Summer Camp Hacks & Tips

Ready for warmer weather? Adventures? We have the ultimate list of Sleepaway Summer Camp Hacks, Tips, and Ideas for Kids. From free printables, summer camp packing lists, what your cabin really needs, and more. This list of summer camp ideas will have you all set to go for your outdoor summer vacation adventure away from home.

Summer Camp Hacks & Tips

Summer Sleepaway Camp

Pin to Pinterest

Our family took a crash course in all things Summer Camp last year. My girls went to a two week summer camp. One of my girls had never even had a successful overnight out of the home without a family member.  So with my anxiety of her departure, I began the process of doing everything I could to prepare her (them) for summer sleepaway camp making them feel comfortable and with both needs and wants from home.

Camping as a family or with the girls? Take a look at our Girls Clamping Ideas as well as our Camping Hacks and Tips. Also make sure you and your little girls watch American Girl Story Summer Camp (for free with Amazon Prime) before you go!

Summer Camp Packing Tips

When packing for summer camp, take a look at these tips and packing hacks.

Summer Camp Trunk Ideas

First, you need a camp trunk. Not a suitcase. I learned this late. Our first mommy/daughter camp we went to, we brought a suitcase and it was quite a challenge to get through the mountains.

We learned our lesson on that first trip. Having  a trunk to open and close every day was much more efficient for our girls. Camp Trunks are so affordable on Amazon.

This is the summer camp trunk that we got. The price was great, maybe I wish we had gotten one larger, but we are not changing because it is very personalized now with travel stickers.

How to Pack a Summer Camp Trunk

I thought I did amazing things with my trunk, but woah, Ashley has done something even greater.  Look at this frugal-friendly, customized summer camp trunk tutorial. | Lil Blue Boo

Summer Camp Packing List

We have a freebie for you. Download and print this kids Summer Camp Packing list by being a member of our email list. This is primarily for sleep away summer camp but you can, of course, leave off the things not needed for overnights (like sleeping bags) if you are going to to a day summer camp.

Summer Camp Packing List for Sleepaway

To get all of our free printables including this Summer Camp Packing List, subscribe and look for a link and password in our inbox. The password allows you to access and download any of our free printables. Don’t forget necessities like a reading light, laundry bag, spending money, bug spray, a rain jacket, flip flops and more.

I am happy to share printables. When sharing with others, please lead them to my website instead of emailing them the file(s). It takes time, effort and money to put the freebies forth and I earn when you visit. Thanks for visiting and thanks for sharing with others!

Camp Hair Don't Care Summer Camp Shirt

Camp Hair Don’t Care! Keeping your hair in check is quite hard when showering in the mountains. We made sure to pack hats, a lot of hair ties (for getting lost sharing a big cabin) and bandanas. Don’t forget to pick up the Camp Hair Don’t Care tees!

Summer Camp Hydro Flask with Stickers

Every VSCO girl and summer camper needs a metal Hydro Flask water bottle to refill with their name in Sharpie underneath. Camp VSCO stickers allows kids to personalize their canteen.

For your camp water bottle, grab small stickers during your travels and add them on or grab camp Hydro Flask stickers from Amazon. Cute options! You can add these stickers to personalize your camp trunk too. | Source

Camp Friendship Bracelet

Use your water bottle has a base for friendship bracelet making. Make sure to pack Embroidery Floss for yourself and a lot extra for friends. It will be very popular! | Source

Summer Mad Libs Printables

There is a lot of down time! For a fun and memorable camp experience, have your child bring some printables during their free time. We love these printable Mad Libs from Woo Jr. You could also grab this summer camp Mad Libs book.

Books for Summer Camp

Remember that free time we spoke about. Have a book (or two for those who love to read.) My daughter worked on the Camp Confidential series while she was away at camp.

Tip: Curious about the book rating or what other thing, visit Common Sense Media to search book titles.

Summer Camp Flash Light

Most of the time, when it is lights out, it is lights out. However, having a battery operated book light can be good for girls who want to read later into the evening before the official “bedtime hour.”

We also suggest bringing battery operated string lights – such a cute touch to a bunk and cabin.

Summer Camp Battery Operated Fan

Make sure you have a battery operated fan. The evenings can be extremely hot (or extreme cold – pack a sweat shirt) and plugs are hard to come by. A battery operated fan should give you enough life to get through your summer camp stay. If staying for a prolonged time, make sure to pack extra batteries. | Camp Greystone

Summer Camp Bunk Packing List

It is inevitable kids get home sick. Sleep away summer camp is sure to busy them and exhaust them so they fall straight asleep but having little photos from home will remind them of their loved ones.

Allow your kids to bring some things to personalize their space including photos, lovies, or little mementos. Washi tape will help them hang their prints. | Camp Greystone

Summer Camp Stationary

For our two-week summer camp, the parents have the ability to email, letters are printed out and delivered to the kids. However, the children do not have access to email so snail mail it is. Make sure to pack your child summer camp stationary.  Do not forget the stamps and an extra pen or two.

This is the stationary set that we ordered. It came with an address book for collecting addresses for friends. It comes in two styles.

Camp Letter Printable

We also have a free printable letter from camp! This one comes in a cute newspaper design and guides your kids with things to write – things you would likely ask them and want to hear about!

Summer Camp Letter Printable

Get all of our free printables including this Summer Camp Letter Template. Subscribe and look for a link and password in our inbox. The password allows you to access and download any of our free printables.

I am happy to share printables. When sharing with others, please lead them to my website instead of emailing them the file(s). It takes time, effort and money to put the freebies forth and I earn when you visit. Thanks for visiting and thanks for sharing with others!

How to Make a Postcard

Our camp uploads photos of the kids to albums. Each day parents can visit to see what the kids are doing. I save those photos and then turn them into a fun little postcard that I get mailed from Postable. This let’s them see the fun things they have done and gives them something to hang on their bunk.

If you want to ship a postcard form Postable, sign up today.  You can $5 off any order of $20. Use promo code MRK8UR86JF at checkout.

How to Make a Postcard for Summer Camp

Below is a tutorial of how to make a postcard for summer camp using Postable and PicMonkey.

  1. Sign up for Postable
  2. Sign up for Picmonkey.
  3. Using Picmonkey, create a collage of photos (I chose to do something with the size ratio of 5×7.)
  4. Save your collage.
  5. On Postable, go to “upload your own” on the top menu of the website.
  6. I chose size flat vertical 5×7 (you could also do horizontal layout or a folded card.)
  7. Upload your saved Picmonkey collage.
  8. Write your message
  9. Address your card.
  10. Checkout. You can $5 off any order of $20. Use promo code MRK8UR86JF at checkout.

My kids are at summer camp for two weeks, so I get these postcards made early in their stay so that they get it in time before leaving. Postable also has options (like the hiking card above) if you wish not to make your own photo collage online.

Summer Camp Clothing Labels

Label it all! Label all clothing, all accessories, all shoes, etc. Even label your kids underwear.  We pick up a pack of Mabel’s Labels Camp Labels.

Packing Cubes

Looking inside of a trunk can be very overwhelming. Organize clothes by day of the week or type/style using Ziploc Gallon Bags or Packing Cubes (my choice!) | Kelly Elko

Summer Camp Rope Bag Backpack

The KAVU Rope Bag camping backpack is great and very popular for summer camping. It can be pricey so I monitored it during the off season and gifted it to my girls for a spring holiday.

There are so many patterns on Amazon. I went through all the patterns and looked for those that were most discounted. I added those to my cart and then selected my favorite at the end. If you want something more frugal-friendly, Ambry makes a similar discounted Rope Sling Bag.

Summer Camp Care Package

It’s always cute to send little items from home, like a little gift each day. Hit up the Dollar Tree and wrap really small items. We also came up with this Summer Camp Candy Notes (though many places will not allow you to send in candy anymore.)

Straight Outta Camp Printable

Speaking of backpacks Grab a white pillow case, white t-shirt or white backpack (like we did) and download this Straight Out of Camp Iron On. Perfect for friends to sign at the end of the week!

Summer Camp Tips

Eliminate boredom with these Summertime Boredom Buster Activities. Pin to Pinterest.

Summer Activities for Kids

Also save this Visual Summer Bucket List for Kids. Pin to Pinterest.

Summer Bucket List