Curious Jane offers day camps and after-school programs, but don’t forget we run sleepaway camps, too! For older girls, through Blue Tree (at Smith and Bryn Mawr) and this year CJ sleepaway, too, for girls entering 5th and 6th grades (at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia.)
An essential part of the sleepaway experience — whether it’s your daughter’s first summer or her tenth — is getting a fun care package from home. Here’s how to pull a great one together! Print it out and keep it on hand for the summer….
5 Rules for Packing the Perfect Camp Care Package (+ 20 Great Ideas for Cool Things to Send)
1) When you drop her off, make note of how many girls are in her cabin / dorm group and what the camp’s food policy is for care packages (many don’t allow them, due to critter-control and allergies, but some do).
2) If she’s attending a one- or two-week session, put something in the mail very soon after dropping her off, to ensure that it will arrive in time. And if you need to send her a necessity while she’s away, never send it solo! Tuck in some surprises, too; it will brighten her day.
3) Start with a priority mail flat-rate box or UPS box (and they don’t have to be the extra-large sizes, even little packages go a long way). You want this to be fun and easy for you too, so know how much space you’re filling before you shop.
4) Head to the dollar bins. Don’t go with a specific check-list in hand; snatch what inspires you.
5) Balance your care package with cheap treats for everyone in her group (generally 8-10 girls, and don’t forget the counselors!), and a few special treats just for your daughter.
10 Ideas for the Group
- Colorful string of lights (for cabins or dorms with outlets)
- Glow in the dark bracelets (available in multi-packs) or sun-activated beads and yarn
- Colorful lanyard and embroidery thread for friendship bracelets
- Flavored chapsticks
- Stick-on mustaches (super popular these days, find them in gift and card shops)
- Pins with fun images or sayings
- Plastic spray bottles (for water spray fights) from the dollar store
- Beach ball (packs flat and fun to bop around)
- Henna ink or temporary body-art kit
- Any card game (playing cards, Uno, charades, trivia, truth or dare, etc)
10 Ideas for your Daughter –
- Colorful Fabric Sharpies for signing each other’s tees or pillow cases (send a pillow case, too!)
- Easy reading paperback or magazine (we love Kiki for girls), Mad Libs, Sudoku, etc
- Smencils or scented Gel Pens
- Bits of flair – like funky sunglasses, crazy knee socks, be-dazzled tank, etc
- Origami papers or little craft kit
- Mini-address book for swapping contact info with her cabin friends
- Stamped, addressed postcards (for her to send you a quick note without stressing about, or becoming homesick over, writing a long letter)
- A rainbow pack of eyeshadows (much less smelly and less messy than nailpolishes)
- Super functional — Zip-loc baggies, (cartoon) Band-Aids, Tide Stain Sitck, hair ties
- Funny card — you’ve already spent a lot of time on the package, so send a quick hello on a cute card, too!
5 Things not to send
- Food (unless the camp is OK with it)
- Family photo album or letters detailing your daily activities (she’ll miss you!)
- A cell phone (if a camp has a strict cell phone policy, don’t undermine it)
- Anything that requires an open flame (incense, candles, etc)
- Anything super nice… it’s camp!