The last bell is ready to ring in summer at many international schools across Bangkok, which means it is time for summer camp! Some kids already have their camp bag packed and waiting by the door, but most families are just starting to think about getting their children ready for summer adventures.
Camp Sun Bear, a sleepaway adventure camp for kids and teens, kicks off their first 2018 session in just two weeks with a 2–6 July program in the rolling hills of Khao Yai National Park. Camp Sun Bear director Merritt Gurley shares a few tips and tricks for packing all the things your child needs for their week away from home, without having to send them with a suitcase that weighs more than they do.
- If the camp provides a packing list, print it out so you can make sure you tick off all the requirements.
- Have your kids do the majority of the work. This will ensure they know where to find things, and also will empower them to take responsibility for their belongings and their experience at camp.
- Make sure your child can lift their luggage. If they can’t carry it themselves, you may need to unpack a few things. Summer camp is about encouraging independence, so it sets the whole experience off on the right note if they can throw their duffel bag over their shoulder as they stride into their cabin.
- Packing cubes can be a big help in keeping your kids’ clothing organized. Opt for a set that includes laundry bags so your children don’t end up throwing their muddy socks in with their fresh shirts. You can order affordable options on Lazada, such as this set of six for 306 THB.
- Don’t buy new shoes for camp. There are so many activities—hiking, cycling, archery, football, team games—that require our campers to be on their feet, that it isn’t the right time to be breaking in new shoes, no matter how cool and outdoorsy they are. If possible, send them in worn-in sneakers that fit well.
- Pack flip flops. Slip-on sandals allow feet to breathe while still offering protection from bugs and rocks, which is great for just milling around camp during downtime.
- Forget fashion. Between all the kayaking, trekking, and general goofing off, camp clothes will get dirty and items are often lost, so it not the right setting for expensive clothing. Old t-shirts and comfy shorts make for great camp outfits.
- Put toiletries in a separate, ideally waterproof, bag. Within that, pack the toothbrush and toothpaste in a ziplock. The countertop space in the bathrooms is usually limited and if children keep their toothbrush and toiletries stacked up by the sink there is a good chance things will be knocked to the ground. Keep their toothbrushes clean and the counter clear by packing toiletries into a dopp kit that can be easily toted back and forth from their bed to the bathroom. Something like this would work well.
- Leave the phone at home. Camp is a chance for your children to unplug from their online devices and tune into nature, so give your kids a break from their cell phones, smart phones, computers and other electronic devices. Nature is full of more wonderful music and beautiful stories than even the most amazing Facebook page.
- If it is your child’s first time away from home, consider packing a few supportive notes in with their clothing. It will lift their spirits to find a handwritten letter that says “Have fun at camp!” tucked into their socks bag.
Three Camp Must-Haves:
- Bug spray
- Water bottle
About Camp Sun Bear
Camp Sun Bear is a sleepaway camp for kids ages 7 to 15. Their focus is on outdoor education, with camps set in two stunning locations in Thailand—Khao Yai and Chiang Mai—that are ideal for exploring nature. All programs are packed full of fun, with activities including rafting, caving, rock-climbing, zip-lining, hiking, swimming, canoeing, cycling, and playing in the sun. Campers will learn how to navigate the wilderness, preserve the environment, work in teams, stretch their personal limits, and take home invaluable new skills.
Safety is the number one priority at Camp Sun Bear, so they have partnered with the Wild Planet (an outdoor education provider who has worked with international schools, such as NIST, ISB and Bangkok Patana, on field trips and excursions for more than 20 years) to conduct all activities.
Camp Sun Bear’s programs run from Monday to Friday offering five days of adventure and a lifetime of memories. Registration for the 2-6 July camp closes soon. Parents who would like their kids to join the fun can sign up online.