When kids head out for a fun-filled, fascinating day at camp, they can rest assured that many exciting times lay ahead of them. Trustworthy leaders, exhilarating new experiences and an amazing time with their fellow campers await them the second they arrive.

Some other, more material things, however, they’ll have to bring themselves.

From suitable shoes to snacks and sunscreen, there are some additional items every child should come prepared with for a day at camp. If you’re a parent preparing your campers for a day of adventure and innovation, you may be wondering what to bring to summer camp.

To ensure you have all the basics covered, we’ve created a comprehensive summer day camp packing list. By checking out our comprehensive packing list below along with our Camp Guidelines, your child will be ready for their first day of camp in no time!

Comfortable Clothing

It may sound simple, but you can’t gear up for a day of exploration without strapping on your socks and shirt first. Generally, camp combines a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, so try to send your kid in clothes suitable for both. Keep in mind that our summer camp age range varies, which means younger campers may need to bring an extra pair of socks if they tend to like to get their hands dirty!

Likewise, whether you’re in steamy Southern California or The Windy City, make sure your child dresses in and carries clothes that fit the weather. Rain, shine or anything in between—some core garments every camper should bring include:

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sweater, windbreaker, or other rain gear

One noteworthy omission from this list is footwear. While going barefoot might help kids reconnect with nature, suitable shoes are a necessity—that’s why we’ve created an entire section for them.

Suitable Shoes

When a child arrives at camp for the day, there’s generally a plethora of different, dynamic experiences in store for them. From outdoor adventures to creating carnival games to painting stained-glass window creations, there’s something new to stretch a smile across the faces of younger campers every single day.

To make sure their feet are equally happy during all that fun, send them in a set of comfortable shoes. Some activities you might want to consider when picking out a pair include:

  • Running relay races outside and participating in nature-based activities
  • Standing, kneeling and crouching while working with design materials
  • Playing indoor games

A Reusable Water Bottle

Speaking of water, it’s essential that campers stay hydrated throughout the day as they play, create and learn. Everyone’s water intake needs vary (children included), meaning leading health-focused organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) don’t offer official recommendations for daily consumption.

Instead, it’s best to be proactive and drink water consistently—especially when kids are exercising, sweating or sitting in the sun. Unfortunately, recent studies suggest most children don’t drink enough water on a daily basis.

Thankfully, campers can effectively prevent dehydration by keeping packing a filled water bottle and drinking it throughout the day.

Personal Items

Alongside clothing and a water bottle, there are a few more personal items that campers should bring for a day of fun in the sun and learning in the lab. Before heading out for the day, be sure your child has:

  • Sunscreen, both applied and with them to reapply as needed
  • Name tag and lanyard
  • Photo ID to check out
  • Nut-free snacks and lunch
  • Ties, bands, clips or scrunchies to hold back long hair during activities such as sports
  • Any medication they need to take during the day (epi-pens if applicable)

While it’s not too much to lug around, that amount of gear would be quite cumbersome for campers to carry in their hands. So, on that note, we have one final recommendation for parents to get their kids wholly prepared for a summer of growth and excitement.

A Functional Backpack or Bag

Whether they bare it on their back or sling it over their shoulder, make sure your camper has a bag with enough space to store all their essentials. Encourage them to keep it clean and organized and to avoid carrying excess back and forth from camp.

Do, however, leave a little room inside for them to take home their own creations. Camp is all about innovation and design—so campers need somewhere to store the art, models and gadgets they’ll be producing throughout the summer.

Get Your Gear Ready and Head Over to Camp Galileo

Now that you know what to pack for summer camp, it’s time to prepare for Camp Galileo!

Our acclaimed summer program lets campers experience the wonders of creative expression, STEAM exploration, fruitful collaboration and play all in one place. Our unique approach to camp combines traditional outdoor activities with skill and team-building exercises that elevate children’s perspectives and inspire them to think creatively.

The result? Confident, resilient campers with a wealth of unforgettable experiences they can carry with them beyond the campground.

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of summer camp first hand, enroll in Camp Galileo today to make your child’s summer truly transformational. Join us at our locations in the SF Bay Area, Southern California (Manhattan Beach, LA, OC and SD), Chicago, Denver & Seattle. Get ready for a summer of growth and excitement at Camp Galileo!


Centers for Disease Control. Water and Healthier Drinks. https://www.cdc.gov/

National Library of Medicine. Children’s water intake and hydration: a public health issue. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/