Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camp - Part 1: Let the Packing Begin!



For many, Memorial Day means the unofficial start of summer – going to the beach, pool openings, cleaning the grill and bringing out the white pants. For me, it means all those things, but it also means something else: time to start packing the kids up for camp.

For the past few summers, my two older kids have looked forward to the four weeks in June & July when they get to go off with their friends, away from all parental control, to overnight camp. I would be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to it as well. Four weeks without laundry, preparing meals, and attitude. But most importantly, it is four weeks where I know my kids are having the most amazing time of their lives.

What I don’t look forward to, however, is the pre-camp packing. In fact, there is only one thing worse than pre-camp packing and that would be post-camp unpacking; when everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) returns with a damp camp stank. However, before I can complain about that (and trust me, I will), I first have to get the kids packed to go.


First step - plastic three drawer dressers, under bed bins, sleeping bags and duffle bags all have to be retrieved from the attic. Last year I got smart and put everything together right by the doorway. Once that is done, it is time to start attacking the list that the camp provides, shorts, shirts, bathing suits, underwear, bedding, towels, toiletries, shoes, sandals, raingear, sleepwear, etc, etc, etc.

Then there is the process of going through everything to figure out what I have and what I need. Some items on the list I might not truly need (Do I really need to send twenty pairs of underwear for my 13 year old when they do laundry every week?) And some things I may have, but need replacing (Is it fair to make my almost 11 year old sleep on the Hannah Montana sheets she had to have three summers ago?)

Once that gets figured out, it’s time to prepare the lists, hit the stores, do the laundry and get labeling. Since I don’t sew or iron, I prefer the black sharpie method – others will disagree, but for me it works. The process is tedious, but necessary if I want most of the items to return home. Then I neatly organize everything into their drawers, bins and bags - yes I am aware that once they get to camp, everything just gets tossed around & shoved wherever – but that’s okay – it’s just part of what Mom’s do for their kids.

Stay tuned for "Camp - Part 2: The Drop Off"

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