This post is sponsored by YMCA of Greater Houston. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Jayden and Jimmy are all signed up for YMCA Camp Cullen and leave on Sunday! It’s time to pack! This post is all about packing lists, tips & hacks for overnight camp for your child.
I did all the research to find a great summer camp for the kids and know that they will make so many memories at YMCA Camp Cullen. This week, all my research has been on packing for camp and making sure they have everything they need.
Start with the camps suggested packing list and parent handbook. YMCA Camp Cullen has a thorough packing checklist already created on their site. It outlines clothing, bedding, toiletries and optional additional items to bring. As a camp that has been established for 75 years I trust that they have extensive experience in what a camper needs to have a great week at camp.
To begin the packing process I suggest laying out your clothes in daily wear piles. We always pack at least one extra day of clothing to be sure they don’t run out of clothes to wear.
Pack clothes for each day in plastic bags. This includes socks & underwear. This will keep their suitcase organized. The zip lock bag can be used as a laundry bag at the end of each day.
Label, Label, Label Don’t trust that your child’s items won’t be accidentally mixed in to a communal pile in the cabin. Make it easy for everyone to identify which items belong to your child by labeling everything you send with them to camp. Consider using washi tape or a specific color to help your child identify what is theirs.
Toiletry Caddy. Fingers crossed that my boys brush their teeth and take good showers all week! I am glad that YMCA Camp Cullen encourages self-responsibility while at camp and the counselors are trained to encourage & monitor their campers to exercise proper hygiene and care during the week. Creating a water-proof caddy that can be easily carried to the bathroom will hopefully make it easy for them to keep their things together as well as stay clean! This is where those little hotel shampoos and lotions come in really handy.
Stamped envelopes & care boxes. YMCA Camp Cullen encourages the children to write at least one letter home during the week and also encourages families to send letters to the children during their week at camp. Send pre-stamped cards with your child to write letters to you. And plan on sending in advance letters to your child or dropping them off at camp to be delivered to your child throughout the week.
You may also be allowed to send a “Care Package.” Which could include books, stickers, and other items related to the camp theme.
Print a Packing List for your child to remember what they brought. This will be especially helpful at the end of the week when your child is gathering his things to check off each item as they put them back in the suitcase.
Do NOT Pack: New clothes, valuables, & electronics.
This is not the time to shop for new clothes. Camp is all about getting dirty and letting loose. I am running to the thrift store to grab a few extra shorts and shirts that the boys need since they had a growth spurt over the past few months. This way, I am not upset if something doesn’t come home or is stained beyond repair after their week at camp.
Please, consider that a valuable or very sentimental item should not be sent to camp. Rule of thumb: if you would be upset if it did not come home, then DON’T pack it!
Camp is all about unplugging from technology and their normal routine. It will push them to see beyond the world they are comfortable in. Leave all the electronics at home. Most camps, like YMCA Camp Cullen have a no electronics policy which also will make it easy for saying “no” when you child asks if they can bring their phone or iPad.
Hopefully, these tips will help you as you pack for your child’s week of overnight camp. I am sure I will be updating this list every year with more ideas and lessons learned.
If you haven’t registered your child for a week of overnight camp yet, get all my tips for finding a great summer camp for your child and check out YMCA Camp Cullen if you are in the Houston area, as an amazing option for making memories & learning valuable life lessons & skills this summer.