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The DREAM Blog

A Guide to Preparing Your Kiddo for their First Overnight Camp Experience

Updated: 3 days ago

Hey there, awesome caregiver! 🌟


Got a young adventurer in your life gearing up for their first big camp experience? We’ve got you covered with some super easy tips and tricks to make sure they're ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, or just an amazing family member or friend, here's how to prep like a pro!



Pack Like a Champ

First things first: packing! Don’t stress; we’ve got a simple list to keep you on track.


  • Comfy Clothes: Think layers! Pack a mix of t-shirts, long sleeves, pants, shorts, pjs, and a cozy hoodie. Don’t forget a bathing suit for those fun days in the water!

  • Sturdy Shoes: Those little feet need to stay happy. Make sure they have good, broken-in sneakers or hiking boots.

  • Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, and all that good stuff. A little travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer can be a lifesaver!

  • Bedding: Some camps, like our adventure base, Camp DREAM, provide bedding if you aren’t able to acquire it yourself. If not, a sleeping bag and pillow are key.

  • General: A towel, washcloth, a duffle bag or large backpack to keep all your belongings in, and a fun book to read and/or a journal and pen! Small board games, a deck of cards, or a musical instrument can also be fun additions to any camper’s stay!

  • Extras: A flashlight (for nighttime exploring), sunscreen, bug spray, and a reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated is super important.



Extra Tips from your friends at Camp DREAM 

We know sending your kiddo off to camp for the first time can be a bit nerve-wracking, but don't worry—we're here to make it a breeze! Here are a few more tips to keep things smooth and fun:


  • Label Everything: Kids tend to misplace things, especially when they're having loads of fun. Label clothes, gear, and any personal items to make sure they all make it back home.

  • Stay Connected: Pack some pre-addressed, stamped envelopes so your camper can send you updates about their awesome adventures. It’s a great way to stay in touch and get a glimpse of their camp life.

  • Encourage Independence: Camps are a fantastic opportunity for kids to develop independence. Encourage them to pack their bags with you and talk about managing their stuff. It’s all part of the adventure!

To make the most of this adventure, be sure to check the guidelines provided by your specific camp. It’s super important to have the right supplies for a comfy and enjoyable stay. Whether it’s extra socks, a favorite pillow, or some cool snacks, being prepared will help your camper have the best time ever.


So there you have it – your quick and easy guide to prepping your young adventurer for camp. They've got this, and so do you. Here’s to a summer full of fun, growth, and amazing memories! Let’s get packing!!



At Camp DREAM, part of The DREAM Program, our mission is to bridge the opportunity gap for at-promise youth. Our program design and delivery centers on partnerships with the communities we serve, ensuring that every initiative is tailored to meet the unique needs and aspirations of our DREAM youth. Because of this, we are able to provide our tuition-free adventure-based camp to amazing youth! Plus, we’ve got many of the camping essentials covered, like sleeping bags, sunscreen, bug repellent, and flashlights, so you don't have to worry about those.


We’re so excited to share more information with you and your child about Camp DREAM, where they’ll make new friends, learn new skills, and create memories that last a lifetime. Let’s get ready for an incredible summer together!


Happy camping! 🏕️✨

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