Elizabeth’s packing picks

One thing that I’ve noticed parents agonizing over is what exactly to pack for camp.

While we have a general term camp packing list on the website (and one for Mini Camp, too), inevitably questions come up. When I was answering an e-mail from a parent the other night who was asking about blankets, trunk size, and other things it dawned on me that, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have all of my suggested camp items in one place? That could be very helpful for parents.” I always like things to be as easy as possible for parents. And that was the inspiration for this blog post.

Of course, I don’t want any parent to think he or she must buy the exact items listed below. But for parents with questions, my picks are a good place to check. (Remember, I attended camp throughout my whole childhood and as a JC and counselor. My picks come from a lifetime of experience! 😉 )

For any clothing I encourage you to go to our partnership site Everything Summer Camp. We will also stock and sell lots of clothing items at our own camp store (coming soon: a price list and pictures of what we’ll be offering —  available on the website in June) if you want to pick things up when you’re dropping your daughter off.

The rest of what’s needed are the items below that I’ve been asked about often. So here are my suggestions!

Trunk:  In my opinion, there’s no need to go large. This “Happy Camper” sized trunk is just right! If you do want more space, the Undergrad is fine, but don’t go as large as the Graduate!

Sheets:  Amazon carries cot-sized sheets, these would be perfect! Twin sheets work fine, but there is extra material with a twin size, so cot-sized sheets work perfectly.

Blankets: I’m a big fan of thin blankets that are still very warm. Thin so they are easier when it comes to making the bed, and warm because it does get chilly at night! It’s good to have two blankets, one as your “comforter” and one to fold (Alleghany-style, of course) at the end of your bed, for those chillier nights. Here are some blankets that I would purchase:

Sleeping bag: A must have for term campers! (Mini Campers, you can skip this one this year). It’s very popular for a group of tents to go on an overnight during the term and sleep out under the stars at one of our on-site campsites. Any sleeping bag will do, just make sure it rolls up nice and tightly so it can fit under your bed while you’re not using it.

Crazy Creek chair! Don’t stress about getting an actual brand name Crazy Creek — any similar chair will do. This is a must-have for Campfire, Vespers, and Lunch Under the Apple Tree. These things didn’t exist when I was a camper so we always sat on a towel! Definitely worth the purchase.

Put your best foot forward

Shoes: Crocs, water shoes, sneakers, and flip flops

Crocs (and Crocs-type shoes) are probably the most popular shoes worn at camp! They’re close-toed, making them permissible shoes, but also breathable and waterproof, and you don’t have to wear socks so your feet don’t get as hot! They’re great for every day wear, rainy days, etc.

Sneakers are a must-have for certain activities: if you take Tennis and Sports & Fitness, you can not wear Crocs to class (for safety and support reasons). Additionally, hikes in Wild World or teamwork on the Ropes Course would be a lot more difficult in Crocs. So pack some supportive sneaks!

Water shoes: if you plan to take Canoeing, don’t plan on using your Crocs! They fall off too easily in the water, and are not stable on slippery rocks or docks. Something like Tevas are better for water activities.

Cheap flip flops are great for the showers!

Rain boots are always nice but not necessary if you have Crocs or something waterproof to wear on wet days


Of course, make sure to check the full Trunk List found on our Forms & Information page on the website. This is just a small sample of that list, and again – just my suggestions, so if you’re already packed and ready that is great!

–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls