What to pack for summer camp

So, you’ve booked your flight, it’s the week before (or month before) you fly and its finally time to start packing. But where do you start? Being away for 3 months can seem scary when living out of a suitcase but remember that summer camp is different to a 2 week all-inclusive holiday.
Firstly, your summer camp will have a laundry service, its best to ask your camp how it works, whether you wash them or if the staff do. BUT, this also means you do not have to bring 100 pairs of socks!
Let’s start with clothes…
  1. Underwear – this is vital for many reasons.
  2. Socks – you will most likely lose multiple pairs. But you can always buy more on days off.
  3. Sport Bras – girlies you will most likely live in these as they are super comfy and can also work as a swim top!
  4. T-shirts – You will be wearing these daily, and most summer camps have camp apparel that you can buy, so you will accumulate lots during the summer! I suggest bringing colourful tops that can also be used for dressing up days, colour wars and tops that you definitely do not mind getting dirty or covered in paint.
  5. Shorts/Leggings – some camps have rules on the length, but mine was if you bend over and see butt, then they are a no go. Also, if you already have to think “do I need to check” then they are probably too short!! Leggings are perfect for camp as they are comfortable and necessary for certain activities, such as go karts and horse riding. However, research the climate, if it is 100F, you may not find yourself needing too many pairs.
  6. Fancy Dress Items – You will have theme days where you will dress up as disney characters or “I can’t believe you wore that”. Ask your camp what your theme days are 🙂
  7. Swimming costume/trunks – Every camp has different rules on swimsuit policy. Some only allow a one piece, whereas others will allow a two piece as long as they are “lifeguard ready”. I also suggest staying away from white swimsuits as they have a tendency to go see-through –  and no one wants that happening!
  8. Trainers – NECESSITY at camp. Bring at least one pair that you don’t mind getting muddy or dusty.
  9. Flip Flops – These will be worn everyday most likely, at the lake, beach, shower rooms. You may also want a nice pair of sandals for day off.
  10. Sweatshirt – While hot in the day, the temperature can plummet in the evening, so you will need a hoody or sweatshirt for cold evenings.
  11. Pyjamas – You will only need a few pairs as most people end up wearing shorts and t-shirts anyway. Just make sure they are appropriate with no sexual slogans or sexy cut outs and short shorts!
  12. “Nice clothes” – I guarantee you will need a few nice outfits, whether that is for day offs, recognition dinners or travelling after camp. But also remember you have days off where you can buy cute clothes!
  13. Hats – Baseball caps are great for shielding the sun and are somewhat in fashion right now!
Other bits and pieces
You’ve packed your clothes, but now it’s for the odd bits and pieces that are definitely needed, but often forgotten.
  1. Travel Adapters – America has different plugs to most countries, so bring some adapters to charge your phone, tablet, and use that all-important hair dryer!
  2. Backpack/Small Bag – For days off, or going from activity to activity, you will need a bag to carry a towel, water bottle and sun cream! Buy a nice cheap one, that you do not mind getting dirty!
  3. Watch – ESSENTIAL no matter what! You will need a watch to tell when activity periods end, and preferably buy a water proof one for when lifeguarding.
  4. Sunglasses – Save your eyes, and don’t wear $100 raybans that will get lost at the bottom of lake. You’ll thank me later. Bring a few pairs in case you lose them!
  5. Toiletries – I personally wait till I am in America to buy my toiletries to save weight allowance. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, tooth paste, sun cream, moisturiser and anything else you personally need!
  6. Documents – DO NOT forget your passport. You will struggle to get out of the country, as well as into the USA. This leads on to documents such as ds-2019 which you WILL need to enter borders at USA. Check with your company on what other documents you will need!
  7. Go pro/Camera – Most camps do not allow mobile phones when campers are around, so if you want to catch the memories during camper time, bring a camera or go pro to get all the summer camp action!
  8. Items from home – you may want to bring your journal that you write in every day, or Cadburys chocolate or PG tips that you can’t purchase in America. It’s also really nice to bring something from home that you can share or show your campers.
It depends….
Depending on your summer camp, these items may be provided, but it is best to check ahead of time. Also depending on if you are international or American.
  1. Sleeping Bag – some camps provide bedding for internationals, so it’s best to check with your camp on what is provided. If American, you will most likely have to bring a sleeping bag or duvet.
  2. Alarm Clock – You don’t want to be running late, so make sure you set an alarm.
  3. Hair dryer – depending on how much time you have during your day you may want a hair dryer. But I would suggest talking to your fellow Americans, as most of them will happily share their hair dryer, hair tongs etc. and it’ll save you space in your suitcase!
Hopefully this gives you some idea of what to pack. My biggest advice is to talk to your camp about what is provided, and most will give you a general packing list anyway! Also talk to previous returning counsellors for their tips and tricks – they know best because they’ve lived it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s