We know the thoughts that are going through your head. "What if they don't change clothes all week?" "Will they even use their toothpaste or soap?" "Do they know what a dirty clothes bag is?" "How can they possibly survive without me?".
Deep breaths. We have been there. And you will survive. Your child will survive. And your child will change underwear too. Promise.
Let's break it down into ten things to pack ... with some helpful hints sprinkled in there for you. Also check out our specific packing lists ... print and use to your heart's delight. And the "mom to mom letter of expectations" (there is freedom found here). Day Campers ... your list is a bit shorter ... but take note for when you transition into overnight camp!
1. Clothes. Your camper will need clothes. We will make sure they change their clothes. For our younger campers, we suggest putting each day's shirts/shorts/socks/underwear in a gallon ziploc baggie and labeling it with the day of the week. We don't know if this is more helpful for mom, the camper or the coach. But we do know it works. We suggest one change of clothes for each day and two or three "extra". Label, Label, Label!
2. A bible and pen. No electronics are allowed, so those bible apps aren't going to make the cut. Again, for the littles ... we suggest putting them in a baggie for safe keeping.
3. Sleeping gear (overnight camps only). Some folks prefer sleeping bag and pillow others prefer a comforter or quilt. We do encourage ALL to bring a fitted sheet as the mattresses do each have plastic protectors on them. Pack your sleeping gear in your laundry bag for your arrival and on your way home put your sleeping gear in your trunk or suitcase.
4. Toiletries. Overnight Campers: Sample Size is the way to go. Hit up your dollar store or sample section at HEB. We are amazed at how many gallons of shampoo and conditioner we have by the end of the summer. Pack light. Send all toiletries in a baggie or plastic carryall, this makes it easy to store in your cubby and sports camp or carry with you at camp Travis. Day Campers: Pack the sunscreen ... our coaches will help reapply!
5. Towels. Send three of four towels. (psst. consider sending the towels that you are thinking about replacing. towels are the #1 thing left behind).
6. SASE. Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. If you are hoping to hear from your camper, set them up for success. Go ahead and stamp and address those envelopes. Some families will send a fill in the blank or check the box letter just to assure a note home. The easier you make it for your camper, the more likely you will see a note home.
7. Theme Night Clothes. Each camp has parties each night ... you can read more about them on your packing lists. Whether you go all out or just throw a bandanna around your head, you will have a great time.
8. Swimsuits and flip flops: You are quicker to jump in the pool if you only have to kick off your shoes. Girls ... remember a one piece suit.
9. Trunk and Laundry Bags (overnight camps only). To haul all of the above to and from camp, these are a necessity. Plastic Trunks can be found at academy. Suitcases or duffel bags are great to pack in too.
10. Expectations. Don't forget to pack expectations. Big, fun and yet realistic expectations. Your camper can expect to have an amazing time, they can expect to learn and be stretched in ways they can not at home, they can expect to meet new friends and new ways, they can expect to see Jesus in a whole new light!