Attending overnight summer camp in New England for the first time can be a wonderful milestone for your child, but packing appropriately is important to ensure he or she is comfortable and has a great time. Here are a few packing pointers to take into consideration as you begin preparing for your child's first trip.

Allow For Layers

Temperatures can vary widely in some parts of New England, and they can drop overnight. Plan to pack layers of clothing, including tank tops, t-shirts, and jackets so your child can dress appropriately for the weather. A light poncho can also come in handy for rainy yet humid weather. As you shop for clothes, look for separates in coordinating colors so everything matches. This takes the guesswork out of getting dressed every morning, so your child can focus on having fun. Be sure to put your child's name on the label inside each piece of clothing to prevent your child's clothing getting mixed with that of other children.

Comfort Items

If your child has never been away from home overnight, you'll want to consider bringing a few comfort items from home. These might include a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy. You may also want to put together a small photo album of your child's siblings, best friends, and of you. This can help to make being away a bit easier. Consider sending a few pens and pre-addressed post cards as well, so your child can write you a note whenever he or she is feeling homesick.

Specialized Gear

During your child's time at a New England overnight camp, like Camp Walt Whitman, he or she may go boating, fishing, swimming, or hiking. Be prepared for all of these possibilities by packing the right equipment. A swimming suit and beach towels can be used at both the beach and the swimming pool. Water shoes with nonslip soles are great for not only use by the pool, but for wearing on boats as well. Send along hiking shoes and athletic shoes to keep your child comfortable when participating in outdoor sports and hikes. You may want to request a list of activities from the camp director in advance so you can better prepare for what to pack.

Some New England overnight summer camps provide packing lists you can use as a guideline. These lists typically offer suggestions about how many shirts, swimming suits, pairs of underwear, and towels your child might need. Print out the list and check it against everything you've packed before you drop your child off, so you don't forget anything before your child sets off on this exciting first time at summer camp.