Camp Prep #3: Packing!
Welcome to the next installment in our Camp Prep Series. So far we have reviewed transportation and eating at camp. Now one of our most important topics: packing!
Top 10 Packing Tips for a Successful Summer:
1. Follow the Packing List
This is not our first summer. We spend time every year reviewing the Packing List and we promise that if you follow it exactly, your camper will have everything he or she needs. Remember that each camper has just one cubby (see the picture in the packing list), so sending more than what is on the list makes it difficult for your camper to keep track of his/her belongings. Print this out and use it – we even put checkboxes on it for you.
2. Don’t forget the water bottle, hat, and sunscreen. Send extras.
ALL campers are required to have hats and sunscreen for sun protection and water bottles to stay hydrated – this is not negotiable. If your camper doesn’t pack them, loses them, or runs out, we will give them another and charge you for it.
3. Keep your camper’s wardrobe camp-ready.
Your camper’s clothes should be ready for camp activities, including sports, art, garden, swimming, and more – all in the hot Texas summer. Imagine dirty, sweaty, but happy kids. Leave your camper’s favorites at home and pack comfortable clothes that can come home dirty. Nothing fancy and no heels.
4. Keep it G-Rated.
Please pack simple, modest clothing without inappropriate advertising (no alcohol, sex, drugs, or cigarettes, please). Girls, please bring one-piece or tankini bathing suits.
5. Shabbat is when we “dress up.”
We like to feel special on Shabbat, but still nothing too fancy. A polo shirt for boys or a sundress for girls (no heels!) is perfect for Friday night. For Saturday mornings, it’s tradition to wear white shirts.
6. Label EVERYTHING.
If you want it to come home, label it. That means everything from hats to socks to sheets to shoes. EVERYTHING. There are several websites where you can order packages of labels in different shapes and sizes, including www.cyjtx.labeldaddy.com (promo code cyjtx). Experienced parent tip: If your last name is unique enough, order labels with just your last name. Then you can use the same labels for all of your kids and you won’t need to update them for hand-me-downs.
7. Pack in duffel bags.
We have mailed all of the campers TWO preprinted luggage tags for the trip to camp. If you haven't received them, please let us know so we can check your address and resend them. We suggest packing clothes in one duffel and sheets and towels in another. Once the kids unpack, we will store the duffels away for the session. Duffels are easier to store than lots of bulky suitcases. Plus, you will appreciate when your camper returns home being able to wash not only all the clothes, sheets, and towels, but the duffels, too.
8. Leave the tech at home.
One of the best things about camp is the break from technology. We allow mp3 players without internet connections, but no devices with screens (including Kindles or other ereaders). We have had parents ask about wearable technology (e.g., FitBits) and here’s our thoughts: if your camper is responsible enough to keep track of his/her technology and its charger and the device does not have internet connectivity, then it’s fine. Many of these items look very similar to one another and we won’t be responsible for them getting mixed up or lost. If your camper can do without, that’s best, but if they insist then make sure they understand the responsibility. For those campers that are traveling by air and need cell phones for the trip, we will hold their devices and travel documents in the office safe and return them at the end of the session.
9. Don’t stress if you forget something.
We will have a stash of the basics (toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, etc.) that your child can shop from if he/she forgets or runs out of something. If your camper needs something we don’t have in stock (e.g., a pillow, shoes, glasses), then you can send it to camp, care of the Camp Mom, and we will get it to your child. More about mail and packages in the Communications with your Camper Prep Email (coming in 2 weeks).
10. PACK TOGETHER!
For younger campers especially, it is sometimes easier and faster to do the packing for them. However, caring for their belongings is a big part of all campers’ independent experience, and participating in the packing is an important first step. The cabin stays neater and laundry day runs more smoothly when every camper can identify and organize his/her own things.
There are two versions of the Packing List that you can print out and use:
- The 2019 Packing List - This is for Nitzanim and all 3-week campers
- The Mini Mensch Packing List - This is a shortened version of the packing list specifically for our youngest campers, who will only be with us for a weekend.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask: firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-723-8354. You can also search our Knowledge Base to learn more about not only packing, but anything you may be wondering about to get ready for camp.
Next up in the Camp Prep series: Meet the Head Counselors – the Merkazim!
Camp Prep Series:
#2: Food at Camp
#4: Meet the Merakzim
#5: Camper Communication
#7: Camper Care & Medical Teams