Last year our 10 year old son was chosen by lottery to attend the week-long Camp North Woods in Maine. Although he'd  done plenty of day camps over the past 5 years, the overnight part was a whole new ball game and it was the longest that we'd ever been away from each other. There were no phone calls to parents, no texting or electronics (every kid needs a break from these!), so writing via old fashioned snail mail was encouraged. Like most 10 year old boys, getting him to write a letter home was not too appealing so I worked with him to design some camp stationery that he would actually use.

free summer camp note card printable

 We sent him with extra envelopes, a book of stamps, and a sheet of paper with addresses. In hindsight, I highly recommend pre-addressing and stamping at least some of the envelopes ahead of time. We also learned some other valuable overnight camp tips that I'll share at the bottom of this post. 

summer camp note printable lilsproutgreetings

The camp note cards measure 4x5.5 inches when folded and fit perfectly in an A2 sized envelope, which are pretty easy to find at office supply or craft stores. The files are formatted to be printed on standard 8.5x11 inch sized cardstock and can then be cut in half and folded. I highly recommend printing at Staples or Office Depot in-store using their laser printers. They'll print a sheet of cardstock for around .69 each, making each note card roughly .35 each. What makes these note cards great is that they can be used for any age and for summer camp or family camping trips. 

While the note card files are free, no commercial use without permission please. Download the free summer camp note card. 


Overnight Summer Camp Tips

1. Let your child practice applying sunscreen BEFORE they get to camp. This particular camp did not allow spray sunscreen (we only use lotion sunscreen anyway), but teaching them to apply properly in advance will ensure that they are properly protected from sunburns while away.

2. Send them with a few pairs of GOOD socks. The moisture-wicking type that are made for hiking... you know, the ones that cost $10 a pair and can only be found at specialty stores? They're worth it to save your kids feet from blisters and sweat.

3. Include a quick-dry camp towel in addition to the regular towels. Depending on the weather, the typical beach towels can take a LONG time to dry and a camp towel is great for the shower. It's compact and dries quickly.  

4. Pack extra batteries for the flashlight. Just in case.

5. Place outfits for each day of summer camp in a gallon sized plastic baggie. There are also 2 gallon sized baggies if you need something bigger. Then your child can just grab their toiletries, towel, and the plastic baggie and head to the shower! The bags can later be used to store wet or dirty clothing if necessary.

6. Take flat-lay photos of what you're packing so when it comes time to pick up your child at camp you can go through their bags and see if anything is missing. In my experience it's inevitable that SOMETHING will be lost or left behind. I'd rather have it be a t-shirt or towel instead of an expensive flashlight or pair of shoes!

These are only a few tips that we found were the most useful. Our son had the best time at camp and learned so much. It was an experience of a lifetime and something that he'll never forget!