Now Reading
The Must Have Sleepaway Camp Visiting Day Gifts For 2023.. And Some Top Tips For Sneaky Letters

The Must Have Sleepaway Camp Visiting Day Gifts For 2023.. And Some Top Tips For Sneaky Letters

Perhaps you’re here because our last years visiting day list was such a smash hit, or maybe you’re a new camp parent! Either way, welcome newbs and pros – one and all. The bad news about sleepaway camps is that they are all currently the same price as private schools in most non urban environs, the good news is they don’t allow packages anymore which means you only need to worry about ONE very special package – the one that goes up on visiting day.  Although we can’t help with the 16k fees, we can help you with gift ideas that we know they’ll love, as promised in our recent mention in the NY Post. We even have our very own amazon list of our camp favorites (for packing and visiting day) that’s a must shop and follow here.  But don’t listen to us, let’s hear from the experts, who seem to be really into shorts this year! If they’ve already got a polaroid, a campfire, and too many hats – you’ll need this list. Scroll down to the way end for a comprehensive list of special things to sneak into letters too!

Jody Geller, owner of  – the ultimate site for camp swag  –  has a 12 year old at Camp Laurel and will be your camp swag bestie if you dm her. Her picks for this summer are;

“These customized belt bags are a top seller for visiting day 2023 – which are functional for those out of camp trips and beyond adorable.”

Camp Belt Bag, $36
“It’s also a good idea to switch out those mold infested water bottles at visiting day.  These bottles don’t get lost because their names are boldly laser etched into the bottle with the trendy and sporty designs.”
Drippy Hearts Water Bottle, $34-38
“These are the OG camp friendship bracelets – use your child’s name, camp name, or bunk number – these are also amazing as bunk gifts!”
Bling on a String Friendship Bracelet, $29
“And let’s face it – they all want candy.  Make it campcentric and on theme with one of Board Love’s camp visiting day packages – Lyndsay ships nationwide – just DM her and she will help you customize your own.”
Mini Candy Jars, assorted price

Chloé Jo Davis is the founder of, a writer, activist, and Mom of 3 boys at Trails End. Her picks for this summer’s most requested are;

“Pit Vipers are what every cool boy is asking for this year – hey, at least it’s sun protection.”

Pit Vipers, $70-89.69 or

“My boys are obsessed with the GOAT brand and keep asking for more GOAT tee’s and hoodies, so they’ll definitely get something they don’t have from the brand – like this newly released jersey – in their baskets.”

OG Basketball Jersey, $50

“My boys are over the small sized Vaultz lock boxes, and have moved up to the larger sizes – I love these fully customizable lock boxes, available in any size or shape! My eldest is getting a huge one, as per his request.”

Customized Lock Boxes, $200-500 (size & artwork dependent)

“We are a huge animal rescue family, and although I gifted them photo pillows of the dogs last year, they’ve all asked for pillows of our newly adopted kittens this year. These are the best gifts, always, for visiting day and beyond.”

All About Vibe Custom Pillow, $25-60 (25% off if you use this link!)

“My teen at camp is begging for the top of the line JBL speaker (pictured here) but I’ll probably end up getting him a cheaper and smaller version – of which there are many of the same brand.”

JBL Boombox 3, $399

“Don’t ask me why they’re all so obsessed with Prime, they just are. I’ll definitely include a few boxes of the sticks (to mix in their XL water bottles) in their visiting day swag bag! Another cute idea is to stick a few boxes of these hidden in a fun new water bottle.”

Prime Hydration+ Stick Pack, $8

“All the little boys to big boys are back into chunky gold chains (and those geeky trendy haircuts – but that’s another story) but there’s no way my boys were wearing their real gold to camp – I sent them up with a few pool-lake-safe gold plated chains, and I’ll definitely bring up a few more for layering looks and swag.”

Miabella Solid 18k Gold Over 925 Sterling Silver Italian Cuban Link Curb Chain, $29

“Taki’s to my crew are what Pringles were to us at camp in the 80s! My boys all want as many Taki’s as possible in their package.”

Takis Blue Heat Rolled Spicy Tortilla Chip 6 pack, $13

“These tiny vials of bliss will get them squealing! We’re always looking for new candy options for visiting day – well these are just the cutest things ever! This adorable rainbow kit is filled with 7 x 1oz tubes filled with the perfect dose of unique sprinkles they just can toss down their gullet at any old time, or hide in their pillow case for emergency sugar shots! (get 10% off with my special link!)”

Emergency Dose Of Happy Kit, $22

“All the sporty kids want Panini Prizm sports cards to trade. As my husband says, sports cards in camp are like cigarettes in jail.  And before you think they’re normal baseball card packs you could pick up on the way to camp at a CVS – they are not.. you have to go to a specialty card/ comic book store to find these. Here’s a link for $5 off at the place I get ours, but amazon has them here too.  What you want to look for is 2023 Prizm box of the sport they love – if you’re googling.”

2022 Panini Prizm Football Blaster Box (Green), $49.95

“The perfect game to play solo when they can’t sleep in bed at night in the bunk – electronic vibes – but actually a brainy game that helps with memory and recall!”

Educational Insights BrainBolt, $18

“The fingerlings are back, with all new features like reacting to touch with over 70+ sounds and reactions (!!) that make them freakishly lifelike. Younger campers will plotz over how cute their monkey is, and it can act as a emotional support creature when you’re not around.”

FingerLings 2023 New Interactive Baby Monkey, $14

‘For an older, artistic kid with great fine motor skills – these custom pet paint by numbers kits are pre-printed by you (a photo of them and Fido or Fluffy, perhaps!) and then painted by them slowly and painstakingly at camp on rainy off hours or to come down after a wild night of activites.”

Custom Paint by Number Personalized Photo, $84

“Silly mustaches in all the colors for dress up and photo opps- more than enough to share!”

175 Pcs Fake Mustaches for Kids, $16


“My kids wrote (early July) and said everyone’s rocking these Eric Emmanuel shorts (adds to cart) or dupes.”

Eric Emanuel Shorts, $110

“Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes are 100% coming up with us in a freezer bag with an ice pack, as requested. They travel well, and are perfect little bites – plus they come in nut-free/ dairy-free/ egg-free/ vegan -perfect for allergies or non dairy kids.”

Latest & Greatest Cupcakes, $37+

“Why do they never stop asking for these? Haven’t they gotten enough thrown at them at Bar Mitzvahs?! Anyway, they want another pair. Adds to cart.”

Shark-themed Slippers and Slides, $14

“My eldest also asked me to bring his Greenlight card (for camp trips – common for older kids) and to bring up his cell phone for the day. If you don’t have a greenlight card for your kid/s, camp (for travel and trips!) is a good time to give them one because cash is a hot mess express.”

Earn a custom $30 reward using this link

“My sons all asked for hard top loaders to keep their best cards – traded for at camp – in top condition. I would never have thought to send these – lesson learned!”

Hard Card Sleeves, $20

“Ramen was requested – a new one this year! I try and buy a slightly healthier one than the MSG sodium machines since I’m already loading them down with Coke, Takis, and candy!”

Dr. McDougall’s Organic Miso Big Soup Cup,, $2

“Visiting day is the perfect time to replace their lip balm – you can only imagine how gnarly they get in 2-3 weeks of germfest summer! This one is perfect for little hands and clean beauty fans!”

Lippe Balm, $18

Heather Sperling, founder of the Campers Closet App – the app that helps you pack and keep track of your camper’s stuff – has a 11 year old camper at Camp Wayne for Girls. Her summer picks are:

“These light-up hair scrunchies are perfect and so much fun for theme days and at night events at camp!”

12PCS LED Scrunchies, $13
“Face masks from Sephora – on rainy days or during rest time girls love having spa time.”
Sephora Collection Clean Face Mask, $6
“Lululemon Hotty Hot Shorts (Amazon version or real) –  many Mom chat groups discussed whether to send up the real or the fake versions of these shorts. Either way girls are in love with these comfy shorts!”
Hotty Hot High-Rise Lined Short 2.5″, $68


See Also

Tennis Butterfly Shorts Girls 2-in-1 Double Layer Quick-Drying Comfy Shorts, $21
“Favorite food from home! Homemade chocolate chip cookies and sushi are my daughter’s favs!”
“No one wants to forget a good inside joke. These pillows capture memories pictures can’t!”
Life is Better with Friends Autograph Pillow, $25

“Bunk Games (Especially when it’s a rainy summer) like: Truth, Dare or Zits, Splurt, and Fiki Sports Games.”

Gamewright – Splurt! – Portable Party Card Game – Think Fast. Say it First!, $11

The Anon Mom we all love to repost,  Scary Camp Mom, an account that succinctly (and hilariously) picks apart the runaway train of emotions (and endless text threads) that is sending your child to sleepaway, chooses these classics:

Fuzzy socks for cold morning crocs!

Super Soft Fuzzy Cozy Home Sleeping Socks, $16

This “I Love Camp” fan will keep their camp spirits high, but their faces cool! (If you prefer to go the ‘I love you’ vibe, amazon has that one!)

I Love Camp LED Fan, $4.75
Croc lights! So they can see in the dark on the way to evening activity!
Headlights for Croc, $10
Spot It NFL, because you can never have enough card games at camp.
MasterPieces NFL Spot It! Card Game, $16

Ali Greenfield, formerly in fashion, is now the Event Planning Manager at The Knowlton, a stunning waterfront venue located in Connecticut where half of the kids you know will have their b’nai mitzvot. She is also a proud parent of a 9-year-old camper who attends Camp Mataponi each summer. Here are her top picks for the season;

“Current summer obsessions include;

  • “Squad Tee, $30 – You can’t go wrong with the softest tee in the game for her entire SQUAD.  *PREORDER ONLY so grab your Summer 2023 bunk text chain mom squad/new bffs, Campanion stalker crew and DM TO ORDER. Great for bunk gifts!”
  • “Customized postcards, prices vary – Personally made perfectly sized (and ruler lined to help with their handwriting!!) camp postcards that also come in the adorable ‘Sup Bruh designs. Green postcards went to camp with my daughter, and blue postcards were given out to her home friends to write to her. The exciting part about this is when she sees blue – she knows it’s from her home friends and vise versa. You can even just order the PDF’s of these and print them out at home!”
  • “Aviator Nation Shorts, $85 – My solution to the played out hottie hot and those KatieJ weird wrap short skorts. These are worth every cent and I can promise you you’ll get your money’s worth…kinda like camp.”
  • “Aviator Nation Kids Tiger Sweatpants, $95 – Because you never want her to lose her one of a kind stripes and HELLO FALL is coming soon so these will get worn past chilly camp nights!”
  • “Grass Green Mushroom Terry cloth lined crocs, $29 – A throwback, but also can they make these in my size?”
  • “Jelly Custom Slider Bracelet, $42 – Summerized! Personalized and waterproof! #winning”
direct links and prices shown above


“My daughter specifically requested these new Nike shorts that are, apparently, now all the rage for summer 2023!”

Nike Pro – Big Kids’ (Girls’) 3″ Shorts, $25

Ilana Yunis, founder and creative director of Splatterazzi, and co-founder of IG fave @Homesickdotcom has two girls at Camp IHC, 14 and 10. Here are her go-to gifts for visiting day;

Customized, hand painted ugg slippers in your camp colors!

Cutomized Ugg Slippers, DM @splatterazzi to order

“My personal fave shorts this season! They want them in all the colors.”

Tween Farrah Shorts, $54

More Suggestions That Never Fail From The GirlieGirl Army Parent Contributor Squad:



Things to sneak into cards/ flat mailers and letters that are special surprises but not technically a package. We have them hyperlinked to amazon here for ease of use, but obviously you can get these things anywhere.

  • Cool fake tattoos 
  • Sports cards
  • Comic books
  • Sticks of flat gum
  • Prime packet/s
  • Send photo postcards directly via these two adorable apps: TouchNote Online Card Maker (Get $10 off your first year with code CHLOJGTY or by entering CHLOE DAVIS in the referral field for 50% off your first card – these are shinier and more glossy pix) and Postagram (these are more matte and have a cute perforated option to pop your photo out – you get a free postcard with this link!)
  • Cow Over The Moon, a toy store in Huntington, LI/ NY will send your kids Jersey cards and a mix of sports cards directly to camp all summer if you sign up via telephone. It’s an easy way for them to get regularly mail with special surprises inside.  Call them at (631) 424-1796 and ask to be signed up for camp cards, and they’ll explain to  you how it works. It’s very popular at many camps for the sporty kids, and not! They love to trade these, and so – a card binder is always a great visiting day gift. We love these custom ones.


Grab yourself a pack of these “seltzers” to enjoy when it’s all said and done – (trust us – 30% off the Starter Pack with code CHLOE30) and let your partner drive home. Pat yourself on the back – you did this!!!


Hey Saver, grab tons of exclusive discount codes (we update this regularly – so check it before the holidays!) from our favorite camp brands here

Some of these links include affiliate programs which may mean we earn a small %.
Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

Wanna know before anyone else when this guide is coming out annually? Sign up for our once-a-month mailing list below!