As days get longer and warmer in the Pacific Northwest it's time to think about sending my oldest off to summer camp. It's not her first year leaving us for a week to go to camp, but it is somewhat of an adjustment because last year was her first year as a overnight camper. I'm a bit more prepared, as is she, and we have a better idea of things she needs to make the most of her week away.

Last year we made a couple mistakes. Chayce packed so much stuff that her dad had to wheel her full size suitcase up the gravel hill to her cabin. Seeing as she was the only camper coming equipped with luggage rather than the standard backpack it was embarrassing. For us both. It didn't end there, though. I thought I was being such a great mother and mailed out a super cute letter and a few surprises thinking that she would be so surprised when she received them. Well, although I sent her care package the day after we dropped her off, it didn't arrive until two days after we picked her up. Mom fail.

This year she's downsizing and I'm getting prepared early.

In addition to the standards (sleeping bag, raincoat, warm clothes, toiletries, bug spray and swimsuit) we are packing the following items that will make it virtually impossible for the week at camp to be anything but fun for both her and her bunkmates.

  1. water shoes from Native shoes
  2. journal for writing about camp, signatures and phone numbers from new friends, and taping in little souvenirs and pictures. 'It's a Beautiful Day' journal from Eccolo. Similar journal can be found on Amazon
  3. glow sticks
  4. beach towels
  5. water bottle
  6. comfy slippers and warm socks
  7. fun lip gloss from TonyMoly
  8. coloring book Tangle Wood available on amazon along with many other beautiful coloring books.
  9. art supplies pens from Staedler or Le Pen, colored pencils from eeboo washi tape, etc
  10. temporary tattoos assorted gold flash tattoos or emoji tattoos from amazon 
  11. reading material Most camps are technology free so it's nice for the kids to have some books or magazines to revive their interest in actually reading something that they can physically hold. Bush Craft A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival available on Amazon
  12. embroidery floss for doing hair wraps or making friendship bracelets Hair Wraps kit available at JCrew.com
  13. playing cards The Natural World playing card collection from US Games
  14. nail art markers and nail polish remover pen
  15. flashlight
  16. instant camera and film Fujifilm Instax Mini 8
  17. sunscreen
  18. air freshener scentsy travel tin available from distributors
Many of these items can also be sent in a care package.  Which I will be sending a few days before she leaves this time around.

In the care package I am planning on including
  • mad libs 
    Worst Case Scenario Survival Mad Libs from Amazon
  • cute postcards
    compliment postcard set from Ban.do
  • stickers
    sticker book bundle from Ban.do 
    or doughnut collection from Meri Meri
  • henna paste
  • more bubble gum because they do not allow candy at camp
  • face mask singles and pore strips to turn the bunk into a mini spa
What other ideas do you have for fun things to bring to summer camp? Or, what things are your kids always asking you to send them in their summer camp care packages?