Activities for Kids/ Family Travel

Summer Camp Essentials to Pack for Kids

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Some of my favorite childhood memories were made at summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. If you are packing your kids up for a week (or more!) at summer camp you know that it can be a big project! In this post, I’ll be sharing my summer camp essential packing list. I hope this list will help your packing to go smooth and help your child’s camping experience be the best it can be.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post arranged by Apogee on behalf of Name Bubbles. All opinions are my own. 

Kids at summer camp around a fire with counselor.

Sending kids to camp… amazing. Kids losing their belongings or clothes at camp… not so amazing. 

Before we dive into the packing list for summer camp, I want to share how we plan to make sure everything we pack for camp comes back home.

Label Everything with Name Bubbles

While we try to send along older items, it’s inevitable that they will come home missing something (or many things). I am so happy that we found a solution to keep their items safe and make sure they all return home. 

Name Bubbles offers personalized name labels for your kid’s stuff. Their labels are waterproof and strong. Not even sunscreen or bug spray will affect the labels. They offer both peel-and-stick labels (that are completely waterproof) and iron on options for clothing.  

Customizing your labels on their website is simple too! I think it would be fun to let your child(ren) pick out their own design to make it more fun. Once you receive your labels you can put them on just about anything! Clothing, water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, shoes, goggles, etc.

You can also label things like medication, inhalers, and hand sanitizer and avoid germy mixups. Because the labels are made out of durable vinyl material they are waterproof, dryer safe, and will survive all of the fun adventures your children will have at summer camp! 

What you’ll get in the Camp Labels Pack:

Name Bubbles is offering a special label package just in time for camp! It has everything you need to label your child’s items.

  • 73 Labels 
  • 20 Small Rectangle labels, perfect for 
  • 5 rectangle labels
  • 4 square contact labels (personalized with the child’s name, parent’s name, and contact information. 
  • 4 Shoe labels
  • 40 circle clothing labels (don’t forget to label their pillows and sleeping bags too!)

The Summer Camp Essential Packing List

What clothes should I pack for summer camp? What will they need for bedding? While every camp is different there are many items that are essential when going to summer camp. Below I’m sharing my must-haves to be sure to pack.

Overnight Camp Packing List


  • Sheets and a sleeping bag – I like to send both in case they get too warm in their sleeping bag.
  • Pillow
  • Stuffed animal or special toy to comfort your younger kids if they might need it.


  • T-shirts – Depending on how long they will be at camp I always pack 2 or 3 extra shirts.
  • Shorts – Be sure to send comfy athletic shorts that you don’t mind getting dirty. 
  • Jeans – We always used jeans when going on hikes to protect our legs from ticks and mosquitoes.
  • Sweatpants or athletic pants – It was always nice to have a comfy pair of pants to wear after swimming or on chilly nights. 
  • Sweatshirt – It’s going to come home smelling like a campfire. Sweatshirts are a must-have for those cool evenings around the campfire. 
  • Socks – Always pack extras, they will probably get dirty or wet and it’s nice to have a clean dry pair.
  • Underwear – Pack extras because you never know! 
  • Pajamas – We tend to pack lightweight pajamas, usually shorts and a teeshirt since they can always bundle up under their sleeping bag or blankets if they are cold but it’s really hard to sleep when you’re too hot. 
  • Swimsuits – Pack 2-3. There is nothing worse than trying to put a wet bathing suit back on. 
  • A dressy outfit – Our camp always had a dressy night, where we would all dress up for dinner. This might just be a unique thing but you might want to ask if your camp does this. 
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Raincoat or poncho(s) – These are cheap on amazon.
  • Hat


  • Flip flops for the shower – because bathroom floors are… ewww.
  • Sneakers
  • Sandals, flipflops, or slides
  • Hiking boots (if needed)
  • Water shoes


  • Shower caddy – These are super so useful! They will help your kids keep all of their bathroom items in one place and make it easy to transport those items in and out of the shower. I personally prefer this type of shower caddy for camp – cheap and sturdy. 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant 
  • Lotion
  • Feminine products (put them in an easy to carry bag and pack a few extras)
  • Towel for shower
  • Washcloth

Pool Items:

  • Goggles
  • Beach towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunblock

Other Items (if needed/allowed)

  • A Bag for dirty laundry this one pack up really small.
  • Water bottle
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug Spray
  • Mini battery-powered fan (if allowed). Having a mini battery-powered fan was super helpful for our kids when they were at a camp without air conditioning. They were able to clip it to their bunk and have some cool air at night. 
  • Earplugs and/or Sleeping Mask – If your child a light sleeper, you may want to pack some earplugs or a sleep mask to help them sleep better.
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Camera
  • Extra batteries (for fan, flashlight, or camera)
  • Book to read
  • Notebook or cards
  • Pen or pencils
  • Envelopes (put your address on them to make it easier) and stamps  – so they can write you a letter from camp.
  • Camp store money
  • Medications
  • Glasses/contracts
  • A note for your child – if this is their first time at sleepover camp or their 10th time; a note from mom and/or dad can be very comforting. 
  • Something from home that will comfort your child  – Maybe a special toy or photo. 
  • Decorations for your bunk – this one you’ll need to ask about. Our daughter brought streamers and battery-powered twinkle lights to decorate her bunk bed. All of the girls in her cabin decorated their beds. It was adorable!

You can download a printable version of this list below. Simply fill out the form and you will receive an email with your download shortly. I hope you found this helpful.

Don’t forget to order your labels from Name Bubbles. Click the button below for all the details:

Download your Printable Kids Camp Packing List

You should receive your download link via email within the hour. Be sure you check your SPAM or Promotions folder if you’re not finding the email. If, after an hour, you have not received your link, please contact me and I’ll help you figure out what happened.

The fine print:
For personal use only. Please do not reproduce or redistribute without written permission. Classroom use is permitted.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    May 14, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Donna, this is such a great packing list! Thank you! The labels are brilliant. I wouldn’t have thought of that.

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