We are getting so close to the summer, and we are really gearing up over here at camp! Boxes are pouring in each day, and we’re having our last meetings before we all move to camp for the summer. It is an exciting time!
Today, as part of our New Camper Blog Series, we are going to talk about packing for home at the end of camp. This may seem a little counterintuitive, as I bet many of you have packing for the start of camp on your brain. (And don’t worry, we have done many posts in the past on packing; start here to find some of them). But, packing for the return home is something important to understand, so let’s get going!
With our large camp community, it is a huge effort to pack our campers for their return home. We love that they settle into their space, make themselves at home, create tons of fun projects they want to take home, and have visited The Greystone Store many times. However, this all leads to a very well lived in, slightly chaotic situation when we think about getting everyone ready to head back home.
Two days before the session is over, all of the campers pack during Rest Hour. We have some Program Staff who head into each cabin to help the girls. But, just imagine the fun they have in store! As someone who has packed many campers over many years, I can testify that it is pure crazy…and also so much fun! Just imagine all the towels, shoes, sleeping bags, dresses, random socks, and more that are all over the cabin. And, don’t forget what all could accumulate behind a bunk! It is amazing what you find when you go to pack.
When the girls start packing, we tag all of their bags based on how they are getting home – by car, by UPS, or by plane. We then pack everything the camper owns in her bags and make a “mountain” on the porch of these things. Girls will then visit their mountain from that point on to get anything they need. This helps to make sure girls don’t leave anything behind on Closing Day.
Now, for those bags that are going UPS or by plane, we pick those bags up prior to Closing Day. This is for multiple reasons: first, many of the bags will need to get placed in the correct camp car to go to the airport with the camper, and we want to make sure those are all ready to go; second, we need to separate all the UPS bags from the bags going home in cars on Closing Day, which is quite the process; and finally, we pack all the UPS bags prior to Closing Day in a cardboard box and label them – with hundreds of bags, this is a HUGE process that takes lots of time, so we fully use the last two days of the session.
Because we pick up UPS and plane bags early, girls who are shipping home will pack their personal bedding two days before the end of camp and will switch over to our camp bedding for the final 2 nights of camp. This often surprises parents who don’t know about it ahead of time. But, never fear! We make sure each camper has sheets, a blanket, and a pillow for those last two nights when her things are already picked up and being processed to ship.
A note on that: If you are shipping things UPS but would like for your daughter to keep her bedding on her bed so that you can take it home in your car, just tell her that! Send her an email a few days before camp is over and let her know. Then, when you come on Closing Day, bring a big grocery style bag or empty duffel to pack all the bedding to carry to the car. No big deal on our end.
All of the luggage going home by car is carried down and sorted by cabin for Closing Day. When you come to pick up your daughter, you’ll load this sorted cabin luggage before you leave. Make sure to check the tags! These tags will indicate how many bags you need to pick up (1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.). The most commonly forgotten item is a laundry bag – you don’t remember it, as it wasn’t being used on Opening Day; however, by Closing Day, it is packed full. Make sure to check for it!
We do our best to send all of your daughter’s items home, but every once in a while, something gets left behind. If we find anything after you have left, we will let you know and can ship it to you (another reason to label your things).
Have any more questions about packing for home? Let us know by commenting below!