What Do Your Kids Need for Summer Camp? Plus a Free Printable Checklist!

I am preparing to send my youngest to youth camp with our church, so I created this free printable summer camp packing checklist. Since this will be my first time doing this, I have been worried about packing for a while. I have kept a list of things I think of and ideas, so I finally decided to create these printables for you to able to use right along with me. This will streamline the process of getting everything prepared and make sure that nothing is left behind.

My son is so excited about going to camp, and I have to say, I would love to go as well! We watched the video as a family and ever since then they’ve been pumped to go. There is water tubing, jet skiing, bonfires, baseball, football, fishing, paddle boating, rock climbing, zip lining, and all kinds of other things. With so many activities available, it’s hard to know exactly what to pack him. The camp is FOUR HOURS away, so there’s no running something to him if I forget to pack it!

I set up the checklist with several different sections to help you keep up with what they’ll need for different areas. The camp that our children are headed to requires they bring everything they’ll need other than food. By that I mean they have to bring their own soaps, towels, sheets, pillows, all of that stuff. So the checklist is broken down into clothing, linens, toiletries, extras, travel items, and shoes and accessories. I did create two separate lists, one for boys another for girls. My husband’s daughter is going as well. Our kids are the same age which is good because they can go to the same camp.

Summer Camp Packing Checklist Pinterest pinnable image.

More Summer Camp Ideas & Printables

Going to summer camp is such a special and memorable event in your child’s life. Make sure they have a keepsake that reminds them of these times by making them an autograph pillowcase for all of their camp friends to sign. You will find that tutorial and SVGs in this post.

It can be tough for kids and parents alike when they’re apart for a while. Send a little bit of home and joy to them at camp with this summer camp care package. I have included tips, ideas, and free printables in that post. I am updating this post after camp, and our kids absolutely loved their care packages (as did their cabin mates)! This is a must-do every time they go to camp!

Items on Your Summer Camp Packing Checklist

Clothing and Shoes

Of course you’ll need to pack shirts, shorts, undergarments, and socks. One item that you may not think about adding is a jacket or hoodie. They may need it during indoor Bible study, outside at night, or on the ride to and from camp. There are a lot of water activities at the camp where our kids are going, so they suggest sending two swim suits. That way they don’t have to put on a cold wet one if they swim more than once a day.

Along the same lines, you will want to pack two pair of tennis shoes for your kids if possible. They may get wet at some point and need to dry, so having a back-up will be important. Other shoes you should send are sandals and flip flops for the pool. In the shoes and accessories category I also have listed hair clips and ponytail holders, sunglasses, and hats. A drawstring bag is suggested so that your child can put their pool towels, sunscreen, and bug spray in it to take to the pool. It will keep their hands free and will also hold their hats and sunglasses and other items they take off when they get in the pool.

Linens and Toiletries

Most summer camps require you to send your child with their own linens. Ours require twin sheets, but check with yours to make sure you send the right size sheets. They will need sheets, a pillow, and a blanket. Or, like I am for my son, you can send a sleeping bag and a pillow. Other items to bring are towels, wash rags or a body pouf, and two pool towels. Make sure you pack them a laundry bag to put their dirty clothes and towels in when they take them off. It will allow them to keep everything in one place, and hopefully, keep them from leaving anything behind.

Next up you will want to make sure they have all of the toiletries that they will need for the week. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. Put all of these items in a small bag that they can bring back and forth with them to the bathroom so they can easily keep up with it all. Of course they will need their hairbrush or comb and any hair products that they use every day. Two other important things they will definitely need at summer camp are sunscreen and bug spray!

Travel Items and Extras

Since our kids will be on the road for four hours there and back, I am trying to pack a few things they can do on the way. They aren’t allowed to have phones at camp (IMO they are too young anyway), but their youth leader is allowing them to have them on the bus. Therefore, I am packing them along with chargers. Note- I did not buy said phones lol! Dollar Tree has some really fun travel games like a meme game, Family Feud, Jenga, and a few others. Other fun items to send are Mad Libs, activity books, and little busy items like Pop Its.

Finally I have a few things listed in the extras column. They are required to bring a flashlight to our summer camp, so it sounds like they will be doing some fun night time games and activities! For Bible study they need their Bibles and a notebook with a pen or pencil. I added a reusable water bottle for them to fill up to use while they are out and running around. The temps here can go up into the low 100’s, so I want them to be well hydrated. Another thing you may want to add is a pack of plastic bags or large Ziploc bags for them to put their wet clothes in. It will keep them separate from their other clothes and items and keep them dry.

Your Summer Camp Packing Checklist Free Printables!

Summer camp packing checklist pinnable image w/ both checklists on a wood background.

So, for your packing pleasure, here is my free summer camp packing checklist! You can download the boy or girl version, or both using the links below. You can use these for any vacation, not just summer camp! Whenever you download the files, they will not have my logo on top. Having them appear this way here on the blog keeps people from stealing the image and from downloading the straight from Google.

For Personal Use Only
As with all of my free printables and SVGs, these printables are for personal use only. They are not to be sold or to use on items that you will sell. If you would like to share these with your family or friends, please share this post on social media or direct them straight to the blog where they can print a copy for themselves. Thank you so much for doing so as that allows me to keep these printables coming to you for free instead of selling them to you thru the blog or Etsy. You know how much I enjoy sharing them with you!

Summer camp checklist for girls with logo overlay
Summer camp checklist for girls with logo overlay

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    Collage of summer camp packing checklist free printables. One is for boys in different shades of blue, the other for girls in purple, yellow, and teal.

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    Summer camp care package Pinterest image
    DIY summer camp autograph pillowcase Pinterest image
    End of the school year free printable teacher gift tags & gift ideas Pinterest image.

    19 thoughts on “What Do Your Kids Need for Summer Camp? Plus a Free Printable Checklist!

    1. Looks like a great list to have so you won’t forget anything! Thanks so much for linking up with me at the Unlimited Link Party 27. Pinned!

      1. Thanks Shelbee! We’re planning a family camping trip now. It’ll be my first time since I was a little girl! We camped on an island, so camping on land should be a little easier… lol!

    2. Hi there Niki, Just a heads up and in advance congratulations as you will be our featured blogger this week on the 4T’s post over as EsmeSalon. Thank you for participating and please let your followers know of our weekly linkup in order for them to also come and share as they then also have the opportunity to be our featured.blogger on a Thursday.

    3. Visiting again to say thanks so much for linking up at A Themed Linkup 68 for Travel and Vacation. Pinned!

    4. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at A Themed Linkup 69 for Farmhouse Crafts and Décor from my previous linkup for Travel and Vacation!

    5. When your kids are headed to camp, having a checklist ensures everything goes as smoothly as possible. This article focuses on the proper checklist that is needed for your kid’s next summer camp. Thanks for sharing!

    I'd love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment below!