This is an updated version of the original post from October, 2011.
Camp is more fun if you pack the right gear. Here's a few things I've forgotten in the past, but want to make sure gets stuffed in the duffel bag this year.
15 Camp Packing List Essentials
You know you look cool wearing it around, and on top of the cool points, its quite useful.
It's a tough call. Do you participate in all the games, or stand on the side shooting videos and taking pics that will be a huge help in selling camp next year? Designate one leader on your team/area to take turns shooting pics/filming at each event. Many hands make light work.
Another tough call. If you bring your camping chair, it sure is more comfy to sit down at club, but it's also kinda selfish to be the only one with a butt cushion. If you bring it to share, that's great, but then kids might feel like you're choosing favorites. Possibly offer it as a reward for a late night cabin game.
Yo, ya gots tah keep yoself hydrated. Two keys to surviving a grueling weekend of lil sleep are eating right and drinking lots of H2O.
Seriously, by Saturday afternoon that shower is just disgusting. Do your feet a flavor. Chacos work great in the shower and in the lake. Make an investment. I've had the same pair for 9 years. Plus, if you tweet about Chacos, TYLM (TotalYLMove) will probably Retweet you.
It's tough to sleep surrounded by the sound of 15 kids' random heavy breathing. The free White Noise app on the iPhone does the trick. Plus, it provides a great joke for all the kids to pick on you about for the next year. "Remember when you made us listen to that terrible noise all night long at camp." They'll mock you... but secretly be thankful.
Might sound funny, but sure feels homey. Plus, it gives your campers another way to make fun of you. They think you're old already, wait til you break out that robe!
Since kids can't have their phones at camp, it makes sense for you not to be pulling yours out all the time. If you want to take notes in the leader mtgs on schedules, cabin time questions, etc... it's nice to have a lil notepad that fits in your pocket. It's also handy during club if you want to write down ideas from the talk/songs/etc...
You do a lot of walking around camp. It's nice to not have to go back to the cabin to get things. I like to keep my Bible, notebook, crazy creek, sunscreen, shades, cards, camera, wallet, etc.. in a backpack. When I'm not wearing it I usually keep it in the Leader Lounge.
During my early years of leading, I used to play "Silent Football" with guys in the cabin at night. After realizing that game has great potential to really "damage" some kids, I've switched to a nightly routine of playing "Push the Deck." We circle up laying on the floor, taking turns to do pushups through an entire stack of playing cards. Face cards=10. Aces=15. Number cards=# on the card. It tires guys out pretty good. Last man standing wins.
8 out of 10 YL campers/leaders leave camp with a wet item. Wouldn't it be nice to have a plastic bag to pack that baby in?
If you were a middle school girl in the 90's you might still have a Caboodle in your attic. It would be pretty hilarious if you packed it full of materials to do an "post cabin time- spa night."
Extra Clothes To Share
Gals love to trade clothes, and guys love to get dirty, so both male and female leaders should bring extra clothes. There's something bonding about sharing your gear.
Everyone sleeps better with their own pillow. Pack your own comfy sheet (stuffed down in the pillow case.) A good night's sleep is essential to being an 'oh boy' leader.
You know how gross it is to share a towel. Its proven that 28% of all campers forget to bring a towel. It's also proven that 93% of all stats are made up on the spot. Bring an extra drying cloth.
You know that some guy in your cabin is going to get his shoes soaking wet and muddy. You promised him the best weekend of his life, and now he's gonna have wet feet for 24 straight hours. Bring that guy some shoes.
General Packing List
T-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, swimsuit, beach towel, sunscreen, one set of clothes that can get dirty and may need to be thrown away, including old shoes. Jeans, sweatshirt, rain jacket, closed toed shoes for sports activities, one nice outfit.
Please chime in with a comment below and share what you wish you would have brought to camp.