Our whole family has been excitedly awaiting the return of summer camp. The anticipation has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim year. Now, seemingly all of the sudden, opening day is almost upon us. June 27th will be here before you know it!
The realization has, honestly, snuck up on us as we work to finish out the school year and spring sports strong. The hot weather reminds us that it is time to shift gears and start thinking about gathering up our supplies, pulling out our trunks and duffels and strategically packing for camp. As a seasoned camp family (this will be our 8th summer sending a child off to camp), we’ve got our systems, and we thought we’d share a few pointers with the WLC community and invite any additional ideas, too.
THE PACKING LIST:
The packing list provided by camp is definitely comprehensive but we have a few suggestions:
- Our TOP recommendation: Include a foam egg crate mattress topper with the bedding; a comfy bed is a happy bed.
- Pack additional socks and underwear factoring in multiple changes on any given day.
- Sneakers will get beaten up so send old sneakers if you have them and hold off on buying new ones for school in the Fall.
- A toiletry tote makes getting to and from the wayside easier.
- Siesta is a great time to get summer reading (or pleasure reading) done; consider sending an old school (not back lit) Kindle fully loaded and fully charged so your son doesn’t have to lug heavy books in his luggage or write home for you to send him more. Just make sure it can’t connect to internet and has no games on it!
- Also consider dropping off some books for the camp library that are appropriate for campers and counselors to give the shelves some fresh inventory.
- A small clip-on battery powered reading light makes for hands-free reading.
- Swim goggles that your son is comfortable wearing.
- To keep cool on those hot days on the Knoll, a small, battery-powered fan that can clip on to the bunk or hang from a nail on the wall or a water bottle with misting fan like an O2Cool.
Whether your son brings a trunk or large duffel to camp, starting out organized will help him find what he needs every day. A few suggestions:
- Pack items that will be unpacked upon arrival (bedding, laundry bag, towels, shoes) in a separate bag that can be folded up and stored away.
- For trunk packing, pack most used items (socks, underwear, shorts and t-shirts) on the top for easy access. If your trunk has a tray, pack those items in the tray so it can be lifted out to access other items used less regularly.
- For duffel bag or trunk packing, look into using packing cubes and pack each cube with one type of clothing for easy access.
ITEMS TO MAKE HIS CABIN MORE HOMEY:
The first few days at camp might be met with some homesickness. Know that his counselors and the senior staff are ready to help him settle in, but a few thoughtful items from home may help too. A few pictures of your family, pets, or friends that he can look at may make him feel better, and a steady stream of upbeat, enthusiastic letters from home are always exciting to receive. Think about packing a few encouraging notes in his bag that he may be surprised to find or label them for “night 1”, “night 2” opening. Also, share his address with friends and family so they can send him letters, too.
Now that we’ve dusted off our packing pointers, it is time to pull it all together. Please post any suggestions you may have, and see you on the Knoll soon!
The Crellin Family
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