What are My Summer Camp Options and What Should I Pack?

By Robyn B. Engelson

There are camps that meet every interest, price range and schedule. Knowing your options, as well as your child’s personality and needs, will help you identify camps your child will benefit from the most.

Residential Camp

Most offer a variety of programs including sports, traditional or specialty for ages six to sixteen; girls, boys or coed; and varying lengths of stay. Residential camps offer varying overnight accommodations such as cabins, dorms, and tents.

Day Camp

Similar to residential camps except campers are somewhat younger, starting at about four years-old, and everyone returns home at the end of the day.

Specialty Camps and Programs

Campers can embark on adventures as varied as learning how to play tennis to how to sculpt pottery. If your child has an interest, chances are there is a camp that specializes in it.

Special Needs Campers

Camps accommodate children with physical, medical or mental disabilities. Some camps specialize in serving certain groups while other camps integrate special-needs campers into the total camp population.

Session Lengths Vary

Children may stay at camp for one week, 2 weeks, or the entire summer. Camps provide a session length for every child, budget, and schedule. It’s recommended that campers attending overnight camp stay for at least two weeks to fully enjoy the experience.


Overnight camp fees can range $800-$1,200 per week, depending upon the camp choice, facilities offered, and camper needs. Day camps range $300-$500 per week.


Many camps fill-up quickly and have waiting lists. Therefore, it’s important to register your child as soon as you make your decision.

Packing for overnight camp can be overwhelming.

Below are tips to make your packing experience painless.


• Keep packing simple and limited to what you feel your child will absolutely need.

• Shorts, t-shirts and jeans are fundamental to a camper’s wardrobe. The quantity of these items depends on the camper’s duration and the camp laundry facilities.

• Long pants are also essential for hikes and other activities.

• Your child’s name should be written on every item with a permanent marker.

• Comfortable shoes. Be sure to break-in new shoes before camp.

• A hat for stormy weather, preventing sunburns and repelling ticks during hikes.

• A raincoat or poncho.


• Flashlight with extra batteries.

• Camera with film or digital camera.

• Canteen or water bottle.

• Pre-stamped and pre-addressed stationary.

• Sunscreen.

• Lip balm.

• Insect repellent.

Specifics to check with your camp

• Bedding.

• Weather patterns.

• Special gear.

• Spending money.

• Child’s medication (send medicine in the original bottle with dosage instructions).

Do Not Bring

• Televisions.

• Food.

• Hunting knives.

• Expensive clothes.

Most of all, have fun!

For more summer camp information, contact Robyn B. Engelson, Owner, Camp Solutions. Robyn specializes in overnight summer camps and helps families find the right camp for their child with her FREE summer camp referral service. There is NO cost to you, parent or child, for this service.

www.mycampsolutions.com  • [email protected]  • (571) 239-2233


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here