res. camp-trunk? duffle? care pkgs?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
res. camp-trunk? duffle? care pkgs?
Mon, 05-29-2006 - 8:59am

This year DD (entering 6th grade) is headed to resident camp for the first time. There is a new camp director who has such high energy I know DD will have a great time.

We've got the list of what to bring but I'm curious about how to pack it all. Any suggestions for this? I'm thinking a duffle bag would get wrecked by a tent full of energetic girls, but is a trunk overkill??

And while I'm on the subject...suggestions for care packages would be helpful too!


Avatar for cl_cathiann
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-29-2006 - 9:48am
How long is she going for?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2000
Mon, 05-29-2006 - 9:50am

Do you know the set up of the area she will be staying?

If it is single cot/beds (as often found in platform tents) - - a low suitcase that can stay open underneath the bed is a good option. Like the kind that opens in two halves.

If they are in bunks, the person on the top really does not have a good place to store their items, then something that stands upright off to the side might be good.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 05-31-2006 - 8:21am

I'm a big fan of the tote when I pack myself for Boy Scout Camp because I know it will fit between the two cots and doubles as a table. BigBee isn't becuase it is heavy.

I'd never a big one with DeeDee because of the way the beds are set up and I think a shorter one that fits under the bed would lose some of its usefulness.

One advantage is that it can be set on wet grass without clothes becoming damp. It is easier to 'root around' if need be. The dirty clothes bag fits off to one side and I can just slide stuff in. Boxes (first aid, shampoo) can fit anywhere, not just in the middle like a duffle.

You lose the last minute stuff in the pockets and if what you are looking for is on the bottem, everything has to come out.

Care packages? An autograph book, assuming it gets there in time. Hard Candies to share. Chapstick and sunscreen? I know you packed it. You know if it may be lost. I loved getting letters from my mom that she mailed the Saturday before I left and they would talk about how excited I was to go, which helped with the blahs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 06-01-2006 - 12:32pm

Thanks for the suggestions for packing and for the care package. I do know how the cots are set up and really like the idea of using a tote bin that can double as a table. But not sure just how high they are. DD is a kiddo with high anxiety about life in general and feels better when she knows what to expect so I'll probably contact the camp director to find out what fits underneath.

DD thinks the idea of autographs is cool. Someone at work suggested letting her pick out a t-shirt from the Trading Post (or using a pillowcase) and having her tent mates autograph with a Sharpie or fabric pen.

I'm sure I'll be back for other ideas as camp gets closer!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-02-2006 - 8:31am

Last year both DDs went to overnight camp. We sent them with suitcases. Each days' outfit was in it's own large ziplock bag. This year both girls are returning. They are 9 and 10 this summer. They didn't like the large ziplock idea, so we're ditching that. They are trying out the large tote instead of the suitcase. More sturdy and also if it rains, it will keep stuff dryer.

Care packages--already bought glow-in-the-dark bracelets, Mad Lib books, playing cards, some magic towels (the kind that are very tiny and you put in water and they expand), funky socks, and a journal. We also mail letters every day.

I'm sure she'll have lots of fun! My DDs can't wait to go back!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Sat, 06-03-2006 - 9:34am

Glow sticks!!!!

We have a only $1 type store that sells 6 or 8 in a cardboard tube with bracelet connections.

We always pack a glow stick for each night, because they make excellent nightlights. Enough light to reassure kids and help them find a flashlight in the middle of the night, but not so bright that it keeps most sleepers awake.

My 12yo son said he would need undies and socks. :p He also said batteries.

DeeDee said a whistle and gum.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-04-2006 - 1:38pm
This is my 9 yr olds dd 3rd yr to go to Resident camp. We pack her stuff in ziplock bags with her name on each bag. One bag holds whatever she will need to complete a outfit.
I put her bath stuff in a small ditty bag that she made one yr at day camp. She has a
laundry bag that hangs on the end of her cot to throw her dirty cloths in. * first yr we had HIGH expectations she would actually put her dirty clothes in the zip lock her clean ones just came out of her..HA HA HA*
We use a med. size suitcase and when we get there we unzip it and stand the ziplock clothing bags upright a little. Each is labeled at the top so she can read what it holds and grab with no digging around.This will slid under her cot.
As for a care package. We are allowed to write letters and care packages and leave them there. We put the day we want it delivared on the back corner. This way she gets 'mail'
daily. Mid week she will get her care package. Call and see if yours allow this. My dd will get at least 3 letters a day.I get aunts,Uncles, cousins, friends to write letters also and give them to me before we leave for camp. I only send her with post cards to write back. This way she if she gets a gungho dorm leader who thinks they need to write a page back to every person she doesn't have much room to
Her fav. part and this is only used for camp. Her first yr going we went to the store and she picked out some pretty towels. I went and had her name embrodried on them. This way there is NO confusion at all who they belong to. They are unique in style and the fact of her name. I am almost 100% sure there will not be another girl with her
I was warned that besides socks and undies.. Towels are the thing that is most likely not to make it back home.. Not a problem now..
Lets see... hmm ANYTHING that is of true importance.. do not send there is always a chance it will not make it back home or not in the same condition it left in..
OH.. our mattresses are horrid. I have a quilted mattress cover that we fit over it to add a little coushin and noise barrier....

Tammy * sorry bout all the mis spelled words.. my brain is a little tired*
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2006
Sun, 06-11-2006 - 5:08pm

You definitely should check with the camp for individual recommendations. Trunks do NOT work well in a standard GS platform tent.

At our camp you must carry all your child's gear a LONG way to their unit. So nothing too big. DD9 is only staying two nights/three days this year so I think we'll just do her small suitcase, her daypack and her sleeping bag plus a laundry bag.

Re: care packages: gum/candy/food of any sort are strictly prohibited in every Girl Scout Camp I have ever been associated with (many!). Often we had to confiscate such booty and return it to the kid on the last day. OR they have to share it with every kid in the unit so that it is consumed immediately and not stored. You don't want to make anyone feel bad! Do you really want to attract bugs/wasps/chipmunks/raccoons/skunks to your child's sleeping area? COnsider having some favorite junk food in the car on the ride home.

I like the t-shirt idea-that would work with a solid color pillowcase also. At our camp every girl decorates her own camp shirt---included in the fee.