Packing for Summer Camp can be a stressful and emotional experience for some parents. As a parent that has completely abstained from packing my children’s bags, here are a few tips I believe can help alleviate the pain that goes along with the packing process:
- Use an industrial-sized vacuum sealer when packing clothing, towels, and bedding. This will remove any air from these items and allow you to pack 10 to 15 times more crap than normal. When moving this Duffel Bag downstairs into your vehicle make sure to hire a local moving company because the bag should weigh between 550 – 600 pounds if you pack it correctly.
- Most camps ask only that you send up two Duffel Bags/Trunks per child which is a fairly reasonable request. What these camps fail to mention in their packing documentation, including any of the fine print (as my team of lawyers can attest), is the size of the bags. A typical bag may be 40” x 12” but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from purchasing custom 96” x 48” bags. These bags will allow you to pack that extra Mad Libs, Archie comic, or Color War headband your child desperately needs.
- If your camp does not allow children to bring up food of any kind but your child really enjoys the sugar rush that only candy can provide a few times a day, put some bite size pieces in the pockets of his/her shorts, pants, or hoodies. Odds are that the candy will go undetected by the Camp America staff assigned to your child’s bunk and your child will think of you as an even better parent than you think you are.
- If you believe that your child/children will go through between 8-10 toothbrushes this summer you need to Remind yourself that your kid only brushes his/her teeth once a week when you’re not around or B. Send your kid to a life skills camp instead of the overprivileged Jewish kid camp you’re sending him/her to. One toothbrush is more than plenty. Take it out of the package so at least you’ll believe that he/she brushed once this summer.
- If you think there’s even a snowball’s chance in hell that your kid may use a certain item, it’s okay, pack it. It’ll make you feel better. Remember, though, odds are your child won’t use it anyway.
- If you do, in fact, after six months of preparation, shopping and stressing, forget to send something up with your camper, there is nothing to worry about. There’s a 100% chance that there is an even more psychotic parent than you in your child’s bunk who’s packed enough of whatever you forgot for everyone in the bunk.
- But the best and easiest way to deal with packing is to take the bags when they are returned at the end of the summer, still fully packed, straight to your attic or a nearby storage locker. Let the bags sit for approximately 42 weeks, then retrieve the bags around mid-June of the following year and place on driveway for easy pickup.