to pull out. They stack up inside a trunk well.

4. Name or initials on everything (Clothing, soap containers, tooth brushes, etc.)

5. Put everything in a container/trunk. I buy ours at Academy. They are plastic and red, and my kids use a Sharpie to decorate. I know you can get fancier, but my kids just are not the fancy kind!

6. Make sure that you do not send items that are not on the list. Please don’t send gum, phones, or other electronics. It is inconvenient and awkward when counselors have to take them up and keep them for the week.

7. Let your child actually pack or help you pack. They need to know where to find the toothbrush and sunscreen. If they open the bag and can’t find it – odds are it won’t get used during the week!

No matter what or how you pack, camp is going to be a wonderful time of growing closer to Jesus, meeting new friends and having a blast! And don’t worry, if your child happens to forget their underwear, as my daughter’s roommate did one year, camp staff will run to WalMart and get them some!

Camper-Wearing-Sombrero