Essential Items For Summer Camp (That Aren’t On Your Packing List)

It’s nearly time. Summer camp is getting so close. Like, really close. I fly to NYC tomorrow morning! Whaaaat?

Anyway, so I’m currently trying to pack and get everything I want for the summer into the one (rather small) bag that I’ve decided I’m taking to camp this year instead of the enormous beast I usually have to struggle with. I thought it would be fairly easy to cut down the amount of stuff I take, especially since I have pretty much an entire wardrobe at camp already – that’s what happens when you keep going back year after year!

But it’s proving rather difficult to fit everything in. I’m going to have to lose a few things I think. Struggling with my packing got me thinking about the packing list I wrote for summer camp way back when, and all the essential items that I now realise I left out of it. Sure there’s your standard clothes and shoes and shampoo etc that you need to take, but what about all those little things that are super useful to have at camp that you may not have even thought of yet?

Well, after 4 summers at camp, there’s a few things I wish I’d known I should have taken to camp in my first year, and I thought I’d share them with you here:

summer camp tent
Decorating your living space with photos is a great way to make it feel homey

1. Friendship bracelet string/Hair braid string.

If you want to be the most popular counselor, definitely bring some coloured string with you and learn how to do friendship bracelets and/or hair braids. Also, the more you make, the more you get… and you know it’s going to turn into a counselor competition of who have the most friendship bracelets by the end of the summer!

2. A book to read to your campers/some sort of quiet game or questions to ask during down time.

There will be times when you want to calm your campers down, or just have some quiet time with them, and my best suggestion in these times is to read them a story (a series like Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket always goes down a treat) or ask them interesting questions. I love these fun camp themed question cards!

3. Silly stuf for dress up days.

If you hadn’t already guessed, dressing up in ridiculous outfits happens a lot at summer camp. So go to your local fancy dress or charity shop and pick up a few silly bits and bobs, like some neon socks or a USA flag t-shirt for July 4th!

4. Crocs.

I know what you’re thinking. ‘Ewwwww. Crocs. I’m never going to be seen dead in a pair of crocs!’. That’s what I thought too, and then, after getting so sick of having wet feet ALL THE TIME (the grass is always wet in the morning), I just went for it. They may not look very cool, but they’re surprisingly comfy and very handy when all your shoes are soaking wet!

5. Face paint.

Self explanatory really. You’ll be very popular if you can decorate people’s faces with their team colours on all camp activity days!

6. Photos of family and friends at home.

It’s always nice to have a few reminders of home, and these are super usefull too when your campers want to know all about your life back in England.

4th July Socks summer camp
4th July Socks anyone?

7. Drawing Pins.

To put up your photos/other cabin/tent decorations.

8. Blu Tac.

Very helpful if you’re not allowed to use pins!

9. A Laundry bag.

There is nothing more annoying than having a load of dirty laundry and having nowhere to put it. I think in my first year I ended up storing my dirty washing in my suitcase and then had to find some plastic bags to take it to the laundromatte in.

10. Nail polish remover.

Ok, so I don’t really wear nail polish, but a friend suggested this one and I can totally understand the benefits. Remember that you’re probably only going to go off camp once a week on your day off, and you really don’t want to have to deal with gross, chipped nail polish all week, especially when you’ve got about 4 layers of it on there, because your campers keep wanting to paint your nails different colours every day (does this only happen in girl’s camp?)!

What other fun or special items are you going to take to camp this summer?

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