Packing for Camp: Tips to Make Sure Your Child is Prepared

May 27, 2010

A day at camp is filled with endless possibilities: swimming, hiking, playing sports — the list goes on and on. With all of these different activities in mind (not to mention changes in weather), making sure you pack the right thing for your child’s every camp experience can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some tried-and-true items that you can send to camp with your child to ensure they are prepared for almost anything. The American Camp Association® (ACA) offers this head-to-toe summer camp packing list:

  • Headgear — This includes items like scarves, bandannas, baseball caps, eyeglasses, sunglasses, and swimming goggles.
  • Clothing — T-shirts/tank tops, shorts, long pants, a jacket, a swim suit, pajamas and robe, and of course, underwear should be included.
  • Footwear — Consider items such as boots, tennis shoes, sandals, dress shoes, and socks.

Also consider what to pack in these areas:

Bed and Bath: towels, as well as a blanket, pillow, pillow cases, sheets, sleeping bag, laundry bag, and mattress pad.

Bathroom Kit: a brush and comb, shampoo, soap and soap container, toothbrush and holder, toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellent, feminine products, sun block, shaving gear, and lip balm with sun block in it.

Other items: books and magazines, flashlights and batteries, frisbees or other toys, a water bottle, and writing materials. When considering electronics, musical instruments, and other special gear, check with the camp about policies.

ACA recommends that families prepare for camp together. Decisions about camp, including what to pack, should be made together as a family. When children participate in the decision-making process, their likelihood of enjoying a positive experience is improved.

For a more complete list of items to pack, or for expert advice on what to pack or preparing for camp, visit ACA’s parent resource site at Families can search ACA’s Find a Camp database, which allows families to look for a camp based on region, activity, cultural focus, budget, session length, and much more! In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

Contact Public Relations at 765.349.3317 or to interview an ACA spokesperson or for more information about the camp experience. For customizable public service announcements or article reprints, visit our Media Center at

About ACA
The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-accredited camps that meet up to 300 health and safety standards. For more information, visit