As I wrote on Monday, about camp paperwork deadlines, camp itself will be here before you know it (65 days!). And one of the things we always hear from parents is that they were in a frantic hunt for supplies in the last days before camp, which often means they didn’t have time to label things.
So let me help you try to avoid that this year for a couple of good reasons.
Why you should plan ahead
First, being frantic right before camp is not the way you want to spend the final days before sending your daughter off. Make time for that to be special, unhurried, and celebratory. It just makes for a nice “bon voyage!”
Second, being hectic adds to your stress and what parent needs that? Just a little careful planning in the weeks leading up to camp can transform the experience into one of to-do list empowerment – checking things off and feeling “on top of your game,” – rather than a frenzied race to the finish line.
And finally, do your planning to serve home economics and limited resources.
Ours is a precious and privileged world where the sheer abundance of goods (and ease of getting them) can make us forget where things came from, who made them, and what resources went into that water bottle, duffel bag, or flashlight.
But since we’re passing this world onto our kids and grandkids and beyond, we should treat our world as if it is precious, because it is. Yet doing so saves not only the earth, but our own pocketbooks – why pay again for something you had, or lose things that you could save, reuse, or hand down to the next child or a friend?
And all that is leading me to encourage you to plan early (NOW), acquire what you need (not always buy new – also consider borrowing, hunting out from the basement where you “just know” the item is, or purchasing second hand), and then label so your daughter can find it both at camp and when she’s packing to come home.
So first, labels for clothes.
You can use a simple laundry labeling pen, but we find that iron-on labels are often more enduring. You can source these through our e-storefront on Everything Summer Camp. Labels you do want to order early because they’re custom and so need to be specially made and then sent and then you have to put them on – all that takes time, it’s not a last minute option (except with costly rush fees and higher shipping). So I encourage you to put an alert in your smart phone to order your labels asap! 🙂
You’ll also want a Sharpie for labeling hard (firm) things like rain boots, water shoes, water bottles, flashlights, etc. Alternatively, you could also look at purchasing bulk supplies of bottled water from somewhere such as Custom Water that can allow you to design your bottles to your liking, covering multiple bottles with your name on for your travels has never been easier. Some other attendees at the summer camp may also find themselves to be a little jealous of the custom labels and might want to find their own!
Also on Everything Summer Camp you’ll find other needs, whether a trunk or laundry bag, flashlights or portable fans, water bottles or our custom ‘Ghany tees and shorts.
Review our recommended packing list of term camp essentials (and the additional “optional” items), or the Mini Camp packing list, and then compare it against what you’ve got on hand or can acquire. That will give you a starting point.
From there make yourself a calendar (or enter alerts into your smart phone) of things you want to acquire between now and camp, leaving yourself that precious window just before camp that you want to keep stress free and happy as you get ready to send your daughter off on her camp journey.
And remember, if you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail us.
– Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls