The secrets of packing for camp

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Parents, it's time to start making plans to send your child off to summer camp.

Once you've decided on the perfect camp for Junior, you can start planning what to pack.

Most camps provide lists of what to bring and what not to bring to camp. But ignore the urge to run out and purchase any new items. Shop your child's closet for old T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, swimsuits, jeans, flip-flops, tennis shoes and an inexpensive rain poncho.

Be sure to send a couple of old towels, wash cloths and a laundry bag. Do not send anything that can't easily be replaced. Kids get pretty dirty at camp and can ruin a lot of items in the process.

Keep it simple with toiletries. Pick up a bucket at the dollar store for your child to use to transport shampoo, soap, etc., to the shower. Also pack a toothbrush case, soap and toothpaste. Load them up with bug spray, sunscreen, aloe for sunburns and hydrocortisone cream for bug bites.

A few other things that will make your child's stay more comfortable: Send snacks (if allowed), disposable camera, flashlight, batteries, family photo, extra blanket, post cards, stamps, and books. Older children will want to take their iPods and cell phones. Check the camp's rules about bringing electronics.

Summer camp is meant to be a fun growth experience for your child. If it's your child's first camp visit, don't send anything that you think would trigger homesickness. Let your child know you are only a phone call away.

For now, happy camping!

Laurie Dixon

TheBAG Lady

On the Web

  • - Find sleepaway camps for kids, plus other practical camping information.
  • - Family resource center for how to choose a camp.
  • - Hard-to-find products, such as self-inking clothing stampers, iron-on and sew-on name tapes, cot-size sheets and mattress pads.
  • - Cool campwear, woodsy stationery and small bunk rugs shaped like ladybugs or soccer balls. Camp logo luggage tags.
  • - Bunk organizers and autographable pillowcases, plus advice for parents.
  • - Fast-drying microfiber towels, bunk-bed shelves and mesh laundry bags.
  • Psychologist Christopher Thurber on kids and camp, plus info on his DVD and book.