Good morning! Simon, here. I hope you are all enjoying this fantastic weather, which, might I add, is perfect for camping! It’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right. Speaking of camp, it’s that time again-we are free from school! No more books, no more teachers, no more homework … at least for a couple months. This is my favorite time of year: Camp time. The time of year I pack up and head to camp to make memories, new friends and see my old friends. Jimmy and Johnny, who aren’t in Scouting, don’t know what they’re missing by not coming to camp, whether it’s day camp or resident camp. They mentioned something about spending their summer days playing video games … which is fine because I get to go hiking, shoot bb’s, learn archery, fish, swim and much more. That sounds so much better than sitting at home all day during summer, right?
I’m not new to the camping scene. I’ve done this a few times. And in my time at camp, both resident and day, I’ve learned some tricks-of-the-trade, which I thought I’d share. So, grab your hiking boots, fishing poles and get planning!
- Label everything with your name in a permanent marker. You’ll thank me later, when you are missing your favorite t-shirt that you just had to pack.
- Wear old sneakers or boots. You don’t want to spend all of camp limping from blisters from your new shoes.
- Bring sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, bandana, sunglasses and even goggles (all labeled, of course): You can’t be too protected from the weather and nature elements. Baby wipes are always nice to have around when you need to wash your hands but you’re out in the middle of the woods.
- Disposable camera: You’ll want to make sure to record your most favorite activity and friends, and you don’t want to take any chances of dropping your expensive camera in the water/mud/concrete.
- Clothing essentials: Dress appropriately for the weather, and try to plan as ahead as you can. Light-colored clothing makes hot temperatures bearable, and long pants/shirts help keep off unsavory pests like ticks and bugs. A poncho is inexpensive and comes in handy in a downpour. Bring along your swimsuit and towel as well, and if you are at resident camp, enough clothes to have for each day.
- Water bottles are a must! Nalgene water bottles are great because they don’t have that added metal liner (water at camp sometimes can taste very metallic).
- Of course, if you’re at resident camp, bring along toiletries, sleeping bag and pillow, laundry bag, flashlight and batteries, books to read, pen and paper (your parents would like to hear from you at least once), pocketknife and shower shoes. Remember: New stuff isn’t the best stuff to bring along, as you will get dirty. You will get muddy. You will tear, rip, stain, and ruin your stuff. Old towels, old shoes, clothes, etc., are the best and most practical.
As Scouts, I’m sure you know there are several things that should be excluded from your list: No fireworks, sheath knives, bows and arrows, alcohol, aerosol can products, drugs, firearms, ammunition, squirt guns, un-Scoutlike literature, pets, cell phones, any and all valuable items.
Take lots of pictures, write down your memories and make this summer’s camping experience the best yet!