Selecting the Perfect T-shirt for Your Summer Camp

Creating awesome t-shirts for your summer camp can enhance the whole camp experience. And let’s face it: coming up with camp designs and slogans is a ton of fun.

But what about the shirts themselves? They need to complement the look of your chosen design. Plus, even the coolest artwork won’t save a shirt that’s ill-suited for daily camp activities.

In this post, we’ll look at three factors that can (and should) impact your selection of a camp t-shirt: fabric, color, and brand. This will help you choose a shirt that your kids and counselors will enjoy wearing during those long summer days.


When it comes to summer camp shirts, the material of choice definitely seems to be 100% cotton. And this makes a lot of sense. Cotton is soft, comfortable, and provides great breathability in hot summer weather. It also works well with screen printing when it’s time to slap on your camp’s design.

However, you shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the excellent polyester shirts that are out on the market. This fabric tends to be stronger and more durable than cotton, making it ideal for intense camp activities like running, hiking, and climbing. On top of that, many 100% polyester shirts are moisture-wicking, which can help sweaty campers stay cool.

You could also go with a cotton/polyester blend. This option provides some of pure cotton’s breathability and is also fairly durable. However, keep in mind that polyester can be tricky to print on – even when it’s blended with cotton. If you are considering polyester, it’s worth discussing these limitations with your printer. You can also learn more by checking out our screen printer’s guide to t-shirt fabrics.


Summer camp is all about fun, and so vibrant, lively colors (bright yellow, turquoise, etc.) are fantastic for camp t-shirts. Bright colors also make campers easier to spot in the wilderness, which helps to keep everyone together. And when your campers go back home, an eye-catching shirt can serve as great (free) advertising for your camp.

Of course, you also need to consider which shirt colors complement your artwork and lettering. A bright yellow shirt will grab attention, but if your camp’s name is printed in white, it might not be legible. Plus, if your design already contains super-vibrant colors, it might actually look best on a simple white t-shirt.

The Gildan youth performance yee combines quality and value.

The Gildan youth performance tee combines quality and value.


Wholesale shirts definitely make the most economic sense for summer camps. That’s because even durable polyester fabric can be damaged during typical camp activities. And you don’t want to overpay for shirts that might need to be replaced within a week.

Luckily, there are plenty of stellar brands available on the wholesale market. Gildan and Jerzees, for example, are both known for producing top-notch activewear. If your camp is focused on vigorous outdoor activities, these are a couple brands worth looking at.

Then there are manufacturers like Next Level Apparel and Bella + Canvas that place a real emphasis on style and fit. Teen campers, especially, are more likely to wear shirts that look and feel great when they put them on. If aesthetics are a big focus, it’s hard to go wrong with either of these brands.


Your selection of summer camp shirts is a big deal, but hopefully this post will make the process a bit easier for you. If you get the fabric, color, and brand right, your happy campers might even sing a song around the fire in your honor!

Have you bought shirts for your summer camp before? If so, what kind? What did you like (or not like) about them? Talk about it in the comments below!