It’s done- you’ve registered, sent in those pesky health forms and pulled out mom’s old beat up suitcase from the attic. You have every piece of paper and brochure camp has ever sent you laid out on the table in front of you, including a detailed packing guide that suggests biodegradable liquid laundry detergent (don’t worry, Tide is biodegradable). You went to Target and bought 3 packs of underwear, a raincoat, and some bug spray, but have you forgotten something? What are the most important camp essentials for a happy week, month, or summer?
We’ve polled seasoned staff members, campers, and camp-lovers about their getting ready for camp rituals. Here are some of their best pieces of advice:
1. Send out your summer address on facebook and in emails (and pre-address letters to people you know you want to write to!)
If you don’t do it now, you won’t get any mail. So invest in some stamps and envelopes and don’t forget to send the address to Grandma!
2. Start saving up that Tuck Shop money!
How else are you going to get candy at camp? Not to mention t-shirts, stuffed animals, and lanyards…
Photo by Jeff Adair via Flickr
3. Bring lots of batteries… and flashlights.
It’s amazing how quickly your flashlight will burn through those batteries when you use it every night to find your way back to the cabin. It’s even more amazing how frequently you lose your flashlight because you accidentally leave it somewhere, never to be found again. One staff member says she brings a flashlight for each week she’ll be at camp!
4. Reconnect with camp friends from last summer and see if they’ll be back!
Maybe you’ll be back the same week and can request to be in a cabin together again!
5. Find some fun sheets/pillowcases/stuffed animals to make your bunk a little more cozy.
I always searched out my Little Mermaid sheets and a fun stuffed animal to spend the summer with me (even as a staff member!). Fun sheets are a good conversation starter on the first day and they make your bed a little more fun to come “home” to at camp.
6. Buy a notebook and pray about some goals for the summer (and then use it as a journal while you’re at camp)
Lots of things can happen during a summer at camp, whether you’re coming for one week or six. Why not spend some time praying and asking God what he wants to teach you through your time at camp this summer, and writing down some of your prayers and goals? Then you can look back on them throughout the summer and see exactly what God has been teaching you and how he has been faithful.
7. Extra. Socks.
Between rain causing sock changes mid-day and the dryer sock-eating-monster, most of the staff members would guarantee that you’ll have to pick up another pack of socks at Walmart by midsummer. You can prevent this by bringing some extras now!
Photo by darkmoon via flickr
8. Enjoy your favorite meals from home and long hot showers.
The food at camp is wonderful and you’ll have new meals to look forward to soon (Mac and Cheese and Tigger Surprise, anyone?) but you won’t get your favorite meal from Mom for a while now, so eat up while you can! Same goes for those long, hot showers: camp is a place to be your messy self, so enjoy one last day of squeaky clean civilization before you head off the grid.
9. Plan to be up with nervous jitters the night before- like Christmas Eve!
Even seasoned camp veterans get nervous and excited the night before camp- it’s totally normal! Try to go to bed at a normal time, but don’t be surprised if you’re too jittery to sleep right away.
10. Hit the road bright and early!
Camp’s ready- what are you waiting for?!