By Laurie the CampciergeTM
Camp is upon us and if your kids are like mine … they’re asking Alexa or Siri every morning – how many days till camp?! The item sourcing and packing can seem a little overwhelming – especially for first time camp families – but getting the trunks done is the small hurdle to an amazing summer.
As a mom of two Maine campers, and the Campcierge™ who helps families prepare for camp, I’ve learned a thing or two about packing – so here are my top tips to help you pack for a summer at camp in Maine!
Tip 1: Try to stick to your camp’s packing list and not too much more. The camp needs to make sure there is enough space in the cabins for all the campers’ and counselors’ clothes, shoes and gear. Also, camps want the focus to be on enjoying the beautiful lakes and the activities at hand and not all the “stuff.”
Tip 2: Leave the nice stuff at home. You don’t want it to get ruined or lost. And, when it comes to clothes – comfortable and appropriate is the way to go.
Tip 3: Ask a current camp family if there are a few things beyond the list you may want to send. For instance, spirit gear for Color War or July 4th, or a flannel shirt for hoe down or a tie-dye shirt for a Woodstock Day.
Tip 4: Label everything. From clothing to water bottles and everything else you can think of – many kids have the same stuff, so label all the items you send. And, send your camper with some extra labels and/or a Sharpie marker in case labels come off or they get new, additional items while at camp.
Tip 5: Wash things – especially the dark colored items – at home first so they don’t run in the camp laundry.
Tip 6: I like to pack my kids’ stuff in big Ziploc bags inside the trunks. If the trunks get wet while in transit to or from camp, the stuff inside stays dry. Also, obviously pack items like tennis rackets between softer items like comforter and sheets. And make sure you have all the specialty items you’ll need (e.g., if your child is taking equestrian they’ll need the helmet and boots).
Tip 7: Do buy a few “fun” things for down time and décor in the cabins. A few items include playing cards, Pick-up sticks, beads and string for bracelets, patterned duct tape, stickers for books and trading (a couple popular types are Stickerbeans and Oilies), Fathead wall decals, and small basketball stick-on hoops.
Tip 8: Photos – my kids like to bring pics from home of family and friends (and of course the family dog!). I give these in their “bus bag” or “plane bag” along with Fun-Tak and Scotch tape so they can hang them up by their bed.
Tip 9: Stationery – buy some fun stationery to help motivate your camper to write home. Pre-address some envelopes to the parents and any other friends/relatives to whom your camper should write. For reluctant writers, fill-in-the-blank postcards can make it easier for them to fill you in on all the fun their having. But don’t have major expectations for a lot of letters – the campers are busy with their activities.
Tip 10: Don’t bug out! Mosquitos and ticks are an “ungreat” part of the “great outdoors.” I recently learned about Ranger Ready Repellents™, a new Maine Camp Experience partner, which are Deet-Free and environmentally friendly. The repellents have Picaridin for protection, which is recommended by the EPA and CDC. The repellents can be purchased at Ranger Ready store in CT or online at: www.rangerready.com. And don’t forget the sunscreen.
For specific items and other tips, you can also check out this recent post for Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Maine Camp Experience Resources & Tools
Looking for the perfect Maine camp for your child? Try out our helpful tool where you can select a camp by choosing: type of camp (girls, boys or coed) and session length (1-8 weeks). It helps to narrow down a few camps to a manageable list that includes rates. Then you can research these camps in more depth.
Next, be sure to contact our Maine Camp Guide, Laurie to discuss these camps as well as for free, year-round advice and assistance on choosing a great Maine summer camp for your child.
Talk to Laurie, our Maine Campcierge™, about choosing the right camp for your child and what to do in Maine.