My girls are heading to their first summer of sleepaway camp this year, which has brought a lot of emotions (they’re beyond excited, but Jon and I already miss them!). Once we made the decision that they would be headed out for a month of adventuring and lifelong memory-making, it hit me that there would be a lot to get done to prepare. I’ve packed my kids for plenty of family travel and quick trips, but never for such a long time period, so it was time to get in full-on organizing mode!
CREATE A LIST
Beyond the regular travel necessities, like clothing, shoes, and toiletries, we need activity-specific gear for multiple activities (Ellie can’t wait for a summer of horseback riding!), and specific bedding for their mattresses since they are different sizes from what we have at home. There is a long list of what we need to pack, and when I multiply that list by two to account for both girls, well, it makes my head hurt! To help get myself organized, I created a list that I could easily break down by category and check off as items were accounted for.
PS: Here’s a link to my sleepaway camp packing list, if you’d like to use it while preparing for your own kid’s sleepaway camp! There are spots to insert quantities of items needed, and extra checkboxes to customize the list based on your specific packing needs.
CHECK INVENTORY, THEN PURCHASE
Of course, in an effort to prevent overbuying, I did a sweep through the house to identify what items from the list we already had in stock. Then, once I had those items taken care of I turned to online shopping to get everything off of the list ordered, which was much more time efficient then having to drive around to multiple stores. Oh, and I always use ebates while I shop (have you used it?) because why not make a little money back while I shop?!
CREATE A SYSTEM
Thinking back to my old camp days, I remembered the excitement of getting ready to spend weeks with my friends, the opportunity to spend my days outside, and the high of gaining more independence then I had at home during the school year. Those years were truly monumental, and I’m looking forward to giving my girls the same type of experience, under one condition: they write me often!
My girls agreed to my initial request of writing me every single day, which I know will mean once a week (if I’m lucky!) and I was determined to make it easy for them to uphold that request. So, we created these stationery kits for them to bring in their bags, which makes it easy for them to stay in touch throughout the summer. It’s a system that they can easily manage on their own, with all of the essentials in one spot for them to grab when it’s time to get in touch with their family and friends.
HOW TO CREATE A STATIONERY KIT FOR SUMMER CAMP
When it came time to create the stationery kits for camp, I knew that Erin Condren would be the perfect spot to create personalized stationery that my girls would be excited about using. Here’s what’s included in their kits:
- Note cards & envelopes: my girls first selected a design for their Erin Condren note card sets (Marin chose Watercolor World and Ellie chose Checkerboard) and then they added their names to be printed on the name of the card sets. Each note card set comes with envelopes as well (they picked the color), so one they write a letter they can pop it in to the corresponding envelope.
- Pens, pencils, or markers: my girls prefer to write in thin marker, but giving a couple of options in the pouch allows for some extra variety and a chance to get creative!
- Address labels: we opted to order matching return address labels from Erin Condren (in Watercolor World and Checkerboard) to make it easier for the girls to address their envelopes. We’ve already added the return addresses to the envelopes, so when they’re ready to write a letter they just have to worry about adding the send address and a stamp.
- Stamps: we threw in a book of stamps to each kit so that all of the essentials for sending a letter are in one spot.
- Address book: we wrote out the addresses for home, grandparents, aunts/uncles/cousins, and friends so that the girls had a handy reference when addressing the letters. Plus, they can use this list as a checklist to determine who is still owed a letter.
- Carrying pouch: we repurposed some of their old carrying cases to corral all of their stationery essentials, but the Plan For It Pouch from Erin Condren is the the perfect size to hold all of the supplies.
My girls made an address reference page to remember where the addresses and stamp should go on an envelope!