10 things your child should bring to camp

According to the American Camping Association, over 8 million kids attend summer camp every year. What should they pack?

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  • Camping is the perfect opportunity to get kids outdoors so they can appreciate the beauty of the earth and learn about nature. In order for your children to have an exceptional camping experience, you should help them pack these 10 essential items.

  • 1. Sleeping Bag

  • Get a comfortable, high-quality sleeping bag that will keep kids warm. You can add a foam pad to the inside of the bag to keep it from getting dirty.

  • 2. Extra Clothing

  • You should pack an outfit for every day, including an assortment of jeans, shorts, T-shirts, and PJ's, and of course a swimsuit. Pack one extra outfit just in case there's a food fight or an unexpected rainstorm.

  • 3. Comfortable Shoes

  • A pair of sturdy hiking boots or sneakers are ideal, but don't forget flip-flops for walking to and from the lake. And remember to pack plenty of socks.

  • 4. Rain Gear

  • It doesn't matter if your kids are in a cabin or tent; they may get wet. Be sure to pack a raincoat or poncho with a hood.

  • 5. Personal Hygiene Kit

  • Basically a travel-size water-proof pouch that can hold a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, hairbrush and face wash. You can even include lip balm, sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellant.

  • 6. Journal/Paper/Pens

  • For the artistic child, pack a sketchbook or journal. There should be quiet time. Kids need time to sit and record thoughts, draw, or take notes about something they've learned. Colored pencils or pens are a plus.

  • 7. Pictures/Posters

  • Sometimes kids have a hard time being away from their parents. You can pack a family picture they can hang up so they won't feel so lonely. Also, a positive affirmation poster can brighten a kid's day, or a poster from their own room can remind them of home.

  • 8. Games

  • A deck of cards for a quiet game of Solitaire or Uno just in case the kids want to play a quick game before bed.

  • 9. Camera

  • A disposable camera is perfect for kids to take some pictures and make their own memories.

  • 10. A Positive Attitude

  • This can be the most important thing your child can bring to camp, and it doesn't take up any room in their bags. If they want to have the best camping experiences they have to believe they will. You can give them a pep talk about having a great time, but it is ultimately up to them.

  • One more thing to include in your kids gear is a letter from you. Write a love note and hide it in the bottom of their sleeping bag or in the hygiene kit. This will let them know you're thinking of them. Camp can teach your children to learn about their world, be responsible, and make new friends. With these 10 items, your child is sure to have a great camp experience!

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Virginia Bell is a bookworm and resides in Saratoga Springs, Utah with her husband and two girls.

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