Friday, May 2, 2014

Summer Camp Essentials

I cannot be the only one...who has mixed feelings about summer.  Those days of carefree hours in the sun or staying up late in the warm evenings are no more. Now my summer consist of scrambling to create a schedule for my six year old that will keep him occupied, well supervised, and allow me to keep my already very part-time, part-time job. All of this combined makes it difficult to love summer as much as I used to.

The best choice for our little family of three is summer camp.  While it can be costly, it seems to be a necessary cost, and in such cases it's best to try not to think about the money and think about the peace of mind summer camp offers.
Love Bull Frog (photo credit:

With the days of summer quickly approaching it is time for me to start stocking up on our Summer Camp Essentials, starting with these:

1. Sunscreen and/or Sunblock
The summer camp Sonny Boy attends has a mandatory sunblock applying time written right into the daily schedule.  Last year I thought the spray can sunblock would be easier for my then five year old to apply, but was proved wrong when I picked him up from camp and was unable to keep a grip on his over sun protected greasy arms...this year we are going old school pasty white rub on lotion.

photo credit:

2. Hat...any style will do, just bring a HAT.
Outside all day is a great way to take in all that summer camps have to offer, but squinting in the sun can put a serious damper on your camper's ability to have a good time.  My boy tends to go for a baseball cap, while this all fine and dandy for shading his eyes from the sun, a baseball cap is usually made of a thick twill which causes serious sweaty head issues.  This year I am opting for a more weather friendly version of the good old hat with lots of mesh to help relive a little of that sweat.

photo credit:

3. Backpack
Not only do your kids need sunblock and a hat, they will need a multitude of things to survive the summer camp lifestyle, and a sturdy backpack will help them carry their goods to and fro.  We made the mistake of buying a backpack with a zipper that wasn't made for shoving everything into the pack and then squeezing it shut while trying to zip it closed last year, and unfortunately that backpack didn't survive the summer.  This sturdy digital camo-pack with handy water bottle holder will be our backpack of choice this year.

4.  Labels...labels...labels
I cannot stress to you the importance of labeling everything...EVERYTHING. The inside of their shoes, their socks, their under-roos, their...the list goes on and on, but for good reason. Every bright and sunny morning at drop off time at the summer camp the counselors place a table piled to the sky with every misplaced item the campers left behind from the days before.  Considering most of us parents shop at pretty much the same three stores (Target, Wal-Mart, and A Children's Place) it becomes real hard to distinguish between your boy-o's stuff and my boy-o's stuff.

photo credit:

5. Kid sized beach towels.
Watching my four-foot-tall boy dragging his six-foot-long wet beach towel across the lawn, sandbox, and dirt of the camp yard on a daily basis was too much for me.  Washing towels every couple of days because the kiddo couldn't manage such a large towel commodity was an issue I had to nip in the bud.  Purchasing beach towels that compliments their vertically challenged frame is an easy way to help with the carrying of the towel, the packing of the towel, and the usage of said yourself the favor, find a perfect sized towel for your mini-camper.

These are my top five Summer Camp Essentials, all the items shown are available on Amazon (with the exception of the labels, which you can get from Mabel's Labels) if you want more info, and I hope this list helps you get your family ready for those dog days of summer.


  1. Thanks for the great tips - I hadn't thought about labeling everything. This is our first year sending kids to camp - they are really excited!

  2. I am so glad these summer camp tips helped! Last year was our first year and we lost a sock a day, a beach towel a week, and Sonny Boy's lunch box was in the lost and found pile all the time...this year the labels are going on everything!!

    Thanks for stopping by!