Preparing for Summer Tennis Camps: What to Pack

Tennis Camps - Young Tennis Campers

You spent months searching for the perfect summer tennis camp for your child. You applied, your child has been accepted and is now excited to attend. Before your child leaves, though, he or she will need a well-stocked pack full of all the equipment, clothing and toiletries needed for a week or more at camp.

Attending a summer tennis camp is an exciting experience and can be made easy and stress-free when you know you’ve packed well and your child has everything needed for a safe, fun and comfortable camp experience. This helpful list details what your child should and shouldn’t bring to summer camp as well as how to package delicate items and what to do with things like cash and medicines:

What To Pack for Summer Tennis Camp

1) Sleeping Bag and Pillow: Although most camps provide dormitory style housing complete with bedding, packing a sleeping bag and familiar pillow ensures your child will stay warm and comfortable. For younger children, having a familiar piece of bedding with them can be comforting, regardless of whether or not the camp provides bedding of their own.

2) Tennis racquet (s): Pack your child’s favorite racquet or, if he or she has multiple racquets for on-court play, pack the two favorites.  New players who do not have racquets of their own can generally borrow one from the camp.

3) Tennis Clothes: Proper tennis clothing can be anything from technical sports apparel to a simple t-shirt and shorts. The most important thing is to ensure the clothing is cool and breathable for warm-weather play while also providing adequate sun protection. Don’t forget to also include a visor or baseball cap and a set of sunglasses.

4) Warm Clothes: Pack a set of warm clothes for the evenings or in case of poor weather. This should include sweat pants, a long-sleeved shirt, light coat, warm socks and tennis shoes or boots. Campers should also have pajamas, a pair of jeans and sandals.

5) Water Bottle: Important for staying hydrated during hours of on-court time, a water bottle is an integral part of tennis camp comfort. Write your child’s name on the bottle in permanent marker for easy identification and opt for something with a built-in handle for easy use.

6) Sun Block: Since most tennis camps are held during the summer months, sun block is a pivotal part of the packed bag. See to it that your child has sun block with adequate SPF protection (30 or above is generally best for long days). Additionally, it is important to make sure the sun block is sweat- and water-proof so it stays on during games and after-tennis recreational activities such as swimming. Place the sun block in a plastic bag with your child’s name written on it and camp counselors will help him or her re-apply sun block several times a day during camp.

7) Bug Spray: An important comfort measure in buggy climates located near lakes or rivers, bug spray can help your child stay comfortable during camp. Tuck it in the same marked bag as the sunscreen and make camp counselors aware of it when you drop your child at camp.

8) Bathing Suit and Towel: Since most summer tennis camps provide recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing or fishing, a bathing suit and towel are important to remember. For added comfort, tuck two or three bath towels into your child’s pack for use as dry extras or shower towels. For bonus packing points, include a waterproof laundry bag for easy separation of wet and dry clothing.

9) Toiletry Bag: Purchase a small, water-resistant toiletry bag and fill it with travel-sized toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and hairbrush. Depending upon your child’s needs or desires, you can also include deodorant, ointment and Chap Stick.

10) Phone Card: If your child is attending a weeks-long overnight camp he or she will want to call home. Unfortunately, long-distance calling is expensive and most camps do not sell phone cards. To bypass these difficulties, include a phone card in your child’s luggage. A camp counselor will help him or her use it and the phone card will allow your family to stay in better touch.

Additionally, it is important to remember to pack any prescription medications or supplements your child may need while at camp. These things should be individually bagged and marked with your child’s name and left in the camp office with a camp counselor or director who is familiar with the required frequency and dosage. This person will see to it that your child receives his or her medication daily and has it to take home at the end of camp. In order to administer certain medications, camps may require a doctor’s notes or health records, so it is wise to check with the camp office beforehand.

What Not to Bring to Camp

1) Cash: Cash is easily lost or stolen at camp and, most likely, your child will not have any need for money during camp, as lodging and meals are included in the initial price of the tennis camp. If you have an older child who wants to take some cash to camp in order to purchase souvenirs or trinkets, send a small amount ($20 should be adequate) in a marked envelope with the understanding that a counselor or director will hold it in the camp office until the child needs or wants it.

2) Electronics: Most summer tennis camps discourage the use of cell phones, iPads, tablets or video games. E-readers may be okay, although they should be included at the parent’s discretion and generally only for older campers. Camp is a time to focus on tennis skills, recreation and building new friendships. In today’s tech-saturated world, it helps to unplug while doing these things and children generally have a fuller camp experience if they leave their gadgets at home.

With this easy checklist, packing for tennis camp is easy and stress-free. Pack a week or so in advance so that you and your child have time to add or subtract items and do a final check-over before departing for camp. Attending a summer tennis camp is an exciting experience for young athletes and, with this list, you can help your child make sure he or she is well prepared and ready for a week of fun, new friends and outdoor activity.