Are you getting ready to send your munchkin off to camp soon? I know I am (eeek)! I know it seems early to talk about camp and camp clothes. What if it told you that
It’s really not too early to think about it!
Camp starts in the Midwest, mid-June, but all over the country by the end of May summer camp is getting into full swing! And all of those campers are going to need to be dressed and out the door each morning ready for their awesome summers!
Let me give you simple way to get your campers up and out the door to "the best place on earth" aka camp, each morning. Take it from a former camp director, this is the way to go!
First, shop early.
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Go, right now, (I mean it, just follow the links below) and buy 5 pair of shorts and 7 shirts that you don’t mind them destroying at camp. DO NOT spend more than $100 on all of it. These items will come home covered in tie-dye, paint, grass stains, not to mention sweat and chlorine.
Additionally, be sure that these items are easy for your camper to get on and off themselves. No extra buttons, snaps, ties unless absolutely necessary.
My two favorite places to get camp clothes (coming from a former camp director who has bought A LOT of extra camp clothes over the years) are Target and Old Navy.
Here are some of my favorite items for kids at camp (and what my camper will be wearing this summer):
- Sporty shorts
- Loose tank dresses
- Comfy t-shirts
- White cotton low cut socks
Next, you’ll need bathing suits, these DO NOT need to be expensive.
I like to buy them at Target or the Children’s Place. Try to get them on sale in the winter (good tip for next year), but I find these stores have the best prices no matter when you are looking.
Depending on how many times your camper swims each day and how often you do laundry, I would consider getting one for each day with a spare. Sounds like a lot, but it makes life so much easier.
For my camper, I'll actually buy 7 swim suits, since we don't have laundry in our home. I like to keep it simple, it's worth the few extra dollars to have things always ready to go.
Theme Days are Real!
If I can make an educated guess, your camp director is hard at work planning some super special theme days and dress up days...which has the potential to make your life more difficult, but I'm here to help!
Trust me, ask and plan in advance.
Click here to get an email that you can copy and paste and send to your camp director right now!
Use this email to find out in advance what your camper will need in the way of theme days/dress up day gear. When you get the response, here's what to do:
- Look around the house
- Find items that will match the themes/dress up days camp has planned
- Put those items in a zip top bag
- Label with what theme and date it goes with and forget about it.
When that email comes reminding you Crazy Sock Day is tomorrow, you’ll be ready!
Okay, one last step, and the one that will make your mornings the easiest!
- Go find an empty plastic bin or empty drawer.
- Label it camp clothes.
- Find 5 - gallon sized zip top bags
- Label them Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
- Put these bags in the designated storage space.
- As you accumulate clothes for camp, put them in the storage place as well.
ONLY CAMP CLOTHES go in the designated spot!
Now to make each day as simple as possible. Sit down with your camper on Sunday evenings and let them pick out their clothes for the week. You’ll already know if there is a dress up day, so factor that in.
Then pick outfits. Put them in the day of the week bag, put the bags in order and voila, you are ready to go with clothes for camp!
When you are doing laundry, separate these clothes out from the rest, do one load of them and back to the bin they go.
Simple as your favorite gray t-shirt, right?
Please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know if this was helpful. Would also love to hear what theme day your camper is most excited about and which one you dread most as a parent. I'll share this info with some of my favorite camp directors...
This is so helpful Marni! Thank you for posting this!
Marni you are THE best. My oldest is off to EFA for his first day camp experience and I could not be more excited.
Time to organize our hand me down summer clothes from non other than Rachel Schwartz. Love my JCC family!!!
Thanks so much! I'm so excited you have one going off to camp too! Have fun organizing...