A swim meet can be a very exciting time for your swimmer. He/she gets to show off all of those hard work in practice and have some fun with their teammates between events. But at the same time it can be one of the longest days of a non-swimmers life. So how do you keep those siblings and yourself sane and entertained?
Enter the Swim Meet Survival bag. Even as a seasoned swim parent I can admit at the beginning of every season I forget to pack our bag. However after the first meet of pure torture because we forgot everything, we make our kit. So what do you put into a Swim Meet Survival Kit?
Parent Survival Kit
Chairs/Blanket - Until you know what style seating each pool offers it is a great idea to have a bagged camp chair as well as a stadium chair/and or blanket for bleacher seating. You can only sit on bleachers for so long, they do not provide any seating or there are not enough bleachers for everyone. Also if you are going be at the meet all day, you should be comfortable.
A bag - to keep everything in one place, organized, and easy to transport. Also make sure each sibling has their own bag for his/her items. This also helps keep your load light and teaches them responsibility.
Folder - This is going to be your “brain”. Many keep the info on phones but you never know how service will be in a pool. Hard copies of contact info, swimmers times, pool directions/locations, time standards if applicable, entry sheet and cheer sheet will make your swim meet much easier.
Pencil case - filled with pens, pencils, highlighters, Sharpie, staple remover, small stapler, reading glasses. Bring extra highlighters and Sharpies so when you loan them to a less prepared swim parent you don’t have to worry about being without one because they didn’t give it back. The staple remover and stapler come in handy for those 1” thick heat sheets. You can remove ads and pages from the sessions your child doesn’t swim in and staple the relevant parts back together for a more manageable size.
First aid kit - SUNSCREEEN, pain reliever, a few bandaids, Kleenex, any medical specific items your child requires (epi-pen, etc) This does not need to be a fully stocked surgical suite. Just the basic things you may need.containing only a few of everything you may need.
Cosmetic kit - Brush, more ponytailers then you think you will ever need as they go missing quickly, chapstick, hand sanitizer/baby wipes, contact lens/glasses. This is also a good place to stick some cash for concession stand/entrance fee.
Entertainment - Book, tablet, magazine, puzzle book….Any of these will save your sanity. Your swimmer more than likely is only going to be swimming for less than 1-2 minutes at a time. While it is fun to watch and cheer for teammates the meets can feel long without some distractions.
Snacks for YOU! - Not all pools have concession stands. Some basic snacks and a water bottle can keep hunger at bay. Small portions of raisins, nuts, and trail mix and a large size bag of Peanut M & M candy ought to do it. Carry in water bottles since snack bars will charge up to $5 for 12 ounces.
Swimmer Survival kit
Swimbag - a back pack will work for this but most are not large enough to carry everything. When finding a bag keep in mind it needs to fit A LOT.
Uniform - Meet suit, cap, and goggles.
EXTRAS - Spare suit, cap and goggles because at some point one of these will go missing or break at the worst time possible.
Flip flops/crocs - walking around deck.
Parka/Robe/Hoodie/Sweats - These will be soaked by end of meet so do not plan to use same clothes you arrive/leave in.
2-3 Towels - A towel for during the meet and one for after and some kids like a 3rd for sitting on.
Dry clothes - after meet as anything that was used or worn during meet will be wet.
Snacks - Nuts (be mindful of allergies), beef jerky, dried fruits, cereal, pretzels, seeds, sandwich crackers, water bottle, Gatorade
Shampoo/Conditioner - No RAZORS OR LOTION.
Entertainment - Book, tablet, magazine, puzzle book, games,toys (NO balls or Frisbees). This is also a GREAT time to get get some homework done.
Chairs/Blanket - they need to be comfortable between events