If you really need to ‘help,’ choose the clothing and items to pack, lay them out and have the camper pack them. This gives her the opportunity to know what she has packed. More often than not, the items in the Lost & Found belong to a girl who did
To “teach” your daughter to pack, have her pull out each item on the kit list. Once she has it all out, discuss what was a good choice and what was a bad choice. Then put together outfits for each day and bag them in zip lock bags. The next camp, give her the list and have her let you know when it is all assembled so you can check it.
Bad choice = tank top; good choice = tshirt.
Bad choice = baseball cap; good choice = bucket/brimmed hat.
Bad choice = sandals; good choice = runners.
anecdote from an Ottawa Guide Unit:
“One year, there was this absolutely gorgeous souvenir-type T-shirt no one claimed. Finally one girl said that her sister had one just like that last year. So I suggested she pack it to take it home and they could give it back if it didn’t belong to them … it was theirs. ”
2. Use zip lock bags.
Pack for each day ie: 1 ziplock = socks/undies/pants/shirt and label the bag with sharpie markers
3. Remember the importance of having the name on everything.
anecdote from a New Brunswick Guide Unit:
“It’s amazing how many pairs of underwear and socks go to camp alone. I have a visual image of all these panties and socks walking down the lane eager to go to camp. Yet at the end of camp they are too tired to go home and just end up in the garbage because no one claims them. Poor little things.”
4. Choose a bag the GIRL can carry.
The bag should NOT be too big for the girl to carry by herself. Girls are expected to carry their own bags and gear from the vehicle drop-off area to the camp site.
anecdote from Ottawa summer camp volunteer:
“Too many times we’ve seen Brownies arrive with a hockey bag with all their clothes and bedroll in it, and the bag is at least a foot longer than the Brownie is tall.”
5. Helpful tip – order of packing inside the bag.
One thing you might find handy is to have the bag packed so that the Friday night stuff is on top (jammies, toiletries). Under that should be the bag for dirty clothes. Then what they expect to be able to wear when they get up in the morning (barring weather complications). Basically, the bag should be packed so that they just work their way down it. And bad weather gear would be better to try and fit it along the side of the bag so they don’t have to dig out everything to find it.
Re-posted with permission from the 64th Brownies in London’s unit blog.