Summer camp is near and dear to my heart. Not only did I go to summer camps when I was a girl, all of my kids grew up going to summer camps too. Plus, my daughter Sarah and my daughter Laura have both worked for a number of years at Indian Creek Camp. Laura (now 20 years old) is currently serving as the activities director there this summer!
This post was written about a decade ago, but I thought it would be fun to bring it back and share it with you this summer! Be sure to grab the free printables at the bottom of the post!
Originally published June 2014. Updated June 2023.
A Summer Camp Care Package
Last week my two youngest girls, Hannah and Laura, who are 13 and 11 years old went away to summer camp for the very first time.
Now, my older children all began going to summer camp around the age of eight and they went every year for years! They loved camp. In fact, My 19 year old daughter loved summer camp so much she’s been working there for the last three years.
This was a big step for Hannah and Laura going to summer camp. They had never – I really mean never – been away from mom and dad. They’d never spent the night anywhere but at home.
As I expected, they had an amazing time at summer camp. When we picked them up Sunday morning they were just beaming with all sorts of stories to share with us on the five hour drive home.
One of the things that makes summer camp special is MAIL. Campers love getting letters and packages in the mail!
To ensure your camper receives mail on time at summer camp you can mail letters a day or two before they leave for camp. And every day for the next few days.
It’s also fun to give grandparents and favorite aunts and uncles a heads up and provide them with all the details so they can get in on the mail fun too!
10 Summer Camp Care Package Ideas
When we mailed our girls a care package we sent it Priority Mail. They had no idea a package would even be coming – it was a complete surprise!
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing when it comes time to pack those boxes!
1. UNO or another favorite card game. This is perfect because it’s something they can do with the new friends staying in their cabin.
2. Glow Sticks. Be sure to pack enough for all of their cabin mates to have one too!
3. Mad Libs. These are so much fun, and again, they can involve their new friends in the giggles.
4. Note Cards, Envelopes, and Stamps. Or Postcards. If you didn’t give your child a few cards to send home from camp, now’s a good time to do so!
5. Candy. Every child loves candy. Be sure to include their favorites and maybe even some to share.
6. A New Book. Does your child have a favorite series such as Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys? A fun mystery is the perfect activity for the daily quiet time.
7. A White T-shirt and Fabric Markers. Prepare the t-shirt with a cardboard in the middle so they can decorate the t-shirt and have their friends sign their names without it bleeding through.
8. A Blank Journal or Scrapbook. Perfect for recording summer camp memories!
9. Stick on Mustaches. With the mustache crazy these could get a good laughs!
10. A Heartfelt Letter from Mom and/or Dad. Why not use this time away to write a sweet letter to your child expressing how much he means to you?
Summer Camp Printables
I have a sweet five page set of printables for your special camper. You could include these in your care package or simply send the printables with your child in his or her suitcase.
In this set is included a worksheet, two address sheets, and two journal pages – one that’s lined and one that is blank for the child who likes to draw or doodle more than she likes to write.