CYJ Prep #3: Packing

posted by on May 18, 2016


Adventures in Camp Prep!

Episode 3: Packing

“You may worry that campers’ luggage gets mixed up, but that’s just not the case…”

Think of how relaxed you’ll be while your kids are at Camp… that’s how we’d like you to feel while getting ready! So check out these tips and tricks that should make your packing experience as simple as can be!


General Packing Guidelines

Packing Rule #1: Trust the Packing List!

With years of development behind it, this list will end up being your best friend when it comes to getting your campers packed and ready. The closer you adhere to it, the more success you’ll have!

Remember to send LOTS of sunscreen, stationery, stamps, and toothpaste, (even if your child doesn’t like brushing their teeth!). A HAT and WATER BOTTLE are definite requirements. We would even suggest sending extras just in case, as campers are expected to have these with them all day, every day.


Packing Rule #2: Label Everything

Label everything with your camper’s name, even if you don’t think it needs a label. Shoes? Toothpaste? Tennis racket? Label ‘em! Go a little label crazy, sing a label song—“Label, label, label, I made it out of clay….” (Full name—no initials!)


Packing Rule #3: Relax about Luggage

Don’t be concerned about buying a new footlocker for Camp—suitcases and/or duffel bags are just fine, and they’ll be stored until the end of the session. Each camper gets a cubby in their cabin with three shelves to keep their clothing and possessions. (We also do laundry once a week, so no need to over-pack.)


Packing Rule #4: Leave Technology at Home

We get many questions about electronics, so here’s our basic policy:  it’s fine to send an iPod (with no internet connectivity) for music, but campers may NOT have cell phones, tablets, laptops, or any similar devices.

We want our campers to communicate with each other face to face, to enjoy living in the moment, to connect fully with each other… not to spend the summer hanging out with buttons and screens. Further, a primary value at CYJ is good health, and we consider it valuable for all children to get a break from virtual stimulation.

So please, help your campers get the most out of their summer by leaving the gadgets at home.


Packing Rule #5: Pack Together.

Nothing creates confusion in a bunk quite like a camper who doesn’t know which clothes are theirs. So please, pack with your campers so they can know what he or she is bringing to camp.


Clothes at Camp

Camp is full of running and painting, swimming and jumping, cookouts and campfires… it’s an awesome place! So awesome, in fact, that not every outfit can handle all the awesomeness. Keep these rules in mind when packing your campers’ bags:


Packing Rule #6: Think Comfy, Think Casual

We are here to have fun, right? That means sports and crafts and mud and messes! So be sure to send simple clothes, clothes you’re not too invested in seeing again, and clothes your campers could enjoy a playground in!

On that note, we should mention that we do not allow high heels at camp. The terrain at camp is just too uneven and we want to keep our campers’ ankles happy and untwisted!

Keep in mind also that you don’t have to pack a full session’s worth of outfits—we do laundry once a week!


Packing Rule #7: Help Us Maintain Our G-Rated Environment

We ask our campers to only bring modest clothing, (including swimwear—one-pieces or tankinis for the ladies). Clothing that advertises alcohol, sex, drugs, or cigarettes are unsuitable for our Camp community and not permitted.


Packing Rule #8: Don’t Forget Shabbat!

Shabbat is a special time at Camp.  Our schedule is different, our food is different… even our dress is different! Pack something a bit different for Friday evenings, something a bit special that your child won’t wear during the rest of the week. Nothing too fancy—something like a cute, casual sundress or a nice button down and jeans is perfect. Please make sure that the Shabbat clothing is modest and appropriate (not too revealing).

And don’t forget—wearing a white shirt for Saturday mornings is a cherished Camp tradition!


Eight rules?  How will you remember them all?  Easy – the information is all in our Family Handbook.  So, relax and pack easy. Before you know it, your camper will be coming home!

As always, if you have questions about this plan, contact us at 713-723-8354 or at [email protected].


See you soon!



Camp Prep, Episode 1: Riding the Bus
Camp Prep, Episode 2: Eating at Camp

CYJ Family Handbook
Summer Packing List
My CYJ Account