Overhead picture of various summer camp supplies including sunscreen, clothes, bug spray, and sunglasses.

Summer is just around the corner, and that means children everywhere are looking forward to camp! But deciding what to pack for them can be as tough as deciding which camp to send them to – especially if it’s their first time away. To help make things a little easier, we put together a handy list of summer camp essentials to get you started. Don’t have something on the list?  Print it out and take it to your local Ocean State Job Lot! We have almost everything your child needs for camp.

Summer Camp Essentials for Kids

What Should I Pack?

When you’re putting together a list of items to pack, there are a few things to consider. Your child’s age and whether or not they’ve spent time away from home before are important.

Be sure to pack clothes appropriate for the weather and the activities planned at camp. If the camp offers swimming or other water activities, be sure to include a swimsuit, water shoes, and extra clothes and sneakers in case your child gets wet.

Pack any necessary medications or medical supplies your child may need. You should also inform the camp staff of any medical conditions, allergies, or medications your child needs so that they can be prepared in case of an emergency.

Regardless of the type of camp, there are a few things to remember. Write your child’s name on everything they bring, and check with the camp for any restrictions on cell phone use or dietary guidelines (like being a nut-free camp).

Children lift a parachute in the air.

Day Camp

If your child is attending day camp, items like a lunchbox, reusable water bottle, hat with a visor, and extra clothes and shoes in case they get wet are must-haves. A couple of zip-top bags tucked into their backpack or lunch bag are great for keeping wet shoes and clothes separate.

A group of girls talk on the deck of a treehouse camp cabin.

Sleepaway Camp

If it’s a sleepover camp, you’ll want to pack a sleeping bag, pillow and pillowcases, toiletries, and an extra bag for dirty clothes. Don’t forget to pack a few items to help your child feel more at home, like family photos and a stuffed animal or other comfort item. A journal with some colorful pens lets your child write about their time at camp and gives their new friends a place to leave their address or phone number (if cell phones aren’t allowed).

It’s also important to pack enough clothes for the duration of the camp, especially extra socks, underwear, and pajamas. You may also want to include a light jacket or sweatshirt for chilly nights. Consider packing extra toiletries in case other campers run out or forget.

And remember, pack clothes that are ok to ruin and try to avoid brand-new shoes that might give them blisters!

At Ocean State Job Lot, we love to add value to our customers’ lives. That’s why we’ve added a convenient checklist to take with you as you shop for camp essentials. With our checklist in hand, you’ll be well-prepared for sending your child off to camp this summer. Happy packing – and camping!

Day Camp List

  • Zip Top Plastic Bags
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Lunchbox
  • Hat with Visor
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses

Sleepaway Camp List


  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Water Bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat with Visor
  • Duffle Bag or Luggage
  • Pillow with Pillow Case
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Fitted Sheet for Mattress
  • Extra Bag for Dirty Clothes


  • Swimsuit
  • Goggles
  • Beach Towels
  • Water Shoes

Cabin Life/Fun Stuff

  • Snacks (check to see if the camp is nut-free)
  • Books or Magazines
  • Camera
  • Charging Cables
  • Family Photos
  • Sleep Mask
  • Stuffed Animal or Other Comfort Item
  • Small Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Journal with Pens or Markers
  • Beach Balls
  • Deck of Cards or Other Small Games

  • Portable Mini Fan


  • Extra Hair Ties
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Shower Caddy
  • Tissues
  • Wet Wipes
  • Eyeglass Wipes
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Washcloth
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Mini First Aid Kit