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Work from your camp’s packing list! Take the camp’s advice on what and what not to bring and what to pack it in.

Your child’s day or/or overnight camp has helped campers arrive and depart for years. They know what gear and personal equipment each camper needs. They also know what campers don’t need; so be sure to consult and follow all “What NOT to bring” lists too. Camps have systems in place for helping campers care for and keep track of their belongings while at camp. For example, day camps have designated areas for campers to store backpacks, lunch, and/or other gear while some overnight camps recommend bags of a certain size or type so they easily fit under a bed or in a cabin cubby. Counselors offer help and support, but at camp each child will have the responsibility and independence of doing a few things parents/guardians typically do for them at home; this helps build important life skills which certainly come in handy back at home, at school and—someday—at college.

Check your welcome packet, parent letter, recent newsletter or the camp’s parent or camper website pages to access your camp’s packing list. Remember, with regard to the packing list, “just enough” is the goal! “More” is not better; in fact, too much stuff creates problems for campers—carrying stuff, storing stuff, tracking stuff, and keeping stuff in their assigned space, to name a few. Each camp develops specific packing advice based on their typical weather, unique program activities, session length, and the direct experiences of children and adults in previous summers. ACA New England’s recommendation: Take the camp’s advice whether your camper is packing a backpack with supplies for a day or a footlocker or duffle they’ll live out of for all or part of the summer!