HDYDI: Pack for {Next Year’s} Summer Camp!

Ah, you’re home. The kids are wiped out, the laundry is finally done and the memories and photos are aplenty from summer camp. Time to focus on starting a new school year, right?


Because I served as a camp counselor and was a camp kid myself, here’s a few small things you can do to make packing for summer camp next year a total breeze. Or, slightly less painful.

Get a headstart on packing for next year summer camp

1. Hit the sales. August is notorious for lots of sales as kids, particularly those of the college variety, head back to campus. Take advantage of that by purchasing linens and bedding (pillows, towels, washcloths and sheets) and shower caddies at a major discount. And, because summer is hitting it’s end, retailers also put things on sale like fans and foot lockers. Let the clearance rack be your best friend.

2. Clean it. When my kids arrived home, you can bet I Cloroxed (and in some cases, powerwashed) those plastic footlockers. I let them air out for a few days to make sure they were good and clean before putting them back into storage. I also gave the shower caddies and toiletry storage containers a quick wash and then let them air dry.

3. Refer to that packing list. My kids each went to camp with a packing list. I did a quick inventory of what they used (and didn’t) and made note of it for next year. No need to pack something they really didn’t use!

hdydi_summer camp_002

4. Recycle it. My kids have a plethora of t-shirts, many of which are perfect for camp wear because it’s okay if they get ruined or damaged. So, rather than store them inside the closet all year, we chose to just wash, fold and put them back in the trunk for next summer.

5. Load it back in. There’s really no need to store all those “camp things” in a separate place, especially when it’s something they only use during summer camp. For us, that included: laundry bag, sheets, towels, washcloths, poncho, duffle bag, toiletry caddy, extension cord, fan, dental floss, flashlight (batteries removed) and pillow/pillowcase.

6. Print it. We went ahead and printed stationery and calling cards, stamped them and put them in plastic baggies for next year. Truth be told, my kids only sent ONE letter home, so we just kept the one they didn’t mail and put it back inside the footlocker!

summer camp_002

Go ahead and pour yourself a cold Dr Pepper because packing next summer just became a whole lot less painful!

To read more posts about camp, check out how we choose it and pack for it.


  1. Bea on August 18, 2014 at 8:14 am

    This is when we pick up beach towels & lake shoes on clearance as mine lives at the lake at camp so we pack her 2 towels, 2 swimsuits & lake shoes.

  2. Wanda on August 18, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Great ideas !! Love seeing the laundry bag there on top! I’m hoping it was perfect.:)))

  3. […] After the kids arrive home, I wash, air out and sanitize everything. Then? About half of it goes straight back in the footlocker: pillow, towels, shower caddy, t-shirts, sheets, fan, etc. You will save yourself some serious time, effort and space by packing the “summer camp only” stuff right back in the trunk it will be going in next year. Need the full 411? I suggest this post. […]

  4. Summer Camp: The Best Week Ever - Team Whitaker on March 20, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    […] Getting a jump start on packing for next year’s summer camp […]

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