Parent Tips on Packing for Summer Camp: Simple Guidelines and Helpful Tips that Make Packing an Enjoyable Process

Summer is around the corner and a big, but super fun task is ahead of you – getting everything packed for summer camp! Packing for camp marks the beginning of an exciting journey for your campers. Get them involved and excited for summer camp by including them in the packing process!

Below are simple guidelines and helpful tips that make packing an enjoyable process.

General Tips:

Footlockers – Footlockers and trunks are to be no more than 14 inches tall in order to fit underneath the camper’s bed. If you are looking to purchase a trunk for your camper we recommend going through Make sure to use this promotional code: play6730L.

Packing List – Click here to access the Camp Olympia Packing List to prepare for camp. This is a recommended minimum needs list. You know your child best. Feel free to pack in a way that meets his/her needs!

Start Packing Early – Start packing early to avoid the last minute shopping trips or the stressful hunt to find that favorite t-shirt. Start the packing process by creating an initial inventory of the items you have at home and then fill in the missing items with new purchases. Starting early will allow you to make sure you have packed everything that is needed in plenty of time.

Label EVERYTHING – Label EVERYTHING (and we really mean everything) that your camper brings to camp. One look at the daily lost and found bin, and you will see why labeling is so important! Many of our campers have the same initials, so labeling with the First and Last name is often the best way to ensure items return back to your camper (and eventually back home). A permanent marker works well or purchase water-resistant labels with your camper’s name on it from Everything Summer Camp.


Dress Code – Pay close attention to the dress code! Policies are in place to ensure that the clothes the kids wear are appropriate for the activity and help them focus on camp and get the best experience possible.

Clothing – Focus less on new, stylish clothes and shoes and more on comfort. Having cool and comfortable attire is much more important.

Laundry – At Camp Olympia, laundry is done once during a 2-week term and twice during a 3-week term for every camper. Each cabin has a designated laundry day. On the designated day, cabins will sort their laundry according to color and material. The clothes are then picked up, washed, folded and returned to the cabin.


Shower Caddie – Pack all items that will be taken in the bathroom in a shower caddie. This will allow your camper an easy way to transport items to and from the bathroom. Shower caddies can be purchased at any major retailer such as Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Shampoo/Conditioner – 2-n-1 shampoo provides both shampoo and conditioner in the same bottle, which eliminates one more thing to pack and keep up with and makes shower time faster.


Bed Sheets – Pack two sets of sheets. This will ensure that your camper always has an extra set of sheets in the event of an accident or for general changing of the sheets midway through the term.

Blanket – Keep in mind that the cabins can get cold in the evenings. You can either bring one thicker blanket, such as a comforter, or two lightweight blankets.

Additional Bunk Items – Some campers enjoy having additional bed padding and an additional pillow for extra comfort.Towels – Make sure to pack beach towels for the pool and lake activities, as well as regular bath towels for the shower. One way to do this is designate one towel color for the pool and another color for the shower.

Camp Extras:

Stationery and Stamps – Rest hour is a great opportunity for campers to write notes to their family members and friends. An easy way to ensure that everyone receives a handwritten letter is to pack pre-addressed and stamped envelopes along with the stationary.

Sunscreen – All sunscreen is great, but Camp Olympia recommends spray sunscreen. It is easier for the kids to apply, making them more willing to use it.

Notes – As you pack your camper’s items into his/her trunks and bags, hide some fun notes throughout. This is a small surprise that will brighten your camper’s day!

Home Away from Home – Campers love to make their bunks feel like home! We encourage pictures, stuffed animals, books, etc.

Spartan/Athenian Gear – Spartan/Athenian events are a big deal at Camp Olympia. Campers like to pack lots of red (Spartans) and blue (Athenians) clothing to show camp spirit. Fun items such as bandanas, face paint, and crazy socks are worn at certain Spartan/Athenian events and can be purchased through the Camp Olympia Country Store the first day of camp, during check-in or surprise your camper with a special delivery package.

Final Steps

Once the trunk has been packed and double-checked, make it off limits to your camper until it’s time for camp. The last thing you want is for your camper to rummage through and remove items before camp only to forget to put them back in.

With the trunk packed and ready to go, your camper will be counting down the days until the start of summer camp!