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Day Camp Checklist

LLBean CritterPack

I am sending my boys (age 6) to day camp for the first time this summer. Here is our checklist to help keep track of all of the essentials and make our camp mornings easy and stress-free. Print your own copy and tuck into your child’s bag so they can check off everything they should bring home. Add your own suggestions in the comments below.

This list of items for day camp should fit into your child’s backpack.

___ Sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 45 (I think the roll-on kind is easier for younger kids to re-apply it themselves.)

___ Insect repellant wipes and/or insect repellent wristband (Do not send an aerosol can of insect repellant–the spray will sting if it gets in your child’s eyes.)

___ Bathing suit and towel (I recommend the cheap, super thin ones–less bulk in the backpack.)

___ Water bottle filled with ice-cold water

___ Hat

___ Comfortable running shoes or closed-toe sports sandals WITH socks

___ Extra set of clothes (especially a pair of socks and shirt if they get wet from the rain)

___ Rain poncho (rolls up small)

___ Medication: All camps should have your child’s medical information on file. Having an extra note with details in their backpack and attached to their Prescription medication and/or Epi-Pen is helpful.

___ Food: Most day camps will provide lunch and snacks. If you pack a lunch it should be easy to eat on the ground. A sandwich (avoid peanut butter since most camps are nut-free), fruit and a juice box or water makes for a healthy lunch. Granola bars make an excellent snack. Some camps may have snack bars — find out the rules and cost of items ahead of time so you can plan if and how much money you want your child to have everyday. I recommend putting money in a zippered change purse or Ziploc baggy. Notify the camp of any food allergies your child may have.

___ Change purse with $1-$2 for snacks
___ Benadryl cream for itchy mosquito bites

Photo Credit: Children’s Critter Pack from LLBean

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  • My daughter went to camp two days so far with the wrist band on her ankle and so far no bug bites! The ingredients (as far as I can recall) all seemed pretty natural too – mostly citronella. Thanks for the list Anisa!

  • Has anyone tried the wrist bands?
    We use the kiss my face orange bottle from Whole foods with great success. Kids at camp would have to re-apply, but is pump spray and all natural.

  • a green can of deep woods OFF is in my car. i like to apply the herbal repellant “kiss off” spray made by kiss my face, followed by OFF once i get outside. the combination works. (deet to repel the insects, herbs to feel wholesome.)

  • Currently, the Amer. Academy of Pediatrics is telling us that products having a concentration between 10-30% of DEET appear to be safe. They are best used when there is a reason to be worried about disease transmission from the mosquito or tick. Bellani has DEET free wipes (also available at Leaps & Bounds) as well as a spray that is DEET-free, made with rosemary, citronella oils, and marigold derivative. Unfortunately, if you are looking for nostalgia, you have to get the green can of Deep Woods OFF, I don’t even know if they still make that.

  • Insect repellant wipes listed above from Leaps and Bounds claims to be safe and we will give them a try. This organic bug spray is ranked #1 by the New England Journal of Medicine! Made from plant extracts like soybeans and geraniums, it’s 100% safe and natural. Yet according to the USDA, it’s just as effective as DEET. Repels mosquitoes, flies, and more. Non-toxic, waterproof, and long-lasting.

  • Yeah, but what’s going on with the DEET? I thought that was the thing you were supposed to avoid, then at CVS the bug spray selection was all “Now with DEET!” “Xtra DEET-y for your summertime pleasure” etc. and I found that confusing.

    Only one non-DEET spray – what gives people?

  • perfect timing anisa!

    i am feeling unprepared & so in need of a check list. it’s almost noon & i’m still not sure when i’m supposed to go back to pick my kids up.

    thanks for doing some of the thinking for me. tomorrow i’ll remember the insect repellant.