ECONOMY

What are you people thinking?


Today’s suggested packing lists for seven-week camps can include a light blanket and warm comforter, two sets of sheets, six towels, three pairs of sneakers, 25 pairs of underwear, 25 pairs of socks, sports equipment and toiletries. Then, there are clothes for most every weather scenario, including a raincoat and boots, fleece jacket, more than 20 tops and shorts, and 10 pairs of pajamas—split between lightweight and heavy.

Miscellaneous items include foldable Crazy Creek chairs, a kaboodle to hold hair ties, makeup and nail polish, flashlights, decorative pillows for optimal bunk coziness, family photos to fend off homesickness, games and personalized lockboxes for, say, smuggled-in candy.

“Color War” is its own sartorial challenge. At this epic end-of-summer tournament, campers sport their team’s color and compete in events. But since the kids don’t know what color they’ll be assigned, parents often pack for four possibilities.

For the buying, many families make a “camp appointment” with a personal shopper at Denny’s, a children’s boutique in New York, New Jersey and South Florida. Associates greet them with their camp’s packing list printed out. Spencer Klein, whose family has owned Denny’s since 1978, says the average spend for a new camper appointment is $1,500 to $2,000. (A coveted perk: the store labels everything for free.)

As for those new service sector jobs:

This year, for the first time, Dara Grandis, a Manhattan mom of three, hired professional organizer Meryl Bash to pack for her three children, who head off in late June for seven weeks at camp.

Here is the full WSJ article by Tara Weiss, via the excellent Samir Varma.



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