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20 Camp Care Package Ideas Your Child is Sure to Love

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My son is at Boy Scout camp for the first time this year…for 10 days!  I assure you, this momma had a hard time letting go.  BUT, he was beyond excited to spend time exploring the great outdoors with his buddies so that made me super excited for him.

Kids at summer camp can eventually get a little homesick, so it is important to reassure them we are thinking of them by sending a fun camp care package.  Who doesn’t love getting a treat especially made for them?!  If you have a child going to camp this summer, continue reading to get ideas to ensure you have a happy camper!

Colorful sign in sand that reads "summer camp".

Get more ideas for family life here.

 Camp Care Package Ideas:

1). Favorite snacks

It’s great to include prepackaged snacks that you KNOW you kiddo will love.  Only include snack items that are not temperature sensitive.  Chocolate would not ship well in the heat!  Sealed items are best to avoid messes, but mostly to avoid attracting pests or critters at camp.

It’s important to obey camp rules as some camps do not allow food, so certainly check this before sending the package. Individual sized portions are best.

If snacks are allowed, here a few suggestions:
Trail mix
Individual packages of crackers or chips
Beef jerky

Trail mix on white background.

2). Gum and mints

Sugar free gum and Altoid mints made the list for one of our care packages this year.  I’m certain (not so certain!) my son is brushing and flossing two times daily;-)  But, I imagine his tent mate would appreciate fresh smelling breath.

3). Mad Libs, Comic Books, or Joke Books

Kids will not likely have much down time with all of the planned activities.  But, in case they should, any fun book could encourage interaction with friends.  Be sure to include a pencil if they didn’t already pack one.

Book ideas:

  • Mad Libs
  • Comic Books
  • Joke Books
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
Star Wars comic books in plastic packaging on table.

4).  Glow Sticks

If the camp allows them, glow sticks make everything a little more exciting at night.  This is a treat that can be easily shared with friends!

Glow sticks lit up at night.

5). Magazines

Include a hobby specific magazine or just a fun age-appropriate magazine to give them a few hours of reading material.  This is a fairly inexpensive item that can be thrown away after reading or passed on to another child to enjoy.

6). Disposable Camera

Many camps do not allow for iPhones or other electronics.  A disposable camera would capture the memories to enjoy for years to come.

7). Sudoku, Crossword, or Word Search Puzzle Books

This too could be used alone or shared with friends.  As previously mentioned, be sure to enclose a pencil or pen if you aren’t sure they have one!

Person's hand holding pencil, solving sudoku puzzle.

8).  A Deck of Cards or Other Travel Size Games

Cards can provide hours of entertainment.  There are also lots of other small travel size games they could enjoy during downtime at camp.  Their small size would make it easy for them to throw in their bag for the trip home.

Game ideas:

Our family loves board games; but, something travel sized will be perfect for kids on their camp trip!

9). Individual Tissue Packages

Extra Kleenex is never a bad idea when camping outdoors! The small, individual size packets are perfect for campers of all ages.

10). Sunscreen Sticks and Chapstick

The kids will likely be spending a lot of time outdoors!  Extra sunscreen and chapstick might come in handy and ensure they avoid a nasty sunburn.

11).  Water Balloons

If these are allowed at the child’s camp, water balloons can provide a lot of entertainment on hot summer days!

Various colored water balloons in pile.

12). Extra Insect Repellent or Bug Bite Relief

Bugs and summer camp go hand and hand. A little extra bug spray might give your little camper that relief that helps them enjoy themselves even more!

Be sure to only send camp approved items. I know my son’s rules did not allow for any aerosol sprays. Keep this in mind when sending extras.

13). New Flip Flops or Sunglasses

Kiddos can occasionally misplace much needed items such as flip flops or sunglasses. It would be a fun surprise for them to open an extra pair in their care package!

14). Self-addressed Stamped Envelope

If your kiddo gets in the mood to share their camping adventures, it would be great to include a self-addressed stamped envelope to make it easy to drop you a line. This would help them feel connected to home plus give you a little treat while they are away.

15). Extra Paper or Stationary

A little extra paper or stationary for notes or just to write down their thoughts is always fun. We want them to have a wonderful time while they are away, but sometimes time to reflect might be what they need.

16). Money

I remember going to church camp during the summers when I was a kid. The concession stand was VERY popular and getting a fun treat always made my night. Give your kiddos a few extra dollars to spend on treats;-)

17). Photos of Their Pet

I’m pretty sure my kids miss our dog more than us when they are away from home. A picture of their pet might be just what they need to help them get through the week.

18) A Book Light

If late night reading is allowed, a book light might be just what they need!

19). Aloe Vera

Just in case those kiddos don’t get enough sunscreen during pool time fun, aloe vera can make minor sunburns feel better and help them get a good night’s sleep!

20). Battery Operated Fan

Those long nights camping can get pretty hot. A battery operated fan (with batteries) will be pretty popular!

I hope this gave you some great ideas to make your child love their camp care package.  Do you have a child that is going to camp this summer?  If so, I hope they have a blast!


What do you put in a camp care package?

When mailing items to your child for a camp care package, be sure to follow the rules and guidelines specific to the camp. Include items such as fun snacks, age-appropriate magazines, and money for the concession stand to help them make the most of their time away.

What kind of food can I send in a care package?

Individually wrapped food items that are non perishable work best for camp care packages. Avoid food that is temperature sensitive and might melt such as chocolate.

What can you not bring to summer camp?

Most summer camping programs have specific guidelines regarding what items campers are not allowed to bring. As a general rule, no firearms, knives, phones or other screens/electronic devices, unapproved food items, or aerosol sprays. Ask for a list from the summer camp organizers to get more specific details.


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  1. What fun ideas! I never even thought to send care packages when my kids were at camp. I’ll bet your son’s friends were envious!

  2. Those are some great ideas! Especially the glow sticks and balloons. Camp was always so fun, I hope he has a blast!

  3. The mints! That is a great idea. I bet everyone would enjoy getting those. The glow sticks are a good idea too. I’ve yet to meet a kid that doesn’t love those. I’ll keep this list handy for when my kids go to camp.

  4. Great ideas, April. This flooded back memories of letters my parents wrote to me before I left (1 to open every day). The disposable camera idea is sheer brilliance!

  5. Great ideas! My daughter just went to camp for her first time. I’m going to use some of these ideas for her next summer!

    1. Thanks, Amanda! My son got back today and said he loved his packages! I think they were for me as much as for him;-). I hope you found some ideas for your daughter for next summer. Thanks for stopping by!

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