I packed up one of my children for overnight camp recently and learned some things I thought I would share:
-Always include your child in the process. Everyone organizes differently and the systems you set up may not work for your child. Ask them specific questions – do you want your shoes in a bin or in your cubby? Will you use hangers if I send them? You will be surprised what you learn!
-Use a packing list. Most camps provide one as a guideline – use it and add to it, if needed.
-Trunks are great for packing, but not so great for everyday access. At most camps the bunks and cabins are small, so the trunks go under the beds or elsewhere, not always in a readily accessible place. So, use the trunk to carry all of the belongings to camp and for storing extras, but bring other components for everyday use – plastic bins (drawer style), laundry bags of varying sizes, upright holders and hooks of some variety – depending on the cabin set up.
-Have your child pre address and stamp envelopes so it will be easy for them to send letters home.
-Label everything – and I mean, everything!
-Send an extra sharpie marker so if your child buys something at the camp store, they can put their name on it.
-Lower your expectations. Camp is for having fun, meeting new friends and having new experiences, not for staying neat and organized – even I have to give it a break on visiting weekend when I walk in the cabin and things are, well, a bit scattered!