Summer camp can be such a great experience for children and sometimes their parents. After you’ve made your choice about which camp to attend and made all financial arrangements, it’s time to gather together items to pack. The facility may send a checklist of items each camper will need but just in case they don’t, here’s how to create a summer camp checklist.

A day camp packing list would include a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen and lip balm. Toss in insect repellent, a hat, two filled water bottles, comfortable tennis shoes, sandals, at least one extra set of clothing, and a raincoat or umbrella.

If your child has serious allergic reactions or is taking prescribed medication, they should also be on the list. Give the camp director a note to explain how any medicine your child should take is administered, to ensure they’re aware of your child’s situation and can deal with it properly.

Check to see if the day camp will provide lunch and a snack. If those aren’t offered, pack a sandwich (not peanut butter; most camps avoid peanuts because there are so many children with allergies to them), a piece of fruit and juice in a box. Avoid sending chocolate as a snack, choosing granola or an energy bar as an alternative.

It would be a good idea to bring along a snack when you pick your child up. They’ve been busy all day and will probably be hungry and thirsty. And having a snack available will be cheaper and healthier than stopping through the drive through on the way home.

Overnight camping requires the same basic list as for day camp except more is added. Begin by knowing how long the camp lasts. Many camps are one to two weeks but there are some which are longer. Pack twice as many socks and underwear as the days of the camp if washing machines aren’t available.

Here’s what you’ll need if laundry service is available. One t-shirt for each day of the week, several sweatshirts or a jacket in case it gets cool, a pair of shorts for each day of the week as well as two pairs of long pants, two pairs of long pajamas, two pairs of comfortable shoes (tennis shoes or hiking boots) and a pair of flip flops for showering.

Include toiletries such as shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste, biodegradable soap, hairbrush and comb, two wash cloths and at least two towels. Also list feminine supplies if your child menstruates, a disposable camera, and a fishing rod and tackle if fishing is an option. A government-approved lifejacket that fits properly is absolutely necessary if swimming or canoeing is planned.

A pillow, sleeping bag, bed linens, and an extra blanket should also be included. Add a heavy-duty piece of plastic for putting under the sleeping bag or sitting on if the ground is wet. Don’t forget to pack a flashlight with batteries.

As well as things that should be packed, there are some items which should remain at home. These include chewing gum, a cell phone, money, mp3 player or other music device, or handheld video games.

You’ll want to label everything your child takes with their name. Waterproof markers are fine for most things but you can also find press-on labels for clothing. Several pre-addressed and stamped envelopes or postcards are also a good idea along with a pen or pencil to write with. A book or two for down time or for a rainy day would also be good.