We’re 50 days from starting our summer “under the pines!” If you are as excited about camp as we are, you’re probably getting the camp duffel bags down and ready to be packed up for the summer! Think it’s too early? Nah, it’s never too early to start getting prepared for camp! While both Indian Acres & Forest Acres have a packing list, there are always a few fun and useful items that aren’t necessarily essential but can be an excellent addition to your camper’s experience.
Make writing a letter home simple for your camper with some pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes. Pack a folder or large envelope in their luggage with some blank paper, the prepared envelopes, stickers, and a couple of pens or pencils. Make an envelope for everyone who might want a letter – home, grandparents, aunts & uncles, and some friends from home! If you have everything already prepared for your camper, you’ll be more likely to get a letter or two!
With the hustle and bustle of camp’s daily activities, a good night’s sleep is necessary! An egg crate mattress pad is an option to pad their mattress so their bed is just a bit comfier. Plus, the egg crate mattress pads help insulate the beds on the chillier Maine evenings.
It doesn’t matter if this is your first summer or 6th summer, clothing for Color War is always a necessity. Having a good combination of clothing in the appropriate team color is always useful once Color War breaks. Shirts, pants, socks, bandanas, hats, costume pieces, etc. are all potential clothing options. Not sure what color to send with your child? At Forest Acres, your options are green and tan (often yellow clothing is worn in place of tan). At Indian Acres, the color options are brown and red.
At night or on extremely cloudy days at camp, a reading light can be useful inside of the cabin. Whether that’s a headlight, lantern, or a light that clips to their bedside cubbies, these help keep their hands free for reading or writing letters home once it’s dark.
It never hurts to have an extra blanket on hand when it gets chilly! Even if you’ve got a sleeping bag, an extra blanket is great to use for campfires, movies in the gym, or the 4th of July fireworks!
Books for Downtime
Even though our campers have packed days, there’s definitely still time to get some reading done! Send some of their required summer reading or some of their favorite magazines for downtime at night, during rest hours, or bus rides on trip days. If your camper doesn’t prefer books, send some of their favorite comic books, MadLibs, playing cards, or even a coloring book!
Don’t be afraid to send a few nicer tops & bottoms for special events. There are often coed dance nights where campers may want to dress up! There’s also an All-Camp Dance near the end of the summer that is usually themed in some way and your camper might want to wear a related costume piece. Keep an eye on your email – we’ll announce the All-Camp Dance theme in June! There are also plays and talent shows that happen during camp, so if you have any clothing that may work for those, consider packing them.
These are important! Be prepared with a few extra batteries for flashlights or small fans packed in their luggage so they’re already at camp when your child may need them!
The hardshell cameras are a great way to encourage your campers to take some of their own photos over the summer. They can take these inexpensive cameras out to Lovewell, on trip days, or just carry them around camp to get pictures. It’s great to bring a camera to camp, but these disposable ones are great as they are easily replaceable if they are dropped or damaged. But don’t worry, our camp photographer will still be posting photos during camp on Bunk1!
Whether this is a stuffed animal or a favorite pillow, it’s a good idea to pack a beloved memento from home to comfort a camper! Even a small photo album with family and pet photos can be a great thing for your camper to share with their counselors and cabinmates after a long day of activities.
As you begin packing, make an inventory list of everything going into their camp bags. That list is extremely helpful to your child and to the counselors when preparing to pack up for home! A summer at Indian or Forest Acres is a wonderful opportunity for your child to explore the nature of Maine, meet new people, and try new things! Packing them up with everything they’ll need means a happier summer camp experience for them – and you!
Have questions about packing & preparing for camp? Contact us here!