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Camp 101: How to Prevent Over Packing for Camp

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Hey, Camp Families!

For many kids and parents, sleepaway summer camp is an annual rite. But even families who profess to “know the drill” get caught in the vortex of packing too much. How can you avoid the scourge of over-packing for camp?

Kids do not usually have an abundance of space to keep their stuff at camp, so a less-is-more approach here can be beneficial. Although there is going to be a temptation to pack lots of clothes, consider carefully which clothes they will really need. Gallon-size Ziploc bags can be a very convenient way to organize clothes you pack for your campers. Pack two pairs of shoes, flip flops or sandals, jeans or long pants, extra socks, and extra underwater. Label everything. Place one day’s clothing in one bag and label it. Tell your kids to put their dirty clothes in the bag when they change.

Knowing what not to pack for camp is actually as important as remembering what to pack. Limit the amount of tech gadgets your child packs. Summer camp is a place where children should be breaking away from their daily routines at home and trying different things. Many camps do not permit kids to bring cell phones for this reason.

Make sure the sleeping bag fits your child. Packing a huge sleeping bag for adults when your kid is less than 5 feet tall (and maybe barely 4 feet) is a huge waste of packing space. Don’t pack clothing you wouldn’t want to get dirty. Follow the camp’s suggested packing list, but do not exceed it by including too much clothing or too many other items that are not part of that list. Footwear is a notorious space-eater. A couple of pairs of sneakers are probably all that are necessary. There is no point in packing formal shoes or too many extra pairs of sneakers.

As always, thanks for reading!


- John


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