How to Get Your Little One Ready for Their First Summer Camp

Getting ready for any overnight summer camp can be both a nerve-wracking and exciting experience for parents and kids alike—whether your little one will only be gone for a weekend or for a much longer stretch of time, they’ll need plenty of equipment and essentials to help prepare them for all those long, busy days. At JuJuBe, we’ve helped many children get off to camp with our kid’s duffle bags and packing essentials, so we’ve put together a handy summer camp packing list that will help kids feel prepared (and moms stay sane!).

Two boys in Boy Scout outfits solute the camera

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #1: Get the Right kid's Duffle Bag

As organization experts, we know how the right bag and storage can set you up for success. Our kid’s duffle bags come in fun prints with Agion-lined interiors that help fend off mildew, mold, and bacteria. Teflon coated exteriors repel stains and water—all the more important when your child is going to spend their summer days getting muddy, swimming, and hiking! Plus, our bags include plenty of pockets, compartments and more, which will help keep all of their essentials organized.

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #2: First Aid Basics

Keep your little campers happy and healthy by packing all the first aid basics they’ll need (like prescription medications) in their personal kid’s duffle bags. While the camp staff will surely have everything covered with your child's safety in mind, it can’t hurt to pack your kid's duffle bag with a few extra band-aids for blisters and bumps. Travel sized hand sanitizer, bug spray, and sunblock is always a good idea, too.

Young girl blows dandelion seeds while sitting in green field

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #3: Hygiene Essentials

Once you’ve got the first aid items down, move on to hygiene essentials like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hairbrushes, and anything else your child needs to get clean after long days. Pack these daily use items in a pouch or series of pouches which you can tuck away within the main compartment of their kid’s duffle bag. We love brightly printed diaper bag pouches that are easy to spot in a large duffle or on top of a crowded dresser.

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #4: Clothing For Every Kind of Weather

While your child is heading off to camp in the summer, that doesn’t mean all days will be created equal. Make sure to send them with gear for crisp early mornings and cooler nights such as long-sleeved cotton tops and long pants. They’re likely to encounter at least a little bit of rainy weather, so don’t forget to stash ponchos or rain jackets in your kid’s duffle bags, along with a pair of dependable rain boots that will keep those socks from getting too soggy. And don’t forget to add a wet bag to their summer camp packing list, which will help keep those soggy clothes separate from their clean, dry items!

Lunch Packs

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #5: Water Bottles and Lunch Packs

With all the playing and exploring they’ll be doing, you’ll want to make sure your child has a reusable water bottle that’s BPA-free, but won’t weigh them down, so they can stay healthy and hydrated as they go. And while camp food like s’mores and jacket potatoes are often one of the most fun and memorable parts of the summer camp experience for kids, it also can’t hurt to send them off with a little extra preparation for meals on the go! Pack a fashionable lunch bag that stands out and some smaller snack bags in your kid’s duffle bags so that they can prepare any snacks they’d like to bring along for their adventures.

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #6: Books and Activities

summer camp packing list

Even though they’ll be scheduled for plenty of fun games and activities, chances are your little camper will have at least some downtime. Often forgotten items on the summer camp packing list includes activities and books that will occupy your child during calmer moments spent in their cabin. Add their favorite graphic novels, books, or art supplies to their bag so that they’ll have something to keep their hands and brains busy, even when their bodies are taking a little rest.

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #7: Durable Footwear

When it comes to a summer camp packing list, the items that tend to take up the most real estate in kid’s duffle bags are shoes—and probably with good reason! They’ll need wellies or rain boots for drizzly days, hiking boots that will help them scale rougher terrain, sandals for walking around the campgrounds, and even a pair of shower shoes for communal showers to protect from bacteria and germs. While it seems like a lot, you can save on space by rolling their clothes or bring their shoes in a separate lightweight tote bag which can be especially helpful for the trip home, once those shoes have seen a lot of dirt and mud.

Summer Camp Packing List Essential #8: A Sweet Reminder of Home

Even if your little guy or gal is big enough to go off to summer camp on their own, that doesn’t mean they won’t miss mom and dad from time to time! They’ll surely appreciate any token or memento that helps them feel close to you while they’re away. Slip some small, sweet care packages into your camper's duffle bags to show them how much you’ll miss them: a family photo, a nice note, or a special treat will allow them to feel your love even when you’re many miles apart!

Find Packing Essentials for Kids at JuJuBe

At JuJuBe, we sell quality bags and accessories for parents and children that are designed for the way you live. From busy days running errands to extended adventures away from home, our bags offer features that make it easy for the whole family to stay organized and feel comfortable on the go. Shop our new releases to see more of our kid's duffle bags and bags for parents, and join our newsletter or follow us on Instagram to join the JuJuBe international community.