We are super excited for Lainey as she will be attending a sleep away camp with her best friend up north this summer. From everyone I’ve talked to who grew up going to summer camp, all I ever hear is how it’s the best experience ever. I was a counselor at a YMCA camp on a lake in Michigan for four summers in a row when I was in college, and I’ll never forget the magic. Our campers waited all year for that one week of camp they described as their favorite week of their lives. I can’t wait to hear about the stories she experiences, but for now I’m geeking out that I get to do the summer camp mom thing. We are carefully packing her giant duffel, guided by the camp’s packing list (it’s extensive); and I’m having so much fun putting together epic camp packages for her to open while she’s there. If you’ve been following long, you know I’ve had a love affair with all things summer camp from the first time I saw Parent Trap…
I thought I’d share a big round-up of our camp favorites and what we’re packing to add some fun to Lainey’s summer camp experience.
1. Camping Spot It – I’ve written about Spot It! before–It’s one of our favorite games, all my kids can play, and it’s so easy to throw in a purse for travel. We play it on planes, in restaurants, etc. And there’s a camping version! Perfect for a rainy day in the cabin with bunk mates.
2. Letters from Camp Mad Libs – We’ve had many a laughing fit reading Mad Libs out loud. It’s a great ice breaker for new friends, and this version is all camp themed.
3. Travel Connect 4 – Small enough to throw in the big camp duffel and nice to have for down time.
4. S’mores Stationery and Stamps – There’s no e-mail or digital communication, so letters it is. I’m only asking for one, mainly so I can tuck it away as a keepsake. We’re also addressing a few more envelopes with friends’ addresses. Letters from camp is a summer rite of passage.
5. Caterpillar Summer – This is one of Lainey’s summer read picks, and while I’m sure camp will keep her busy outside, it’s nice to have a book to read before bed.
6. Clip-on Book Light – For reading in bed.
7. Yellow Tie-front Camp Tee – a nice combo of that retro camp vibe with a modern tie-front twist.
9. Mad Love Sandals – These are girls’ sandals, but I’ve bought them for all three of my kids in summers past. They’re a great Birkenstock knock-off, easy to slip on an off for quick trips to the bathroom and great for the lake.
10. Rainbow Hair Extentions – To add a little fun to a cabin full of girls.
11. Plain White Pillowcases – Combine with #17 fabric markers, and you have a fun afternoon activity and a great keepsake to bring home from camp.
12. Water Shoes – Great for the shower or the lake. We bought Lainey’s for camp, but she recently wore them to a beach outing where the broken shells on the shore were pretty brutal–they were perfect for keeping her feet from getting cut up.
13. Battery-operated Twinkle Lights – For decorating the cabin/bunk.
14. Glow Sticks – Cabin glow party
15. Kodak Instant Camera Kit – There’s no iPads or phones allowed at camp (which I love!), so any pictures will have to be taken with cameras. I’m stashing her bag with her instant camera and camera paper.
16. Essential Oil Roller Balls – Making Thieves oil rollers to keep her healthy.
17. Fabric Markers – for decorating pillow cases, t-shirts, etc.
18. Camp Journal
19. Insect Repellent
20. Sport Sunscreen – Begging her to stay covered. I love the Think sport sunscreen for her age–it’s free of biological harmful chemicals and has the highest level of water resistance.
21. Clothing labels – Everything she brings has to be labeled with her name. These stick to clothes and hold up in the wash.
You can find more camp essentials on our Everything Summer Camp Amazon list.
Let’s get together, yeah, yeah, yeah!