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What Should I Bring to Camp?

Apr 26 | What Different Can Do

Packing the Ultimate Camp Suitcase

Hi! My name Hope Blaszczynski and I am the Assistant Camp Director, Program, at Camp Southern Ground. Growing up, camp was something I looked forward to all year. I had countdowns starting from the day I left camp for how many days until I was back. Come mid-April I started thinking about packing for camp. What would I pack in? What clothes would I want to wear? What would other kids be wearing this year? Which shoes would be the most comfortable? And I’d rattle those questions around my head for about two months before it was finally time to pack for camp. Now, I wasn’t lucky enough to be a camper at Camp Southern Ground, but now that I’m about to enter my fifth summer here at CSG, I have a few packing tips and tricks I thought I would share to help make sure that everyone has everything that could possibly want while they’re with us!

Before we even get into the “what to pack,” let’s talk about what to pack in! Counselors will encourage all their campers to unpack once they arrive on Sunday, so what you pack in only matters from about the front of the lodge into your room. More important than the suitcase or bag that you pack in is actually how you pack in that bag. Our favorite packing hack here at CSG is simple: freezer bags! One of the best ways to make your camp mornings easier is to pack everything you need for a day in a freezer bag. Make sure you include everything for the day: shorts, shirt, underwear, socks in the bag so you can just grab and go right on your way!

Now we know how to pack, let’s get on to what to pack! Of course we have a (really great!) packing list that I’ll include at the end of this post, that will cover what to pack generally. Remember: never pack anything that you love too much to get a little paint or mud on.

Below are a few things that might make your week a little more fun, comfortable, and exciting!

  • A notebook & pen– camp can go by in a flash, it’s nice to have somewhere to write things down
  • A deck of cards– of course camp has plenty around, but I’m known to pull out my uno deck whenever there’s a free moment!
  • Sunglasses or a hat– we’re outside in the sun all day, and those eyes need as much protection as your skin!

Here are some things you can bring to share with your cabin. This can range based on interest and age but a few examples: nail polish, stickers, action figures, face masks, glow sticks, mad libs, and temporary tattoos! You may also want to think about:

  • Books. we have a break in the schedule each day to slow down and rest. A book (or books if you’re a speed reader) is a great activity for that time.
  • Extra swim suits, especially if you’re not a fan of putting on a slightly damp one.
  • Shoes that are already broken in. No one wants blisters!
  • Water friendly shoes. No one likes putting socks on right after the pool, so bringing crocs, slides, or flip flops is a great move!
  • Hair ties. If you know, you know!

Of course a lot of those things are only luxuries, but they can be great to have! The general packing list is below– make sure to give that a good read too since it includes everything you’ll need for the week, things like a bath towel and toiletries. I can’t wait to see what you all packed in your bags when you arrive here at camp. See you soon at Camp Southern Ground!

Camp Checklist


  • T-shirts (5)
  • Shorts (5)
  • Underwear (7)
  • Socks (7)
  • Sweatshirt (1)
  • Long pants (2)
  • Light rain jacket
  • Swimsuit (2 are recommended)
  • Pajamas
  • Sun/ baseball cap
  • Shoes
    • Tennis shoes/Sneakers
    • Flip flops/Slides– only in the shower and pool area


Campers will be mainly using shared restrooms, so placing these kinds of items in a separate labeled toiletry bag can be helpful! Ziploc freezer bags work great!

  • Comb / hairbrush
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Shampoo, soap, lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Bath towel

Other Adventure Gear

  • Flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Reading material
  • Notebook & pen
  • Pillow
  • Sleeping bag or blanket (sheets are provided)
  • Hard plastic/metal water bottle
  • Small backpack