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USA | Summer Camp

What to pack for summer camp in America?

Here to make sure you don't forget your passport (and camp essentials too).

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POV: Camp is coming up soon and with it comes the sometimes dreaded evening dedicated to packing, unpacking, and packing again, and a little panic thrown in there for good measure.

So for those of you struggling to know WTF to pack - we asked the USIT camp pros to put together a list of all everything you might need for a summer at camp. Bookmark this blog to check your suitcase later. Let's get into it...

The essentials

Passports/Visas Travel insurance documents Tickets/Boarding passes Itineraries (including accommodation details) Addresses of accommodation Currency & credit/debit cards Emergency contact details for credit card, bank & mobile phone provider Copies of passports Water bottle Ear plugs Eye mask Mobile phone Tablet (i.e Ipad) Electronic chargers and adapters Medication/medical alert cards & emergency contact details Medical Kit (pain relief, plasters, antiseptic cream, bandages etc) Reading/music materials


Soap or shower gel Deodorant Shampoo Conditioner Hair styling products and accessories Brush/comb Shaving supplies Contact lenses and Saline solution Nail file/clippers Make up Make up remover Moisturiser Toothbrush Toothpaste Mouthwash Floss

Make sure you put all your liquids into a plastic bag and tie it tight to reduce the chance of shampoo being all over EVERYTHING before you've even arrived.


Jacket (suitable to climate) Waterproof T-shirts Shorts Trousers/Jeans (suitable to climate) Skirts Dresses Sweater Underwear Socks PJ's Comfy shoes (crocs are a win) Dress shoes if you go out

The aim is to be comfortable and prep for where in the USA you're going. It can get hot in the day and cold in the evening so make sure you've got something to keep you cosy round the campfire.

Summer sun essentials

Sunscreen After sun Cap/ bucket hat Insect repellent Beach bag Waterproof cover for electronics (phone/tablet) Swimwear/UV suits Flip flops/sandals Sunglasses Lip balm with sunscreen

Make sure to bring a factor that will be strong enough for the climate you’ll be in. You don’t want people passing you thinking you’re part of a BBQ spread…

Added extras

Personal items from home to decorate your bunk Digital/ film camera Travel journal

We hope that's helped ease the packing panic. If you're still concerned on whether you've got everything you need, reach out to one of the USIT Camp experts who have been there - got the camp t-shirt.

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

Consider this your summer camp packing checklist so you can feel as prepared as possible

Becoming The Best Version of Yourself

I literally grew so much in camp and learned so much about myself. It truly brings out the best in me. Before camp, I used to constantly second guess my decisions and my choices and by the end of my first summer in Pondi, I found myself not even thinking twice about the choices I was making, and I started to trust my own instincts – and you were encouraged to do this. I would never have been described as an ‘early riser’ but in camp (on days off) you’d never see me sleep in past 8AM.

Before camp, I never had much confidence in front of large groups of people but by the end of my first summer, I found myself getting stuck into leading camp songs and flag. I was always reluctant to do stuff I didn’t know but in camp I found myself just going with the flow without worrying or questioning myself. Also, I was able to have a well-needed break from being on my phone so much, and I didn’t even miss it. Camp just makes you appreciate the little things so much like a cup of coffee in the morning, a friendship bracelet, a hug or simply just someone sending you a little happy gram. It just allows you to really live in the moment.

Your typical uniform is a tie-dye shirt (for me, a chance to wear all of my Taylor Swift t-shirts), shorts, no make-up, hair thrown up in a ponytail with a headband and old runners or flip flops, you probably haven’t showered in days and you more than likely have some form of sunburn (especially when you’ve got lovely pale Irish skin like me) and yet there’s still no other place on Earth that you’d rather be.

The toughest job you'll ever love

I read somewhere once that being a camp counsellor was the toughest job you’ll ever love and it’s actually the most accurate way to sum up camp. It’s tough and some days you just want to go home and hug your mam or your dogs, but you’re bound to have moments like that when you’re away from home for 2+ months – the good always outweighs the bad and when it actually comes to home time – I cry my eyes out every year because I just don’t want to leave the place or the people.

Camp is SO much more than just a summer job for me – I think and talk about it all year around and just plan for the next summer. Camp makes you feel more alive, loved and appreciated than ever. I honestly couldn’t imagine spending a summer anywhere other than Pondicherry.

If you loved Rosin’s camp story and want to head to Camp USA this summer, check out our website for all the info and to chat to one of our Camp Experts. Crocs at the ready!

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

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