For many camps, letters, email and care packages are the main mode of communication for parents to connect with campers. Care packages can help parents feel more connected to their kids, and help kids know that their parents are thinking of them.
Before you send your summer camp care package, make sure you know the rules of the camp. For example, Pali Adventures does not allow food to be sent in summer camp care packages. You will also want to avoid electronics, valuables and other items that your child won’t be able to enjoy while at camp.
Read on for a list of summer camp care package ideas to send to your child.
Don’t pack anything that will make your child miss home. Sentimental photos, notes about how much you miss them, and nostalgic blankets or stuffed animals should all be avoided.
Instead, accompany your summer camp care package with a simple card or note that lets your child know how happy you are that they are having a blast at camp. Include pre-stamped envelopes, paper, and writing utensils so that your child can send a reply letter if they want. Check out our blog post for ideas on how to write the perfect camp letter to your child.
Be sure to include something to enrich your child’s experience. At Pali Adventures, kids participate in a wide variety of special activities like magic, movie makeup, and Wacky Science. You may want to send something that directly relates to what they’ve been doing at camp. If they’ve enjoyed their time in the Magic specialty, send them a magic trick or a book on magic. Not only will this fuel their interests at camp, this can also be a good conversation starter and something to share with other campers.
Make sure to respond to any letters home that you’ve received, and ask them about their time at camp: new friends, activities, or their favorite counselor.
Include something in your care package that your child can share with friends and cabin-mates. Playing cards, a travel size board game, Frisbee, stickers, coloring books and other crafts and activities are great ideas for getting your child out and interacting with other kids at camp. If your camp holds a water war or allows raids, as Pali Adventures does, sending back-up water balloons and cans of shaving cream will arm your camper for even more fun.
Even simple things that can be purchased at the dollar store like beads and string will allow your child to make bracelets or necklaces and will allow everyone in the cabin to return home with a fun keepsake. Mad Libs is another great idea for getting your child involved with other kids at camp.
Books or coming books are good if you know your child needs occasional downtime, but expect that they might get passed around the cabin, too. Avoid sending anything that is of special value, as chances are it will make the rounds and come home (or not make it home) looking more shabby than it once did.
Worried that you only packed one tube of sunscreen? Not enough socks? Sticking these necessities in with a care package is the perfect way to ensure that your child will get them, especially if you don’t want to purchase them at the camp store. Remember to label any clothing that you send in the care package.
Try to avoid sending only necessity items and find the perfect balance of fun and necessary items to include in your summer camp care package.
Many camps have guidelines and rules around care packages: from contents to frequency to size to who can send. Be sure you know the rules before you send a package or encourage family members to do so. Some camps have strict rules on sending packages at all or have taken steps to make packages more equitable. If your camp limits the size or contents of the package, or limits to one package per week or per family, be sure to adhere to those guidelines. If you don’t, the contents may end up in the trash with a lot of waste in terms of both time and expense.
For more summer camp tips, read the Pali blog.