We can tell you about residential camp all day long, but so often, the best tips come from our dedicated families and camp staff that return to camp year after year. If this is your first year attending summer camp, take a look at these simple ideas to make a week away a little bit easier!

From Girls:

  • “Bring a couple of good books — turtle time is the best!” -Camille
  • “Bring extra bug spray and deodorant. Nobody likes a stinker!” -Rebecca
  • “Bring your own bandana and maybe an extra, too.” -Hailey
  • “Bring extra socks and a small hand towel.” -Natalie

From Parents:

  • “As a parent of two campers, I highly recommend packing good shoes that can be worn in water, hiking, or running.” -Gina
  • “For younger campers, put complete outfits in Ziploc bags, including underwear and socks!” -Joan
  • “Use the checklist. USE THE CHECKLIST!” -Tanya
  • “Give your camper a journal with a few encouraging notes already written in just in case they get a little homesick.” -Sarah
  • “Pack socks and underwear that will probably not make it home… they always seem to disappear.” -Sheyla

From Camp Staff:

  • “Bring a notebook with you to write down all the fun new memories you’ll make.” -Sunburst
  • “Bring extra socks and underwear, hair ties, and sandals that are NOT your shower shoes! And don’t forget to make sure your sandals have backs on them too.” -Green Bean
  • “If you’re coming to a horse program, bring at least four pairs of pants and four shirts with sleeves.” -Bugbite
  • “Bring a journal to write all of your new friends’ phone numbers and addresses in!” -Piggsy

From Camp Directors:

  • To parents and guardians: “If your camper is worried about being homesick, let them know that it’s okay to be homesick AND have fun at the same time. Focus on how capable and strong they are and how much fun they’re going to have. Remind them they can do hard things and that camp is going to be awesome!” -Flip Flop
  • To campers: “If you’re nervous about making new friends, bring something you can do with your fellow campers, like a deck of cards or UNO. It’s easy to make a new friend when you’re having fun together!” – Jester

Your turn! What would you add to this list? What advice would you give a first-time camper? We (and they!) would love to hear! To share, tag us at Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee (Facebook) or GSMIDTN (Instagram).

Plus! Grown-ups, you can find much more insight in our parent and guardian information guides for both Camp Holloway and Camp Sycamore Hills.