By Katie Moosbrugger

Last summer was my daughter’s first experience with overnight camp, and it was a new venture for me too. Since I had never gone to summer camp as a kid, I spent weeks asking friends (who were in the know) about what she should pack, how she should pack, when to send a care package, what to send in a care package…among a million other questions. I shopped in secret to build her care package for weeks in advance and had everything ready to go. I wanted to be sure I crossed every ‘t’ and dotted every ‘i’ so her first camp outing would be memorable and perfect.

The morning after I dropped her off, I hightailed it to the post office to mail her package. They assured me it would arrive in two days. Every day I waited to get an email from my daughter saying how much she loved her care package. Emails arrived daily, but no mention of the care package. Sure enough, as soon as I went to pick her up, she was sitting on her bunk bed opening her care package for the first time. I learned it arrived the morning of check out! Despite the post office glitch, her experience turned out to be memorable and perfect anyway.

So what did I learn? Consider dropping off your care package the same day you check-in your child! I also kept my list care package ideas for this year’s summer camp adventure, and I share them below. Maybe my list will make your preparations easier. Not every camp allows food in care package, so be sure to ask in advance.

I hope your child’s summer camp experience goes off without a glitch. And now to more than 60 care package ideas to help you do just that…

Love from Home

Self addressed stamped envelopes
Stationery/note cards
Notes from family members
Picture of family
Picture of family pet
A letter from your family pet

Little Extras

Band aids
Ear plugs for swimming
Extra sunscreen
Colored zinc
Chap sticks
Toiletry items
Insect repellent
Aloe Vera for sun burns
Bug bite relief

Unexpected Surprises

New Goggles
New Sunglasses
New Flip flops
New bathing suit
New water bottle

Sweet Treats

Candy – the stuff you normally don’t buy
Snacks (trail mix, pretzels, granola bars, etc)
Homemade baked goods

For the Long Nights

Flash light (don’t forget the batteries!)
Book light
Camp journal
Sketch books
Pens and pencils
Battery operated fan (don’t forget the batteries)
Warm, fuzzy socks

Make Them Stand Out

Glow in the dark clothes (PJs, socks, shoelaces)
Glow in the dark bracelets and necklaces
Glow in the dark body paint

Building Memories

Disposable camera
Waterproof camera
Fabric markers and plain white t-shirt or pillowcase to sign
Autograph book
Address book

Cabin Mate Fun

Small token to give to a cabin mate
Deck of cards
Mad Libs (you can find these at Toys & Co!)
Glow Sticks
Water guns
Magic 8 Ball
Crazy glasses
Prank items (Five Below has a ton…)
Temporary tattoos
Stick on mustaches
Fake teeth
Camp Bunk Box of Questions
Wubble Bubble Balls
Walkie talkies
Small travel-size games (like Spot It, Uno, Would You Rather)

Just for Girls

Nail polish
Ponytail holders
Hair chalk
Friendship bracelet kits
Rainbow loom
Patterned Duct Tape

A Couple of Other Ideas

~ Consider wrapping each item individually so it’s like a holiday occasion for your child to open the care package.

~ Don’t have time to coordinate a care package? Send a pre-made camp care package from Sealed with a Kiss or Mirth in a Box. Brilliant idea!

What else can you add to my list? Leave a comment below!