Month: May 2014

Counselors, It’s Time to Pack!

You’ve scored an amazing summer job at a sleepaway camp and the summer is so close that you can practically taste the s’mores, smell the camp air and hear your campers laughing. But before you can head off for the summer of your life, you have to pack. Packing can be a daunting task for first time camp staff. Even if your camp supplies a packing list, it’s hard to determine what you may be able to leave behind, if packing space is at a premium, and what you absolutely must have. Here is a brief rundown of those items that camp staff traditionally believe are essential.

If you pack these items, you are in good shape….


You’re working at a summer camp, and “outdoors” is an operative word in your upcoming summer. In fact, you’ll spend the majority of your day outside. Applying sunscreen often and generously insures that you do not find yourself very red and uncomfortable at the end of a sunny day and protects your skin from the potential long term effects of the sun’s rays.

Water bottle

Heat plus a lot of activity equals the need to stay hydrated. Whether or not your camp provides water, it’s a good idea to take a water bottle that can be refilled several times throughout the day. It’s also environmentally friendly by reducing the use of disposable cups.

Several pairs of shoes for all types of weather

Athletic shoes are essential. Multiple pairs, if you have them, are ideal. Most traditional sports oriented camps do not allow staff to wear flip-flops or open toed shoes for activities that are not water related. It’s simply unsafe in an athletic environment. So one or two pairs for water-related activities and days off are sufficient. A pair of rain boots or galoshes is always a good idea.

Bunk/Cabin games (Jacks, puzzle games, etc.)

These activities help facilitate communication with campers, and are so much fun while in the bunk or cabin during resting periods or rainy days. Some items are not allowed in bunks or cabins, however, so be sure you check with your camp to make sure that games and other activity items are permitted.


Some camps provide bedding. Other camps require staff members to bring their own bedding.  If your camp requires you to bring bedding, it is a good idea to bring a thick blanket or comforter in addition to a thin one. Yes, it’s summer. But most camps are in rural mountainous regions, and it sometimes gets cool at night, especially at the very beginning and toward the end of the summer.

Lots of socks and under garments

A saying is among camp staff who return year after year, you can never have too many of either!

Comfortable shorts/pants

Athletic type shorts and pants are best for moving through daily activities, but it ultimately comes down to whatever you feel the most comfortable wearing.

A couple of sweatshirts or sweaters

Again, yes it’s summer, but the evenings can get a bit chilly.

Some colorful shirts and shorts (especially in your camp’s colors)

Camps often divide staff and campers into teams for activities by colors. So it’s a good idea to pack a rainbow of colors so that you are prepared to show team spirit when the time comes.

A few plain white t-shirts/tanks that can be dyed or altered for costume purposes…

You just never know at summer camp.

A bag for laundry

Eventually, you’re going to need to do your laundry at camp. It helps to have a laundry bag for easy transport to and from the laundry. (Many camps provide laundry bags-  so check first.)


A couple of pairs are a good idea. There is a lot of movement at camp, and sunglasses are an item that is commonly lost, forgotten or broken.


Ask yourself, what will you be doing at camp? Will you need some type of special equipment that you need to bring. If so, make sure you leave room for it when you are packing.


Most camps are within a reasonable distance to a shop from which these types of items can easily be replenished. So you usually only need enough of these to last the first couple of weeks, if packing space is at a premium.

If you stuff your suitcase or duffle with these items, you’ll be in good shape for your first summer at camp. If you’re concerned that you don’t have room in your luggage for all of these items, call your camp to see if staff members are permitted to ship items to camp.

The Favorite Meals at Camp Weequahic

Our kitchen team is among the best in the business, with over 40 years of culinary experience between the chefs. They do a great job preparing healthy, fun meals that keep the campers and staff going all day long.

We spend a lot of time each year planning our menus for each summer.  In doing so, we take into account nutrition, variety, and our campers’ past experience and tastes. While all the food is good at Camp Weequahic, there are a few meals that stand out!

It seems like no matter what we do, our campers’ favorite breakfast is our Sticky Icky Bread. It’s a sweet breakfast treat that our campers’ just can’t seem to get enough of.

For lunch, there is less of a clear-cut favorite. Our chicken and cheese quesadillas are always a big hit as are the sliders. We also have a big contingent of campers and staff who love the chicken Caesar salad day, while others take their time building the perfect salad from our freshly prepared salad bars.

As for dinner, the hands down favorite is our cookouts. Whether it’s the hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs or grilled veggies that the kids love, they all can’t wait to get outside, enjoy each other’s company, and have a meal at the end of the day. As for the runner ups for ‘favorite dinner’, taco night or the Hollywood dinner are always big.

The good news is the kids feel that we always have good, fun, and healthy choices.  There is also always something for everyone, even those campers whose tastes seem to be a bit more of a challenge. How do we know? We ask! Menu items that are not well received are removed from the options and new foods are added. Thanks to the feedback from our campers and staff, we’ve added more options to our salad bars, increased the variety of veggies offered, and come up with fun new desserts.

Top 5 Reasons to Pack According to the Packing List

Every year, Camps send out packing lists with suggestions of what and how much to pack.  It’s important to stick to the packing list, since the lists are normally catered to your specific camp! Camp Directors have been sending out these lists for years, and make sure to update them according to what they know works for their campers! Here are the Top 5 Reasons to pack according to the packing list!

5.) Space is limited at camp! While your child may have their own room, closet and bathroom at home, at camp they are going to have to share these spaces. Your child will be living in a bunk with several other campers, as well as  several counselors.

4.) Required Items vs. Optional Items! There are going to be some items that are absolutely required, and you don’t want to be leaving those out of your child’s trunks. Uniformed Camp logoed T-shirts for specific events during camp are usually required. Optional items are generally items that are provided by camp, but some campers prefer to bring their own equipment such as lacrosse helmets.

3.) You don’t want to over pack! You know how when you go on vacation, you always seem to have more things to put fit in your suitcase than when you arrived. Well the same thing happens at camp! You want to be sure to leave a little room in those camp trunks for the end of the summer, so all of their projects & souvenirs from trips can make it home safely.

2.) Labels, Labels, Labels! There are A LOT of kids at camp, and a lot kids bring very similar, if not the same items. This is why everything brought to camp MUST be labeled. We know that you don’t want your child to lose anything at camp and this is the best way to prevent that from happening.

1.) Check what items are not permitted in camp! You want to be sure your camper doesn’t bring any items that are not allowed in camp. Along with what to pack, your packing list normally will have a list of prohibited items that should not come to camp with your child.