Inevitably both campers and parents will arrive to the same question, “What should I bring to camp?” Well we’re here to help, just as there is a list of things to bring/do before you arrive to camp there is a unwritten list of things that you only learn through the experience of sending your camper to camp a few times…well here you will learn some of those helpful tricks.
1. Bring a headlamp instead of a standard flash light “what’s the difference?” you may ask, I’m glad you did. The reason is that it is crazy difficult to read with a flashlight being held between your head and your shoulder in they evening after lights out (also send extra batteries!).
2. Bring non-scented deodorant, soap & shampoo, and wash all clothes with non-scented detergents before coming to camp. You wouldn’t believe how helpful this is to keep all sorts of bugs/pests away.
3. Leave the electronics at home! You seriously won’t need them, trust me on this. Camp is a place that is not electronics friendly place, there is rain, there are surprise water balloon fights and many other activities that are great for children but not so great for those pricy pieces of electronics. Parents if you need a resource to help you understand/create a convincing arguement this please refer to http://unplugatcamp.com it’s a great resource for understanding the importance of viewing life through your own eyes instead of on a screen.
4. Presents for your bunk mates (think birthday party favors) helps with making friends on the first day easy! I had a camper who would bring a stack of flea market comic books for the cabin.
5. A backpack is always helpful. Plastic bags to put a book in while it’s in your backpack are crazy helpful (just incase there is one of those impromptu and unscheduled water involved events that “never” happen at camp).
6. Pre-filled out envelopes! Put the address and stamp on the envelope before your camper gets to camp. This makes sure that the post office can read the address and cuts down on the likelyhood that your camper will actually send you a letter…speaking of letters…think about how long a letter takes to travel. If you get a letter from your camper on the third day of camp that is anxiety filled things “most likely” have settled down since the time you’ve received the letter. Summer camps routine kicks in on the third day of camp and most campers have settled in by then. Please reach out to us as frequently as you wish for updates on your camper if there is a concern.
7. The comforts of home. “What do you mean by that?” You ask. Send your camper with posters to put up around their bunk, magazines, books (required reading works well), stuffed animals & pictures. This helps make their bunkbed area uniquely theirs and allows them to help break the ice with other campers.
8. A couple pairs of shoes. Ones that are both closed toe & closed heel and a pair of crocs that can get wet and that can be kept in a backpack. That way shoes can stay relatively dry.
9. Disposable cameras, even if just as a backup to their point and shoots. I know, what year is this? It’s the best way to make sure that your campers experience is documented for the ages and honestly how retro-cool would it be that your campers have actual photos of camp.
10. Costumes, instruments and/or a journal. I know I’m hitting you with several things at once (I’m limiting the list to 10 things). A guitar or Jedi costume or simply a way to document their experience will add another dimension to your campers experience.
This is a short list and hopefully a helpful one. Good luck packing and see you on check-in day!
Kam Kobeissi – Director of Camp Henry Hird