Every frequent traveller has the secret to a compact and organized suitcase. But what if they’re not the one unpacking? What if the person unpacking that perfectly ordered suitcase is a 10-year-old boy whose idea of order is shoving everything under his bed? Having a strategy in place and following a few key tricks will make the job much quicker and easier.
(WATCH: Mara Shapiro, who is a mother of three, shares the essential tips on packing for summer camp.)
Mara Shapiro started going to camp when she was five years old. She has three kids she has been sending to camp since they were eight and nine, so it’s fair to say she knows her way around a duffle bag. One of the key things is making it easy for your child to find everything at the other end, so she uses zip lock bags to keep everything together in one place. The other most important thing is to label everything. And even then, expect to lose anywhere from one half to a third of everything you send with your kids. “One of my friends’ sons came home with one of his duffels completely empty,” she says. “Because he’d lost so much stuff, it all fit in one bag.”
Involve your kids in the packing process so they know where to find everything. “I always get the kids involved in packing and choosing their favourite clothes, but if I left it up to my 16-year-old son he would take two white T-shirts, a pair of pyjamas and maybe one bathing suit,” Shapiro says.
The important thing is not to stress out about it too much. In the end, your kids will have fun no matter what you’ve packed—even if they’re missing an essential item.
“The year my son was 14, he didn’t wear underwear (at camp) because he couldn’t find them,” she adds.
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What do you think are the essentials for camp? Share your tips and stories with us in the Comments section below.