Welcome to the next installment in our Camp Prep Series. So far you have met the Merakzim and reviewed transportation and eating at camp. Now one of our most important topics: Packing!
Top 10 Packing Tips for a Successful Summer:
- 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 side of a 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 and, honestly, there might not be space on their shelves! Print this out and use it – we even put checkboxes on it for you.
- 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.
- 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 sun. 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.
- Keep it G-Rated.
Please pack simple, modest clothing, not too revealing and without inappropriate advertising (no alcohol, sex, drugs, or cigarettes, please). Girls, please bring one-piece or tankini bathing suits and steer clear of sheer or strapless clothing, shirts that are too low cut, or skirts and shorts shorter than fingertip length.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pack in duffel bags.
NEW THIS YEAR: We will send you TWO preprinted luggage tags in the mail for the trip to camp. 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 and 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.
- 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 other devices, please. For those campers that are traveling by air and need cell phones for the trip, we will hold your devices for you in the office safe and return them at the end of the session.
- Don’t stress if you forget something.
We will have a stash of the basics (toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, etc.) that your child can use 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, to the care of the Camp Mom, and we will get it to your camper. More about that in the Communications/Mail Prep Email coming soon.
- PACK TOGETHER!
Especially for younger campers, 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.
If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask: [email protected] or 713-723-8354. You can also search our Help Database (help.cyjtexas.org) 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: Campouts!
Camp Prep Series: