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Life as a summer camp counselor is one full of memorable adventure! Summer staffers are not only willing to serve, but they are also full of energy and willing to do whatever job takes to be done. I once saw a summer staffer hang posters all over camp with no nails; he just filed down nearby sticks and fashioned them into nails all by himself. Now that is ingenuity!

Since we hope you don’t have to craft your own nails, here are 10 items you will for sure want to add to your packing list before heading to camp for the summer.

1.Hydro Flask/Nalgene

Typically when you get a headache or feel low on energy, the first question at camp is…Are you drinking enough water? We all know hydration is important, but at summer camp it is essential. Having an action-packed day full of rock climbing, mountain biking, intense group games, and walking several miles with hundreds of campers will dehydrate anyone. Making sure to consume large amounts of water will give you energy and keep you healthy.

Tip: Customize it with cool camp stickers or have all your friends sign it so you can easily identify it from across the room.

2. Sunscreen

We all love victories, but the last thing you want to is to be patted on the back by 2000 campers and other summer staff after a victory when you have a sunburn. At Glorieta, we are in high elevation and burn much faster. Taking regular sunscreen baths will keep you out of the pain zone and in the play zone. Maybe even pack some SPF rated clothes just to be safe.

3. Journal

Journaling can accomplish so many things. If you have a hard time remembering names or need a place to keep answers to frequently asked questions, the journal can be a lifesaver. Also, God is always speaking but at camp, he seems to speak even more clearly. Writing down what God is saying, or what you are feeling will help in your personal prayer and reflection time. At camp, you WILL hear amazing speakers and preachers so note-taking is advised. Lastly, if no one had a journal, who would remember all the funny things campers say? 

4. Portable Phone Charger

Life of a summer staffer is on the move. You will rarely be in a place long enough to get a decent charge on your phone. You don’t want to miss out on the social media posts, photo ops and basic admin items your phone helps you keep track of. That external charger could be a lifesaver, especially if you get lost on a trail!

5. Chacos

Really any comfortable footwear is recommended, but at camp, we love our Chacos. They are breathable, able to wear underwater, built to last, and stylish. A solid Chaco tan line lets people know you are a serious adventurer, but you are also here for the party.

6. Earplugs

Being able to shut down to get rest is a must. With so much fun happening all around you, it can be hard to make yourself slow down. Having earplugs to help you find solace will keep you fresh. Don’t be a hero, get some sleep! A rested summer staffer is an effective summer staffer.

7. Bible

There is something that feels so right about opening the pages of a Bible– the smell, the sound, the highlighted verses with notes you have written. While the Bible app is nice and handy, nothing beats the written word. At camp, you will grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus Christ and dive deeper into the Word to know God more. This seems basic, but the Bible will be your best tool at camp if you learn to use it.

8. Soda, Coffee, and Fraps

No matter what your drink of choice is, we have plenty of retail location in camp to keep you in full supply.  If you are an energy drink pro, you may want to stock up on your favorites. Sometimes a little help is not a bad thing, especially after a long day of awesomeness.

9. Carabiners

Carabiners are the tool of a thousand uses. They really are the unsung hero of the “make it work” universe. Use it to attach your Nalgene to your backpack to free up your hands. Of course, it’s the go-to for hanging a hammock, and you will get plenty of hammock time at camp. You never know when you need it for an impromptu late night summer staff dorm tent building contest. Sorry duct tape, you must now share the stage with this versatile must-have tool. All we know is, you don’t want to be without one, or two, or fifteen.

10. Last years’ camp t-shirts

We all love getting and sporting the camp t-shirt we got from this year. They are always fun graphics and well-made, but even more than that, supernaturally, all the memories of that year are baked into the fibers of the shirt. Wearing your old shirts tells your story and maps out your camp journey. It also helps remind you of the legacy you are actively building. Understanding the role you played in building the kingdom of God and reflecting on all that God has done is healthy. Wear it proudly!

Eric Rothe

Sales & Marketing Manager

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