Getting Ready for Camp- Packing Tips and Tricks!
Being around for over 100 years now, we’ve gotten pretty good at helping families prepare for camp, especially when it comes to packing. We’ve seen all the trends and creative ideas across the camping industry, and we’ve narrowed it down to the best tips and tricks:
PACKING WITH YOUR CAMPER
As tempting as it might be to quickly pack all your camper’s things into their duffels, including your camper in the packing process is an important start to their camp experience. It allows your camper to see exactly what they are bringing to camp (and where everything is), which makes unpacking go a lot smoother. Thinking ahead sending your camper with a list of all their packed belongings is a great way to avoid lost items Or at least keep track of the things that may have gotten lost throughout the session, so when they sweep through the lost and found they know what to keep an eye out for.
Campers (and some parents) might not believe this, but folding actually makes packing easier! Folding clothes reduces clutter and saves space inside the duffel bags, making the whole packing process easier. Once your camper arrives at camp, they can take the nicely folded clothes and place them right on their shelves. Packing also sets a good example for campers before the summer and will help encourage them to keep their belongings neat and organized throughout their time at camp.
If you’re looking to optimize the packing process even further, we recommend packing your camper’s folded clothing into clear plastic bins or large Ziploc bags (such as all pairs of socks in one bin/bag) and placing these into the duffel bag. We do our best, but unpacking can be a little chaotic, so doing these proactive organizational tricks can make the process easier for your camper. It’s also a great way to stay organized all summer long. For reference, each camper gets 3 shelves, and they measure approximately 26” wide, 11” deep and 11.5” tall.
PACK THE RIGHT AMOUNT
Packing the right amount is actually harder than it seems, and over-packing is a common misstep for families and staff alike. There’s limited space in the cabins, and campers only get 3 shelves (measurements above) for clothes and necessities, and space under their bed for the empty duffels and any extra belongings. Every year we update our packing list with the right amount of each item to help ensure you’ll be successful when packing. And just a reminder all campers at some point will be doing laundry, so you don’t have to pack for the entire session!
As tedious of a task as labeling can be, it’s the easiest way for your camper to keep track of their things. Items get mixed up both in and out of the cabin, and many campers have similar if not the same things, so labeling everything will help your camper know what theirs is. And we’re not just talking about labeling the important things. We mean if it can be labeled it should be labeled with your camper’s FIRST AND LAST NAME. That might sound crazy, but what’s truly crazy is the amount of lost and found we accumulate every year. So please help us help you keep track of all of your camper’s things.
How you label is up to you- you can use iron on labels, sew in ones, stickers, stamps or even just a permanent maker. We have two label companies that we highly recommend: Mabel’s Labels & Label Daddy . Our families have been using these companies for years, and they have helped return countless lost items. To make it even better, both companies generously give back to Camp Chi, and Label Daddy even offers labels with the Camp Chi logo on it!