The REAL Sleepaway Camp Must Haves from Skincare to Shoes

So every year we get a giant list of items that campers should bring with them to camp. Inevitably, there are a few things that most campers wish they had.

It’s a tough balance….

You want your kid to have everything they need, buuuutttt you also don’t want them to have stuff that they’re just gonna outgrow or throw out in a few months.

And if your camp doesn’t require uniforms every day, then it’s more difficult. How many uniforms are really necessary?

A quick rule of thumb is to consider how long your kid is going to be away. Are they going away for 7 weeks or 2? Is it a sports camp or a traditional camp? Laundry is usually done once a week, but there are more tournaments as the summer progresses.  We aren’t going to make that call for you…but beyond clothing, here’s our list of the REAL must-haves:

SCOUTjr duffel bag on floor

CAMP CLOTHING TIPS

  • Extra underwear – 2 weeks worth is a good amount
  • Extra bathing suits – chlorine, sea water and cement can do a number on even the most well constructed suit.
    • WHOLE PIECE ALERT! While some kids will rock a bikini at sleepaway, whole piece bathing suits are the way to go. Whole piece suits are easier to wear under a lifejacket and are simply easier to be active in…plus no need to worry about losing your top.  So even if your daughter loves bikinis, do her (and yourself) a favor and buy a few cute whole piece suits at the start of the season.  You’re not gonna be able to find them come visiting day.
      • p.s. for the boys, trunks over speedos unless they’re going to a swim camp. 🙂

ScoutJr.com quote about sleepaway camper's skin

SLEEPAWAY CAMP SKINCARE

Let me just say this.  You haven’t seen acne til you’ve seen camp acne. The combination of sun, sweat and sunscreen combines to create a gnarly forehead of red pimples like you have never seen.

  • Beyond the usual soap and shampoo
    • Clarifying shampoo to help get through the grime
    • Face masks to help pull some of that gunk out
    • Face wipes (remind them not to flush them!)
    • Biore strips
    • Scar Away

SUNCARE

After hitting refresh all day to catch a glimpse of your child in the end of day photo album, your moment of joy will be replaced by irritation and concern once you catch glimpse of your child sunburned.  I don’t know why more camps can’t just make it mandatory to slather up before leaving breakfast…but that’s a convo for another day…

  • At LEAST THREE bottles of spray sunscreen for 2 weeks of camp
  • At LEAST ONE bottle of sunscreen for faces
  • TWO or more sunscreen sticks
  • Bottle of Aloe (yep, they’ll need it)

FOOTWEAR

Pay attention.  Your kids are going to be playing sports, traipsing around the woods or beach, and showering on floors touched by dozens.

  • CROCS. Not Slides, not flip flops
  • Rain shoes or rain boots (we say shoes cuz you know wearing rain boots with shorts is kinda uncomfortable)
  • Sneakers – preferably two pairs so one can air out after a long day
  • Cleats – sport-specific
  • Sports-specific safety gear
  • Socks
    • Sport specific socks
    • Cushiony socks
    • Fuzzy, smoothy socks for those cold nights
ScoutJr.com

Photo Credit: Nicate Lee

COMFORT ITEMS

We resisted bedding comfort items for a year. Isn’t the goal of camp to somewhat rough it? But kids these days are different. So many of the camps offer modern lodging with in-cabin bathrooms. What’s left? The cot-like bed and temperature. One of the items below really is a luxury item but the other, after last year’s heat wave of +100 degree days is a necessity.  You tell us which is which…

  • An egg crate or memory foam mattress topper
  • Playing cards
  • Friendship bracelet materials
  • Collage or photos of friends and family
  • Mosquito spray
  • Benadryl anti itch spray (we don’t know why, this one works the best though)
  • Chamois pool towels like these super cute striped ones
  • Neck cool wrap for after play

THE #1 THING

At this point you’ve packed everything on your camp’s list and ours. You’ve scoured the internet and searched Denny’s and Lester’s for on-trend clothing and accessories.  You may have already ordered our #1 pick. Worried that you didn’t?

Here it is: A Portable, Clip-On Fan with optional plug.

Here’s why.

Air conditioning remains scarce, so fans help cool your kids off after a long day in the sun. And bonus, a fan will also help ward off any pesky mosquitos. We’d call that a win.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in comments below.

 

Related Post

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *