Competition Survival Kit
I have always been known as the “go to” mom. Need a bandaid, safety pin, bloomers (don’t laugh, I had a spare set that day) or snack? See me. You see, you never know what you will need in a pinch, and competition day is not the time to start finding out you left something vital, like those bloomers, at home.
I have a few small bags that I always keep in a messenger bag with me. Now, I may not bring everything in, but I do keep it in the car just in case. More often than not, at some point during the day, someone will come up to me for one of the items in the bag.
I would like to share the list with you. It is separated into the bag lists, as it makes it easier to find them when I am surrounded by the chaos of the moment.
1. Hairspray – travel size. It need not be the high quality one you used at home, just something that will work when you have no choice.
2. Bobby pins
3. Hair ties of various sizes
4. Lip stick – ok, I do not travel with all the make-up, but I do travel with the lipstick. I find I am often reapplying it prior to warm ups.
5. Makeup remover wipes
6. BOUNCE sheet – Yup, BOUNCE. Nothing works on controlling static cling or hair like the product used to actually control static cling! As an extra bonus, it smells good and at the end of the day shove the used sheet into those nasty smelling cheer shoes!
7. Comb or brush – usually the Dollar Store has some simple travel size ones.
8. Nail Polish Remover wipes – Your coach should already be telling you that competition weekend is not the time for a mani/pedi. All the kids need to look the same, so nail polish is a no no. Wipes are for when you forgot to take that polish off your child’s nails before hitting the road.
Medical Bag – usually in a sandwich bag that can double as an ice bag in a pinch.
1. Band-Aids – various sizes. I like the ones with the antibiotic already on them. It keeps from having to pack an extra item.
2. Advil or Tylenol – Don’t know who uses these more, the moms or the kids.
3. Tums/ anti-diarrhea/ anti-nausea – There are now several travel varieties out there. Must have for ANY travel bag!
4. Safety pins
5. Tide on the Go – I like the pen because it can pin point the area better, but whatever you are comfortable with will do.
6. Feminine products
7. EARPLUGS! – ‘Nuff Said.
8. Lotion – you never know when you are ashy.
9. Deodorant – hopefully no one will need it, however, someone usually will.
Snack Bag – I usually put all the items into the travel mug for easy packing.
1. Travel cup – check with the venue to see if they allow full ones. If not, bring an empty and fill once you are in. This saves on money and re-hydrates your athlete faster than soda.
2. Travel snacks – Ok, for the record, chocolate is not advisable as it tends to melt, however my child’s favorite item is Snickers for the energy.
3. Spare change – Be sure this is in singles and quarters. You never know what the vending machines will take.
4. Tea Bags, sugar, powder creamer – Remember that travel cup? Most places will give you hot water and you can make your own tea on those days when you are really not feeling up to par. Also could use hot cocoa, but my child is jinxed and constantly spills is on any white part of her uniform so it is not in my bag.
Electronic Bag – This one is usually a plastic Ziploc pinned to the inside of the Cheer Weather Bag
** I may not need this at every competition, but those long weekenders are a must **
1. Book/e-reader – I don’t like to bring my tablet. Most places do not offer WiFi and if you have ever been behind someone trying to use one to record the routine you know how obnoxious they are. Keep it simple. If you want to record, bring a camera with a zoom and shoot from a distance.
2. Cell phone
3. Chargers and batteries for those items you are bringing
4. Wallet – yup, wallet. If I am carrying all this stuff, I am not carrying a big purse too!
5. USASF ID – If you are a member of USASF you should print out your child’s ID card. Check the USASF website to find out how. This way if there are any questions, you have the answer on hand. It can also be used if to help others look for your child should you lose them that day.
Now all those bags will go into my Cheer Weather Bag
1. Grocery bag – Yup – nothing else will fit over that cheer hair better on a rainy day, not even that umbrella.
2. Blanket or Snuggie – I started packing this when I realized one popular venue automatically shuts off its heat at 5:00 sharp. By 6:30, you and your child are ice pops. If I know it is a really late night schedule, I may even shove in a travel pillow.
3. Socks – Nothing feels worse than wet socks = and cheer socks don’t need to be in the rain to get wet. All those lights are HOT and those kids’ feet sweat!
Remember, this is MY bag. My daughter has her own where she puts her warm ups and boots (if cold weather) and her other articles. I find she brings in less stuff when she has to carry her own, and seldom misses any of it.
Your bag may not be as extensive as mine. Moms of smaller children will need to include a change of clothes or teddy bear, or whatever you feel necessary.
Being prepared will put not only your mind at ease, but your child as well. Knowing that you can handle anything thrown your way will allow you and your child to adapt quickly and face the competition head on. Now for the final thing to bring. The one thing that does not fit in my bag of tricks – a smile and a loud voice. Now go cheer your kids on today.
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