Packing: This or That - New Camper Blog Series

Hello Greystone parents! Another Tuesday means another week in our new camper blog series (check out some of our recent posts from this year, if you haven’t read them already). While we may still be a few months away from camp, it is never too early to start thinking about packing. We have a great packing list in our Parent Handbook, or you can print off our packing lists right here:

Today, we are going to play a little game of “this or that,” looking at common packing items and giving you our thoughts on which to pack. In the end, you know your daughter best, so do what suits your family (we see ALL of these items at camp, so you can’t go wrong). Here we go…

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Play clothes or nicer clothes:

We would definitely recommend play clothes (such as t-shirts and athletic shorts). Girls run around all the time, and their clothes might get messy. While we will see girls wearing khaki style shorts from time to time, most wear fun play clothes.

Backpack or tote bag:

You can’t go wrong with this decision, and we see equal amounts of both at camp. The advantage of a backpack is that it is easy to carry, and you can easily close it up so nothing falls out. Many girls will bring a Kavu style backpack or a small cinch backpack even. We also see many school-style backpacks.

So, on this one, I would recommend a backpack if your daughter is a “get everything into a bag and easily zip it up” type of camper; if she’s a “needs the space to throw all of her things into a bag” type of camper, consider the tote.

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Water sandals: Crocs or Keens or Chacos

We ask that girls bring water-style shoes to camp, or shoes that can get wet. When we have rain showers at camp, we keep going with our daily schedule, so often girls don’t want their tennis shoes getting soaked on a rainy day. So the question is: which shoes should you bring? We see a ton of Crocs and Chacos at camp – probably an equal amount. Chacos are going to stay on your feet better (or a similar shoe like Keens), but Crocs are easier to slip on and off (and protect your toes). This decision will come down to what is best for your daughter – what is the easiest shoe that she likes that she will actually wear at camp?

Blanket or comforter:

We provide a soft jersey-style blanket for each camper (we just ordered brand new ones for this year!), but we also ask that you bring a warm blanket for your bed. So the question is: should you just bring a blanket to add to the end of the bed (using our camp blanket as the comforter) or should you bring a comforter-style blanket to go on top of the bed? Most campers bring comforters or blankets (that they use as comforters), putting these on top of the blanket we provide. Girls often like their bed to feel unique to their personality, and this is one way to give it style. Either choice is fine, but we want you to know what most girls will do!

Green/Gold shirt or accessories:

Team competition is a big deal at Greystone, and your daughter won’t find out her team until she arrives. So, should you pack a green/gold shirt, or should you just pack some green/gold accessories? For your first summer, I’d recommend starting with a shirt. You can purchase one from our Greystone Store, or you can send a green and a gold shirt in her things so that your daughter has something to wear. We will provide free basic accessories that the girls can pick up before a team competition, so a shirt is the way to go for your first summer.

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Mesh laundry bag or solid:

When choosing a laundry bag, you will have many options. You can do a solid laundry bag (like these in our Greystone Store) or you can go the mesh route. The mesh will provide more breathing space for the smelly clothes, but this is truly personal preference. In the end, all of the clothes are washed and brought back smelling clean, so up to you!

Legit Bible or a kid’s version:

We ask that all campers bring a Bible with them to camp. So, should you purchase a normal, adult-style Bible, or can you use a teen or kid’s version? We’d recommend bringing whatever is appropriate for your daughter’s age; we’d rather she read it than that it be a specific type or style. We will also give a Bible to any camper who forgets hers or can’t find hers at camp.

Battery operated or plug-in fan:

Summer afternoons can get hot, so most girls like having a fan on their bed. I would recommend a plug-in fan over the battery-operated type so that your daughter doesn’t have to worry about changing the batteries during her session. Each bunk has a plug right next to the bed that is specific for your camper’s bunk, so having a plug-in fan works great.

Tubs or Ziplocs or folded clothes:

There are MANY differing opinions on how to set up the big drawer under the bunk (you can read this previous Parent Packing blog about the options, or this great parent blog about Structure or Spontaneity). And, with girls unpacking their own items into their drawers this year (since parents won’t be allowed in the cabins on Opening Day), we are going to be posting a new camper blog in early May that talks specifically about how to pack for unpacking.

But, in the meantime, the question remains: should I just let my daughter pile her clothes into her drawer, put an outfit a day into Ziploc bags so each outfit is ready to go, or use tubs to organize the clothes? If I was packing for this year, I would recommend letting your daughter pile the clothes in the drawer, or I would send tubs (the drawers are 32x32x9.5 inches). The main reason is due to laundry: we wash your daughter’s clothes during our June, Main, and August sessions, so if you use Ziploc bags, the clothes will never return back into the Ziplocs, so probably not necessary starting out with them. Junior parents may consider it: using Ziploc bags, putting one outfit in each bag for each day…but for the other sessions, I wouldn’t worry about it.

My other reason for this suggestion (piling up clothes or using only tubs) is because camp is about being crazy and making your own choices. I may not love what my child is wearing, but at camp, we don’t care about matching or looking a certain way. It’s a great way to let your daughter gain some independence by choosing her outfits herself.

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Have any more “this or that” packing questions (or any packing questions in general?) – comment below, or reach out to us; we are happy to help! Check out our Packing Norms page for even more ideas on what to pack this summer. Packing for camp can be so much fun, and we hope you enjoy the packing process with your daughter!