How to Pack a Bag for Summer Camp


Summer is the time for sleep-away camp. Bunk beds, new friends and outdoor adventures await, but what should your child pack before the fun? While sneakers and t-shirts are obvious must-haves, there are other items that may slip his or her mind — from preventative bug spray and a protective hat to yummy granola bars and a calming journal — as the departure date draws near. Create thoughtful touches to help stave off any inklings of homesickness with these 10 projects, and send your child off with confidence and excitement. You'll both be surprised at how useful they will be!

(Image: eHow)

Build a Better Backpack

Having a sturdy backpack to fill to the brim is an absolute must, but it also has to be impossible to lose in a pile of others. This homemade backpack is perfect to hold all of her treasures both to and from camp, and she'll be able to spot it in the heap outside of the bus.

(Image: Shauna Wightman)

Personalize Your Carry-On With Leather Luggage Tags

Knowing which bag belongs to him will make everything easier when he arrives at his cabin. These charming leather luggage tags are lovely to look at and very useful for identifying bags. Consider using a bright, eye-catching shade of dyed leather to make his bags even more unique!

(Image: Sara Budisantoso)

Make a Soft and Bright Pencil Case

One of the time-honored traditions at sleep-away camp is writing letters home. What better way to store her writing implements than in a colorful, hand-crafted pencil case that she made herself? This soft-felt pencil holder is perfect for keeping colored pencils or pens contained.

(Image: Amanda Nguyen)

Sculpt Your Own Erasers

Nothing he writes or draws has to be set in stone when he has these handmade erasers in his bag. Make no mistake, having some funky erasers in his favorite shapes and colors are the perfect remedy for any creative slip-up. They also make a great addition to any care package you might send his way!

(Image: Kersey Campbell)

Keep Track of Clothes With DIY Name Tags

When the cabin starts to clutter, everyone’s clothes start to mingle together. Keep track of which sweatshirt, pair of swim trunks or pajama pants are hers with name tags. This will definitely help increase the chances of seeing everything you helped pack again!

(Image: Beth Huntington)

Keep the Sun Off His Face With a Bold Baseball Cap

So many camp activities happen under the sun, and what better way to keep his face from burning than with a bright, tie-dyed baseball cap? Help him choose his favorite colors to mix together, and make the shades as vibrant as he wants. Consider dyeing a bucket hat, too, for 360-degrees of shade.

(Image: Angie Diersman)

Pack Yummy Homemade Snacks

The trip to camp may be long, but she doesn’t have to be hungry on the way there thanks to your homemade granola bars. Nothing helps break the ice like sharing yummy snacks with new friends, so consider packing extra.

(Image: Ashlae Warner)

Sneak in a Little Snuggly Toy

Sew a little buddy for all of his summer adventures with this great stuffed bear pattern. While camp may be for big kids, having a stuffed animal to snuggle and keep him company isn’t a bad idea. Who can say no to something so cute?

(Image: Shauna Wightman)

Ban Bug Bites With Homemade Spray

Nothing is more bothersome than insects when you are busy playing outdoors. Pack this homemade bug spray, which is free of harsh chemicals, to persuade pests to go bother someone else.

(Image: Jessica Kielman)

Chronicle Her Exploits With an Inspirational Journal

Encourage your child to be her best self this summer with a journal that is both unique and motivational. Having a place to put all of her own thoughts, dreams and escapades will help her remember her camp experience for years to come.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

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