Summer Day Camp Essentials

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Long, fun-filled days out in the sun playing games, splashing around in the water and just hanging out with friends are what make day camp so special to kids. Make sure your child has an easy, carefree time at camp by being sure he or she has all the right essentials. Most camps will send a list of what kids should – and should not -bring. Following are some basics for your youngster to tote along. Be sure to label everything with your child’s name.


There’s lots of stuff to bring to summer day camp. Pack it all up neatly in a compartmented backpack and your youngster will have a more organized day. Keep a large re-sealable Ziploc-type bag in the bottom of the bag for bringing home wet clothing.

Water Bottle

Kids need to stay hydrated during hot summer days. Make sure your little one has a good water bottle and that kids are encouraged to refill frequently during the day. Look for a good, light BPS-free model with double wall insulation. If you don’t want to bother with re-useable bottles, put individual bottles in the freezer and pack them in the backpack each day.

Sun Protection

Kids at day camp are out in the sun much of the day and you’ll want plenty of sun protection. Be sure to apply at home and then pack a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30; check with camp to be sure kids are encouraged to reapply during the day. A hat is a definite necessity, whether a traditional baseball type or a full coverage adventure-style hat, and kids may also bring sunglasses (several cheap pairs are a good idea, as they get lot and break easily). Some parents also opt for attire with sun protection built in. Bug spray may be a good idea; apply at home.


If your child’s camp has kids bring their own lunch and snacks, be sure to have the right lunch box. If no refrigeration is available, choose a thermal lunch bag and tuck in a re-useable icepack. Check with the camp to see if it’s also necessary to bring a snack. You can clip the box to a backpack with a rock climbing clip.


Old favorite t-shirts and shorts are fine for camp; these active summer days are all about play and outdoor fun, so fancy new outfits may take a beating! You may choose to include a short -or long-sleeved rash guard for sun protection. Most camps encourage campers to bring a second set of clothes and sneakers just in case they get especially wet, dirty or have an accident. Weather can change during the day; thrown in a sweatshirt, windbreaker or light rain slicker. Required footwear is likely to be sneakers; flip-flops and sandals can be hazardous during active games.

Swim Gear

A swim suit and towel will of course be necessary if water fun is a part of your little one’s day camp; send along an extra set of water sports may be more than once a day. It’s a good idea to include some sort of waterproof bag for bringing stuff home. You may choose to include a short -or long-sleeved rash guard and swim goggles, and some camps require flip-flops or water shoes for around the beach or pool.

write by Harvey


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