6 Essentials to bring to Summer Camp

So, it’s your first year on staff eh? Congrats! Now for all the dreaded panic shopping in the run up to your flight. I’m heBackpackers at an airportre to break down some down-right essentials for what you need to pack to get the most out of your American Summer Camp experience.

  1. First up, gadgets. You can’t go anywhere without them these days and the same goes for summer camp. In the bubble that is camp, you need some contact with the outside world just to stay on top of what is happening in the real world. Taking your phone is an essential for contacting family to let them know you are safe. It’s also bloody handy to take on your travels afterward when you want to get directions, book flights or want to take some pictures. Phone, above anything else is number 1.
  2. Travel adapters. I bet there are some of you who have just said ‘OH SHIT’ when reading this one. It goes without saying really. If you want to use your tech, get some adapters. In my second year, I did the ingenious thing of taking an extension cord that let me get many more plugs out of one travel adapter. It was risky as I didn’t know if it would work, but it did! Try that!
  3. Now’s a probably good time to quadruple check passports, visas etc. You make all that effort, turn up at New York and ‘doh!’ you forgot the J2. Yeah, you probably don’t want to be that person.
  4. Water bottle. At the camps I have worked at anyway, you couldn’t get by without one. The weather combined with the amount of exercise you do (even if it is simply walking to the other side of camp!) is hard work. The kids are forced to take them to each activity and you’d be a fool to consider not bringing one at all. Did you know you can take an empty one in hand luggage?
  5. Snacks. If you can afford the weight, put as many British foods in there as you can. I’m talking Dairy Milk, Haribo, Jaffa Cakes, Dairy Milk, Maltesers, Toffee Crisp and Dairy Milk. You’ll become the champion of the camp by being able to offer something from home when people are feeling homesick. And it goes to say, it’s great for your wellbeing too.
  6. A smile. Cringey as it sounds, and as cliche as this top 6 list could be, you need one. There’s no point in going all that way, all that hard work of the application process to be tired of it all when you touchdown. You need to be confident, positive and approachable to make new friends. In staff week, you’re going to need a smile to get you by which will be the run up to when the kids arrive. If you’re not happy by the time they get there, they will notice!

Can you think of other biggies to bring to Camp?

Can you think of any that should take a place from the list of six? How about you let me know in the comments below. Fancy reading more about what to expect when you apply for American Summer Camps? How about you check this link out for similar blog posts. And while you’re at it, please allow this quick plug. I’ve written a book called There’s No Place Like Summer Camp, the diary I kept while on my first year of doing Camp America. It can be pre-ordered now through my shop here. Coming to Amazon and other good bookshops soon too.


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See you in a week’s time,