This ought to be a no-brainer, but it can be left out in the shuffle of packing. Swimming and water activities are a big part of many summer camp experiences, so a swimsuit (or two) is essential. Also pack aqua socks/water shoes or flip-flops for to protect kids' feet, and a beach towel.
Not only are sunburns painful, but too much exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of skin cancer. A sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher can make spending summer days outside a safer proposition. Check out the safest sunscreens for kids
Even if your child loves creepy, crawly things, mosquito bites
and bee stings
can make summer camp unpleasant. So don't forget the bug spray — just be sure to use one made for kids, which should contain less of the toxic active ingredient, DEET.
You wouldn't want to risk sending your child to camp with an expensive camera. A cheap disposable camera or an old digital camera (with extra batteries) is a great way to ensure that summer camp memories can last a lifetime.
While many camps provide flashlights for nighttime activities, it's a good idea for your child to take along his own flashlight, along with fresh batteries. You never know when one might come in handy. (Okay, it also helps with a little friendly mischief!)
You can't guarantee that your child will remember to brush at camp, but don't let it be for lack of trying on your part. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a water cup.
Cap or Sun Hat
During sports and other outdoor activities, wearing a hat is a great way to keep the glare out of young eyes. It also provides some extra sun protection for your child's face.
A durable water bottle can be crucial for hikes and other long daytime activities. Keeping kids hydrated
during the hot summer months is important for their overall health.
Raincoat or Poncho
The ideal camp session would feature only sunny days, but Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. Wet weather gear is a must.
Personal Notebook or Journal
Encourage your child to keep a journal of her camp experiences. She may not realize it now, but later in life those memories will be meaningful. Pack a notebook or print some of these blank journal sheets