Packing for Camp Tips

Packing for Camp Tips

Today, we are just about four weeks away from the start of Clearwater’s 86th summer and the beginning of our first session on Wednesday, June 19th.

We know that many parents have excited and eager campers who have probably already started working on compiling what they need for camp. I took my 5th-year camper shopping for new camp clothes to fill out her packing list yesterday because she has been nagging about camp since January and she keeps GROWING so new clothes are a must!!

I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned over the years that help our family organize for camp and might be useful to you as well.

Review Your Packing List

Here’s a direct link to a printable version of the Packing List – you can also find it in the Parent Handbook. Since we have a SNOW DAY today in Colorado, my camper has printed this out and started hunting around in her room to get organized for camp (she’s a teenager – the hunt is REAL!).


If you want to see the majority of your camper’s belongings return back home after camp, then I suggest LABEL, LABEL, LABEL every SINGLE item that you pack for camp. We use iron-on labels, a label stamper, good ole Sharpies, and laundry markers. Liz, our fearless director tells me “the struggle is real, we spend so much time hunting down people’s lost items. And this could be alleviated with a simple name on a sock or pair of shorts.”

Don’t forget the Traditional Whites

You will see on the list, for Sundays and Special Occasions, we require the girls to wear all white with no logos. We want you to know that there is no requirement for a white dress or other dresses for Sunday Service, the Olympic Banquet (1st Session) or Final Banquet (2nd Session). However, in recent years some girls are choosing to wear white dresses for these occasions. While we do not include dresses on the Packing List, depending upon your daughter’s own personal tastes and style, you may want to send some to camp.

You may wonder, “Why don’t we include it on the packing list?” Simply put, Tradition. As you know Clearwater is steeped in tradition, and our “Sunday Whites” are our dress clothes. But we want to give our girls options and let you and your daughter decide what to wear.

Keep it SIMPLE

Since Clearwater is a place for simple living and letting girls be themselves, you really don’t need to pack a bunch of “extras”.  Fashion (I am told by the teenager camper living with me) is not really important when they are having “rough and tumble” good times in their adventures and activities at camp. While we may have some cool and damp weather, campers learn that layering is a great, simple way to keep warm and dry. BUT, DO NOT  forget their RAIN jacket!! Most days are “Diamond Days” at camp, but when it rains, the rain jacket is handy.

Also, if you overpack, your camper may not have room to bring home a few neat things she creates or buys while at camp. When you unpack and see these items, you will want to hear her stories about why they are special to her.

Ferguson Campers last summer packed up for seven weeks in Wisconsin.

Do not be afraid to ASK QUESTIONS

We are here to help you and your camper have the BEST SUMMER EVER! As a team of over 100 years+ combined experience at Clearwater, one of us will be able to offer a great solution for any puzzling camp prep challenges you may have. If you have any questions or want to ask one of us our advice, please email me at and I will be sure that the right person responds to you.

On behalf of Liz, Jennifer, Bill, Melinda, and our fantastic summer staff, we are so very excited to welcome your camper to Tomahawk Lake this summer!

Good luck,

Sheila Ferguson, camp mom and Communications & Development Director


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