It’s finally happening: your little one isn’t so little anymore and is heading off to an overnight camp. You’re one step closer to reclaiming your summer freedom!
Summer at an overnight camp is a rite of passage and life-changing experience for many Canadian kids. While parents know that sending them off for a few weeks of fun and adventure is just what they need after a long year at school, it’s hard to relinquish that control and closeness you have with your kid every day. As parents, we ask ourselves: Are they having fun? Have they made friends? Are they okay?
To help you feel more at ease, we’ve rounded up some unique and practical overnight camp essentials to ensure your kid feels right at home in their new surroundings.
If it’s going to camp, it had better have a label on it!
Most well-known label companies like Lovable Labels help you gear up for camp with special value packages offering every possible type of label you’ll need. While there’s a good chance some of the gear and clothing you send off with your kids will end up a distant memory, properly labelling your kids’ stuff increases your chances that you’ll get it back.
2. 3-in-1 Body Wash, Shampoo, and Conditioner
Let’s face it: kids get dirty at camp. Like, really dirty. Without mom there to check their nails or make sure they don’t skip the conditioner, chances are their skin will be slightly darker on visitor’s day (and not from a tan).
Enter the 3-in-1. 3-in-1’s are available from a variety of brands and offer body wash, shampoo, and conditioner in one bottle. The less stuff your kid has to bring into the shower the more likely they are to get the job done, right? And don’t forget a portable shower caddy for easy transport.
If you have a little bookworm who loves to curl up with a good book before bed, help them maintain their familiar routine. Indigo carries a perfect clip-on light with a flexible neck to attach to your child’s bunk or book. It also has a dimmer, making it a perfect choice for bedtime reading.
The right light is also important for late night bathroom runs. Rather than packing a typical flashlight, get them a headlamp to leave them hands-free in the washroom. It also gives them a better range of sight on the trek back to the cabin.
4. Comforts of Home
Help your child personalize their space in the cabin with little reminders of home. A small inexpensive rug from Camp Connection can help cozy up their area, plus it’s very useful for getting the sand and dirt off their feet before they climb into bed.
In case homesickness strikes, sending your little one away with a few family photos will give them some comfort as well. These can be stored inside their toolbox—the perfect catch-all for their personal belongings, stationary, Uno cards, and mementos.
5. Letter Supplies
Most overnight camps have strict letter-writing policies and campers are expected to write home regularly. Help make it easier on your kid by providing them with envelopes already addressed and stamped to those they should be writing.
Add in some cute stationary and funny fill-in letters from companies like Ladybugs Creative Stationery to make connecting with those at home even more fun!
6. Bug Protection
Dealing with mosquitos and their voracious appetites is arguably one of the biggest downsides of camp.
Arm your kid against bites and other skin irritations with the right tools. OFF! Clip On Mosquito Repellent is a great choice for kids with sensitive skin, or those who aren’t likely to spend the time applying bug spray. If they do still end up with a lot of bites, a soothing ointment like Solarcaine can relieve some of the irritation.
As for other overnight camp essentials, follow the camp packing guide provided by your camp as much as possible. Even though much of it may not be returning home, your child will be gaining a lifetime of experience and memories with each and every passing summer, making it all worth it.
Visit our camp labels and accessories guide for more great camp essentials and let us know if we’ve forgotten any of your go-to’s!