For most children, summer camp is what you might call a more-and-less experience: They may have made a lot more friends while away, but they usually return home with a lot less of the clothes and other personal items than they originally packed. Blame it on the camp laundry or just childish carelessness, but that tends to be what sleepaway camp boils down to.
So, what's a parent to do? The obvious answer: Label everything. Ah, but what parents have time to write their child's name on every piece of clothing, camping equipment, toiletries and sporting goods that kids tote off to camp each summer? One convenient option is labels and tags that come pre-personalized with the child's name, address and phone number. Parents save time and headaches, and kids are a lot more likely to bring home the T-shirts, flashlight and sleeping bag they left with.
"One of the biggest challenges parents and children face when organizing for summer camp is packing and keeping track of personal belongings," notes Amy Lipton, an organizational expert, mom and CEO of Stuck on You.
Some of the company's camp-friendly products that can help keep kids organized include:
• Vinyl labels-Available in big and small sizes, these waterproof, UV-resistant, peel-and-stick labels go on any smooth surface, from water bottles to sunscreen, from goggles to iPods to hairbrushes.
• Clothing tattoos-Permanent, iron-on transfers available in white, navy or pink. They stick to clothing the way a logo is printed on a T-shirt.
• Bag tags-Brightly colored plastic tags that make it easy to identify children's luggage. Mini- tags are also available to identify keys or pencil cases; they can even hook onto zippers, so children can identify jackets, duffel bags and more.
• "Call me" cards-Preprinted with a child's contact information, these cards are great to hand out to friends, easing the bittersweet emotions of summer goodbyes.