How to Put Together a Care Package for Your Camper

It’s nearly the end of June (I know…where has the time gone!?), summer is in full swing and many parents are getting ready to send their children off to sleep-away camp. Whether this is your child’s first time at camp, or they have been coming to Clearwater for years, sending care packages is a fun way to give your camper a little piece of home and a nice little surprise mid-week.  

When planning to send a care package to camp, it’s good to keep it small, pay attention to timing of the mail service to ensure it arrives during your child’s week at camp, and most importantly remember that care packages are nice but not necessary. In lieu of sending food, electronics, or money through the mail, we’ve come up with a list of appropriate items that are safe, fun and great for camper care packages!

Clearwater Forerst Camper

Reading Material

A new book, magazine or comic book is a great thing to send your camper to give them something to do during quiet time.

Writing Material

Sending a journal or stationary set will incentivize your camper to write about their experience. Better yet, send them a package of pre-stamped postcards addressed to Grandparents, aunts & uncles, friends or home. This will make it easy for them to write to family members and more likely that they will get sent!

Clearwater Forest Campers

Forgotten Items

If you dropped your camper off on their first day, only to realize half way through the drive home you forgot to send them with sunscreen, bug spray or a flashlight, these are great items to include in a care package.

Craft Items

A package of markers or colored pencils and an adult coloring book is the perfect combo to keep your camper entertained during quiet time or free time on a rainy day. Or you can send string and beads for your campers to make friendship bracelets for your new besties!

Clearwater Forest Campers

New Clothes

A fresh t-shirt, hat or pair of socks can be a nice touch to remind your camper that you are thinking of them. Just make sure they will have room in their luggage to bring it home with them!

Games or Puzzles

Send a deck of cards or a card game like UNO. If your camper is into mind-twisters, send them a book of sudoku puzzles or crosswords.

Bunk Decorations

Don’t go overboard with this one, but sending some photos of the family or the family pets and some washi tape can be a fun way for your camper to decorate the space around their bunk and as an added bonus, remind them of home!

Clearwater Forest Campers

Items to Share

Things like glow sticks, temporary tattoos or nail polish are great for your camper to share with their new friends.

Disposable Camera

Yes, this may be a dying art, but with the expectation that your camper will not be using their cell phone while they are at camp, a disposable camera is a fun way for them to capture their camp memories and share them with you later.


The most important thing to send is a letter from home letting your camper know you are thinking about them. Try making it fun and send them a letter from the family dog’s perspective.Clearwater Forest Campers

**While sending care packages is allowed at Clearwater, please note that they are not necessary. Please be mindful of our policies about sending food (only to be kept and consumed in the dining hall) and refraining from the use of electronics while at camp.

Clearwater Forest Camp & Retreat Center