10. Water bottle with name written on it
Spring for one of those BPF free ones and write their name in either sharpie or fabric marker. Seriously, that stuff never comes off! In fact, just write their name on everything!
9. Rain Gear
Pick up a cheap plastic poncho at Target and put it in the bottom of their backpack in case of rain. It takes up almost no space, is super light weight, and if a sudden storm pops up they will stay dry and you can just air it out and re-pack it once you’re home.
8. Peanut Free lunch that does not need to be refrigerated
A lot of camps advertise refrigerators for keeping lunches cold but trust us, kids forget to hand the lunches in, fridges get overfull and don’t keep items uniformly cold because of the way they’re stacked, all sorts of crazy stuff can happen at any camp. Be safe and pack a lunch that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. As for the peanut free thing, that’s pretty much standard everywhere now.
7. Closed Toe Shoes
They’re going to go tromping through the woods and we can guarantee they will stub their toes, trip on roots, or drop that cool looking rock they collected. Closed toe shoes can keep that Oh! from becoming an OW!
6. Bug Spray and Sunscreen
Yes! Put it on before they even get to camp. Yes! Put their name on the can and put it in their backpack. Yes! They will end up getting bitten anyway and might come home with red noses. It’s all part of camp life.
5. Hat with their name written inside
This will help them stay cool and prevent possible sunstroke. Just for kicks write their name backwards on the front. If they sweat during the day there’s a chance the ink will transfer and they will come home with their name emblazoned across their forehead. (We don’t know if that last bit will actually work but it would make a wicked funny childhood photo for you)
An apple and some goldfish crackers can make any day great.
3. A Gallon sized Ziploc bag
Remember that wet poncho from tip #9? How about the wet swimsuit and towel that you just know are coming home every day? Write their name on the front in sharpie and tell them to put anything wet in the Ziploc. You can thank us later.
2. An emergency kit
Take a little Ziploc or plastic Tupperware. Put inside 2-3 different sized fun band aids, a small role of gauze, an alcohol wipe, and a couple of stickers. It will help them feel that they can take care of themselves like grown-ups and if anyone in their group gets hurt they will feel like a hero.
1. A note from you
You don’t need to do this every day and it doesn’t need to be a big deal but every once in awhile write a quick note and put it somewhere they will find it later in the day. You can reference a goal that they have for camp like “Good luck in archery today, I know you can get a bulls eye! –Love Mom” or even just say “Have a great adventure today –Love Dad.” They will get it, read it, roll their eyes and act embarrassed in front of their friends, and love you right back.