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A Camp America Packing List

19.03.19

The question that's on all your minds... what, oh what do I pack for three months in the USA?

Fear not, we've got the best Camp America packing list you could ask for. Let's get packing! 

1. Underwear

That's a given - you don't need to pack too many though; you will have access to laundry facilities there! We recommend 10 pairs just to be on the safe side. 

2. T-Shirts

We love T-shirts at camp! They are comfortable, can be worn on numerous occasions and don't look too awful with a sprinkle of camp dust on them. Don't worry about packing lots and lots; you'll find you'll start to accumulate shirts once you get to camp!

3. Swimming Costume/Trunks

You'll find yourself on the water throughout your time at camp -you lucky things!! Therefore, swimming attire is most definitely a necessity. Ladies, definitely pack swimming costumes and save the bikinis for your travels! Guys opt for board shorts over Speedos ;) !

4. Trainers

A summer camp MUST! Although you'll be calling them sneakers by the end of summer. We recommend bringing good trainers that can suffer a lot of mud and fun. Whilst we love converse here in the office ... we would hate for them to get ruined! Bring at least one pair of trainers you don't mind getting a little muddy. 

5. Flip Flops

Another must for summer camp! Worn at the lake, in the shower, or even on your off days at the beach! Don't worry if you go through more than one pair at camp...that's pretty normal!

6. Hoody

A hoody, also known as a sweatshirt once you step off that plane. The nights can be chilly in the US, and we don't want our counsellors getting cold! 

7. Shorts/Leggings

A must at camp! Shorts are perfect during the hot weather, and sporty leggings work great as they are super comfortable and great in all the activities you'll be participating in! 

8. Socks

Just because socks are always handy. No blisters for us here! You'll find that you may go through 1 or 5 pairs depending on how adventurous your day at camp is ... so pack lots!

9. Raincoat

Believe it or not, it rains in America. You can either dance in the rain and get soaking wet (definitely our preference} or grab a raincoat! Both options work well, and it's always handy if you're teaching an activity for a few hours and need some shelter. 

10. PJs

You definitely only need to bring a couple of pairs. Please make sure they're appropriate! 

11. A nice outfit

Probably the most important decision you'll find yourself facing... which nice outfit should i bring? We guarantee you'll have either a night on camp or a night off. 

12. Toiletries

Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Shower Gel and anything else you normally use! Here's a packing TIP! Why not buy a 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner and save yourself room in your suitcase? Or opt for travel sizes. No worries if you still don't have room ... you can purchase some from Wal-Mart when you get to camp! 

13. Sleeping Bag

We know it may be tricky to fit this in with your never-ending luggage, but we'd always recommend getting one! You can check with your camp before making this decision and if you don't have room in your luggage it's another item you can pick up at Wal-mart! You'll find yourself picking up another hundred items that you didn't actually need at Wal-mart, too ... 

14. Alarm Clock

Not all camps will allow you to have your phone on you at all, so if you have a small alarm clock you can bring that would be excellent! Saying this, you'll find your wonderful little campers are an alarm clock all in themselves! 

15. Sunglasses

Definitely not something you'll want to find yourself without during the hot summer months. If you can take an extra cheap pair you have lying around, we'd certainly recommend it! 

16. Sunscreen

Just like the sunglasses, please make sure you have this! The last thing you want is not to be able to participate in the activities because you have heatstroke or sunburn.

17. Camera

Because this is one adventure you're going to want to remember! 

18. Watch

A camp essential. You'll need this to be on time to your activities, know how long is left before the next one... or maybe just count down the minutes until it's time for lunch! 

19. Bug Spray

This can also be bought once at camp, but please do grab yourself some so you don't find yourself scratching your way through the summer! This is also super handy if any of your campers have forgotten to bring some! 

20. Journal

The ultimate packing item!! This item will be cherished and filled with love and scribbles throughout your time at camp, and you'll find counsellors will come home and say they wished they kept a journal. One day, it will be incredible to look back and remember all those little details that you forgot. 

21. Home Comforts

Whilst you can make yourself feel at home with your coins, photos, flags & football shirts, your campers will also love getting to know more about you and where you're from - so its win win! Don't forget your favourite chocolate brand & if you're from the UK teabags! We really missed these two items and you can even use them as currency with other counsellors as the summer goes on. 

22. Travel Adapter

Unfortunately, we do not have the same outlets as America. So save yourself the hassle of realising this when you're on 5% and trying to skype your family and grab one before you go! 

23. A small backpack

This is super handy to carry around your extra items to be the very best camp counsellor; first aid items, water bottle, folder, and definitely some suncscreen too! 

24. Important documents

THE NUMBER ONE ITEM! We're talking about your passport, Certificate of Eligibility (DS2019 form), your medical insurance certificate, policy & handbook and your travel to camp instructions. 

25. $150 cash

We always recommend you have around this amount when you arrive in the US just in case. You'll definitely use some of it on snacks, a Wal-Mart trip and maybe for getting to camp. If you purchase any travel tickets to get to camp make sure you keep your receipts! The camp will give you this money back when you arrive. But don't panic - this will all be on your travel to camp instructions so you'll know beforehand! 

26. Suitcase or backpack

This is completely up to you. It really depends on how rustic your camp is and your after camp travel plans. The majority of people take a back pack in their first year, but a suitcase in their second. So we'll leave the decision with you.  

What not to pack...

1. Hair Dryer

Leave the hairdryer at home. Not only will it save you tons of space in your luggage, but you'll barely use it! You'll be too busy having fun to worry about your hair. Plus it's sunny in America so it'll dry naturally!

2. Laptop

Unless you're going to be making videos at camp, you do not need to bring expensive electronics! Smartphones can do everything laptops can nowadays anyway and you don't want to be worried all day about keeping it safe! you get to camp!

3. Hair Straighteners

Similar to a hairdryer, they take up a lot of unnecessary space and Americans use a lower voltage than us, so they never seem to get as hot! Just make friends with an American that has some and you'll be set for your days off!

4. Too many clothes

The minute you step onto your new home for the summer, you'll soon realise how unnecessary it was for you to pack 50 t-shirts and 40 pairs of shorts. You'll find you can get by with 10 days worth of clothes; some get by with even less! Remember you'll have access to laundry facilities on camp!

5. Fragile or valuable items

To put it simply: If it's something you can go to camp without, and would be upset if it got lost/dirty either at camp or on your travels, it's best to leave it at home!