Packing for your child's summer camp venture can feel like a mounting challenge, especially if you are a first-time parent walking this path or a seasoned veteran looking to improve from last year's experiences. From outfitting your child with snug clothing, preparing comfortable bedding essentials for those chilly bunk bed nights, to including everyday toiletries, the list can seem daunting.

To aid various parent types, we've leveraged data from over 15,000 summer camp businesses listed on Camps With Friends and churned out a comprehensive packing guide for you. Here we detail everything— from the very basics like toothbrushes and raincoats, to convenience items like a reusable water bottle— so no critical item is forgotten. Let's explore our ultimate guide to prepare a foolproof packing list, ensuring your child enjoys an unparalleled summer camp adventure.


The Top 10 Essentials: Pack for camp.

  1. Essential Clothing for Summer Camp

    • Comfortable everyday wear

    • Sufficient underwear

    • Pajamas

    • Socks

    • Jackets/sweatshirts

    • Raincoat or foldaway rain poncho

    • Sneakers and sandals

  2. Bedding and Sleeping Essentials

    • Mattress cover

    • Blanket or sleeping bag

    • Pillow and pillowcases

    • Sheets

    • An extra thin layer or light jacket for colder nights

  3. Important Toiletries for Camp Comfort

    • Toothbrush and toothpaste

    • Soap or body wash

    • Deodorant

    • Shampoo & conditioner

    • Extra toiletries as needed

  4. Additional Items for Convenience and Enjoyment

    • Towels (shower and beach)

    • Multiple bathing suits

    • Sunscreen

    • Reusable water bottle

    • A light jacket or vest for colder weather

  5. Managing Medications and Prescriptions at Summer Camp

    • Understand the camp's medication policies, procedures for storage, and rules regarding over-the-counter medicines

    • Communicate with camp staff about your child's medications, dosages, and any specific health instructions

    • Fill out the necessary health forms and provide documents for allergies or special accommodations

    • Pack medications in their original containers, properly labeled, and consider using a pill organizer for multiple medications

    • Provide a copy of the original prescription in case it is required by the camp or for emergencies

    • Discuss the importance of medication compliance with your child and the need to report any missed doses or side effects

    In summary, when sending your child to summer camp with medications or prescriptions, make sure to understand the camp's policies, communicate with camp staff about your child's health needs, and pack medications in a safe and organized manner. Preparing in advance and discussing the importance of medication compliance with your child will ensure their well-being and a smooth camp experience.


Sending your child to a sleep away summer camp can be a rewarding experience that fosters personal growth, independence, and lasting friendships. By preparing well through researching camp policies, creating a packing list, managing medications, and staying organized, you are setting your child up for success and wonderful memories.

As you embark on this journey, don't forget to enjoy the exclusive benefits of a free account with Camps With Friends. This platform simplifies the camp-selection process and helps you make informed choices while offering valuable perks.

Good luck, parents! You're doing the right thing for your kids by sending them to summer camp. May your child's camp experience be filled with fun, discovery, and connections that last a lifetime.

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