We've Got Your 2021 Summer Camp Packing List

Now that summer camps are back in the swing of things this year, we’re positive that kids going to sleepaway camps are excited to get a few weeks away. And we’re also pretty sure that parents agree. We all need a break from our everyday lives. You’ve probably already selected the camp your child will attend and followed the appropriate protocols, whether your child is just going to be tested for COVID-19, or fully vaccinated by the time camp starts. Once you and your child have those safety precautions discussions, (like washing their hands frequently, using hand sanitizer and keeping a safe social distance), it’s all about the gear.

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This summer, the kiddos going to camp will likely continue to wear masks and need lots of hand sanitizer on deck. If you’re sending your kid to a sleepaway camp, it’s about time you started packing for it. The summer camp packing list remains pretty much the same as it has in years past, so read on for some tried and true tips and suggestions.

Things to remember

The earlier you begin packing, the less stressed out you’re going to be — but first, you need a game plan. Before you rummage through your their closets, check with the camp about their policies. Chances are, they will have a list of items that they supply for each camper. Additionally, they may provide a list of recommended or prohibited items that you should consult before stocking up.

You should also consider how long your kid will be at camp to determine the amount of clothing and toiletries she’ll need. The camp should be able to tell you if and how often laundry services are provided, as well as its policy on mail and summer camp care packages (not all camps permit gifted goods, which could be bad news if you forgot that one toy your child absolutely needs to fall asleep).

Feel free also to include your campers as you pack. Having their help will likely make them more involved and independent, as well as allow you to prepare your kids for summer camp and answer any questions they may have.

If they’re concerned about being homesick (or you are), pack something from home that will comfort them.

“I’ve always encouraged the kids — even when they’re 11 — you got a favorite blanket at home? Bring it,” Kevin Nissen, director of Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, Arizona, told us. “You got a stuffed animal that you think you’re gonna be embarrassed about? Bring it. Nobody will bother you about it. Everybody probably wishes they had theirs.”

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Camp packing list

Here are a few items you’ll want to pack, whether your kiddo is going to a camp nearby or one of the many unique summer camps across the country.

Reusable water bottle

A version of this article was originally published in May 2020.

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