20 Obvious (& Not-So-Obvious) Items to Pack for Kids Heading to Camp

Mandy Velez | Jun 13, 2019 Big Kid
20 Obvious (& Not-So-Obvious) Items to Pack for Kids Heading to Camp
Image: @fate423 via Twenty20

@fate423 via Twenty20

Summer camp is a staple of American culture. As soon as school's out, camp gears up and takes tons of kids and toddlers (yes, toddlers have camps!) for the day, or weeks at a time in some wooded area. It's a time for the kiddos to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of life, to interact with other kids their age, and -- most importantly -- give parents and guardians the breaks they so desperately need. Some parents have never been to camp before, while others are veterans. But of those who have some kind of experience with it, camp comes highly recommended. As one mom wrote for CafeMom: "It establishes independence -- Sure, going into a new situation where they don't know anyone can be a little bit scary at first, but kids need to learn to be comfortable being away from their parents."

Camp does other cool things for kids, too, like giving them routine, a mental break, and keeping them active. But with camp comes (dun dun dun) the packing. Now, packing for anything isn't anyone's favorite thing. Packing for a kid doing something that's not entirely known is even harder. And with some camps banning care packages from home, it is essential to make sure they're sent off with what they need -- even if they're in day camp. Days are long, usually wet, and there's nothing worse than not having a towel, sunscreen, or other essential. 

This is why we found it vital to compile a list of obvious and not-so-obvious things parents can pack for their children who are going to camp. Some things are must-haves for camp (we can't stress sunscreen enough, it's so vital!). But other things may or may not be on camp lists (some camps send those) but may be helpful or fun for the kiddo to have. Take a look below and happy packing! 

Psst: If purchasing an item on this list, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

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