Summer Camp Essentials: What to Pack Before Heading Off

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Believe it or not, here we are again—summer camp is right around the corner!

Are you getting antsy about what to pack?

Fear no more! We've compiled a handy summer camp packing checklist so you can breathe easy and focus on more important having a BLAST at iD Tech day and overnight camps this summer!

(Note, if you have signed up for camp at iD Tech, please consult the official packing list in your My Account. What follows are general suggestions and thus may not be comprehensive based on your specific camp, location, or experience.)

Summer Camp Essentials

Day & Overnight campers should bring the following:

Reusable water bottle

Some summer camps provide them, some don't. Either way, hydration is still important! Be sure to check and make sure your kid or teen has water access.

Headphones or earbuds

I'm one of those people who has grown dependent on earphones, making them a must-have for running and working out, or, more applicable to the summer learning experience, when needing to focus!

Comfortable clothing and shoes (preferably tennis shoes)

No matter which of the many different types of summer camps your child is attending, comfort is a must. While it goes without saying at a sports camp, it even applies to computer camp (an experience that has been traditionally, albeit falsely, thought of to be devoid of physical activity).

A jacket or sweatshirt

Weather is a funny thing, right? I mean, even the professionals get it wrong at times. But while weather professionals aren't as wrong as they're widely believed to be, incorrect forecasts pop up every now and then. Summers are for sunshine, yes, but it's best to always be prepared.

Bathing suit and sunscreen

Again, a pool and swimming might not be an offering at your camp, but here is your reminder to check and make sure. You'd hate for your son or daughter to not be able to partake!

Spending money

It's always good for campers to have a little pocket spending money—good for purchasing vending machine snacks or souvenirs from the campus bookstore! $20-$40 per week is usually a good amount.

Overnight campers should bring the following (in addition to the items above):

Alarm clock

Learning independence is just one of the many summer camp benefits. Waking up on time? One of those things your camper might take for granted, thanks to the help of mom and dad. Be sure to pack an alarm clock to help them out a bit.


Even if accommodations are equipped with air conditioning, campers are at the mercy of the operator. And, while a hot day will surely be met with the AC, an extra, controllable breeze is always nice.

Multiple sets of socks, undergarments, etc.

As a parent, you know. It's not easily explained, but for some reason, there is always a shortage here. Pack socks and undergarments, and pack extra! One of those things you really don't want to/can't be without.


Perhaps one of the most-forgotten items—pajamas or something comfortable to wear at night. We get so consumed with making sure kids are packed with comfortable day clothes and shoes, and that they have enough undergarments (per the above), that we forget about what they'll need when it's time for "lights out."

Extra pair of comfortable shoes

Shoes can easily get dirty, and worse, they can get wet. Or, maybe a camper starts to develop a blister from the primary pair of "comfortable shoes." So, an extra pair always helps.

Flip flops

Separate from "comfortable shoes" for a reason—flip flops serve a different purpose, and should be worn when there's a chance of water, at the pool, etc.

Sleeping bag or extra sheets

While such items might be provided, it's always good to bring along a sleeping bag and extra sheets.

Bath towel

When packing, it's always helpful to mentally visualize a day in the life. Such an exercise helps you remember to pack things like bath towels, which might otherwise be forgotten.

Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.

Or, the bathroom bag of independence. If kids needed a reminder to do all of the things they'll probably forget to do without prompting, this is that reminder. They should be able to open what they've packed and see all of these things staring at them in the face, and thus reminding them that they need to be used.


Part of the reason things aren't packed, even when remembered and thought about is because it's believed that kids just won't have the capacity for all of these things all of the time. But, a backpack provides the option for transportation, and thus things like headphones, etc. now make more sense because they can be easily moved from one place to another.

2-week supply of medication per week

Of course, if applicable. Be sure to keep medication in original prescription bottles.

2-week supply of contact lens supplies per week

Again, if applicable. But, always pack extra contact lenses, as a supply can quickly be exhausted for unforeseen reasons.

What NOT to bring to camp/Prohibited Items:

Roller-blades, skateboards, or shoes with wheels. (Note: At iD Tech, these are not permitted unless they are a student's only mode of transportation to or from camp. In this case, items must be checked-in upon arrival and checked-out upon departure.)

Personal pets or animals. (Note: If a service animal is required, contact the camp ahead of time.)

Drones and hoverboards are not permitted under any circumstances.

Lighters, matches, cigarettes, illegal drugs or substances, and weapons are prohibited.

What you may want to leave at home:

While campers are not required to bring any electronic devices to camp, we know they might want to bring along a smartphone, laptop, iPad, or gaming console. We recommend keeping these items locked in dorms, or zipped up in backpacks, both for safety, and so campers can get the most out of camp! (iD Tech is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen equipment or items.)

In fact, studies from the American Camp Association have shown that students who leave their electronic devices at home gain a bigger sense of independence, and students often gain new life skills

If campers decide to leave devices at home, they can use the iD Tech computers to send emails to family. Our Camp Directors will notify parents of any emergencies or bouts of homesickness—nothing is more important than our students' safety and comfort.

We hope this helps! See you on the other side!

Got something to add to our checklist? Tell us in the comments!

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