What does your girl need to pack for camp?

[This post originally appeared at on GSWNY’s blog]

Recently one of our camp experts took to Facebook Live to show everyone tips and tricks behind packing for camp. She uses her extensive experience to guide us through the struggle of thinking we need to bring everything plus the kitchen sink.

For easy reference, here’s a list of her suggestions:

What gear/equipment do I need for camp?

  • WATER BOTTLE – Please encourage your daughter to drink water regularly at camp. Just because she doesn’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean she’s not dehydrated.
  • Sleeping bag, best if rated for down to at least 40 degrees – character bags, novelty bags, etc are meant for sleeping indoors in a temperature controlled room. Nature gets cold at night (colder than some people realize).
  • Pillow
  • Flashlight (and extra set of batteries)
  • Washcloth and towel for showers
  • Towel for swimming
  • Bug spray (no aerosol)
  • SUNSCREEN! (No aerosol) Please teach your daughter how to apply it and how MUCH to apply. Staff and other girls can help with places like her back. Your hairline CAN BURN! If her hair is parted, encourage her to put some sunscreen on the part even if she doesn’t like the feel of it in her hair.
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Poncho/jacket/etc – please no umbrellas, they make it hard to do activities and are an injury-risk
  • Mess kit with dunk bag – plastic bowl, plate, cup, and silverware, and a mesh bag. You can buy these pieces separately at Walmart and use a mesh laundry bag for very cheap if you can’t find a kit you like
  • Backpack
  • Bag for dirty laundry

What clothing do I need?

  • Sneakers! You CANNOT hike in sandals.
  • Sweatshirt
  • One-piece bathing suit (best suited for lawn games that involve running, slip-n-slide, etc) Two-pieces and bikinis can be uncomfortable for very active activities.
  • Item to tie-dye (cotton shirt, bandanna, etc).
  • Long pants for hiking
  • A few extra pair of underwear – You don’t want to go swimming, then put dirty underwear back on! Ew!
  • Sandals for showering

What personal items should I bring?

  • Medication – This gets checked-in with the nurse on arrival at camp. The nurse will either keep the medicine locked up and distribute it at the required times, or will make note about the girl carrying the item with her (such as asthma medication).
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and hair ties
  • Any other personal care items (deodorant, contact solution and case, glasses, soap, shampoo, menstrual care, etc)
  • Optional items: books, film camera (no digital), stuffed animal, stationary and stamps, compass

Can I bring food?

  • No! Because of allergy concerns and more importantly because animals will smell food (even through wrappers) and raid tents, please do not pack or send your daughter food.

What else should NOT be packed?

  • Fruity smelling personal care items (animals can mistake the scent for food)
  • Body sprays, perfumes, etc.
  • Aerosol containers of any kind
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Electronic devices (phones, music players, digital cameras, etc)
  • Pocket knives or weapons (if pocket knives are needed for an activity, they will be supplied by the counselor)
  • Permanent markers (or really any art supplies! We have a whole building devoted to art! You’ll have everything you need there!)

What else?

  • Some programs require special equipment such as horse programs or off-site trips will have special items to pack. Please make sure you refer to your Camp Information Packet or call 1-888-837-6410 for questions about packing.

What are some ways to make packing easy?

  • Put all of a day’s clothing in a ziplock bag, smush the air out, zip it up, and label it. Also do the same for “extra” items like extra socks and underwear to make them easy to find. An empty grocery bag is enough room for all (or almost all) dirty clothing throughout the week.
  • Pack minimal where possible. You don’t need a whole entire container of shampoo for a week at camp. That bottle lasts a month or more at home, so estimate how much you’ll need then put it in a smaller container labelled with your girl’s name.
  • If your daughter is wearing any Girl Scout clothing or something common (such as a solid-colored sweatshirt), put her name on the tag. Girls that lose their cookie program sweatshirts often have them returned within an hour or two if they have their name on the tag. Without a name, it can take a significantly longer time. Names on the tag also prevent clothing mix-ups.

Explore Camp Timbercrest

Camp Timbercrest is located in the Allegheny Forest in Randolph, NY. The camp facilities include a lake, numerous hiking and horseback riding trails, a central dining hall, shower house, cabin and platform tent units, and horse stables.

Our camp is the perfect setting for girls in grades 1-12 to experience a great and traditional summer camp program. Girls will have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities such as swimming, boating, sailing, kayaking, arts & crafts, archery, and horseback riding.

While at camp your girl(s) will be able to meet and make new friends, learn more about her abilities, and share the joy of summer with others. Check out at our camp guide to see what camps are available!

Register for camp today!

Don’t Miss our Open Houses!

We understand the importance of seeing a place before you send your girl away. You want to have all your questions answered and feel comfortable with where she’s going.

To ease your mind and introduce your girl to camp, we hold several open houses throughout the spring and summer. Join us and learn about Girl Scout camp programming while enjoying camp activities, s’mores, giveaways, and light refreshments.

Even better, this event is FREE! You can even register your girl for summer camp while you’re here (and learn about our various financial aid opportunities)

Mark your calendars for our 2018 Camp Open Houses:

Saturday, May 12: Camp Timbercrest Taste of Camp Open House, 1 p.m.


Sunday, July 1: Camp Timbercrest Open House, 1 p.m.


Summer Camp Week is Coming!

At Camp Timbercrest we’re counting down the days until camp starts and we get to have fun! July seems so far away, but Girl Scouts of Western New York is giving us a taste of the excitement in just over a month.

Summer Camp Week is an annual celebration of all things camp, and this year it’s happening April 16 to 19. Every day features another camp-focused activity leading to the first open house of the season at Camp Piperwood. Don’t forget about our first open house happening May 12!

2018 Camp Week Flyer

Monday kicks off the week with an invitation for you to go to the Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport and Rochester locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to share your favorite camp memories. GSWNY will display your memories and even post some on social media!

On Tuesday, you can stop by Lockport, Buffalo, or Rochester again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to get the camp craft party started!

The next night, they’re holding a free camp webinar at 6:30 p.m. to provide some more information about camp.

Thursday they’re taking the celebration online for their annual Twitter Party! From 3 to 7 p.m. they will be tweeting with you and giving away prizes every half hour! Follow council at @girlscoutswny 🙂

Finally everything is wrapped up with the open house at Camp Piperwood! This is your chance to see the grounds, make some s’mores, take a hike, and more!

It’s going to be a great week, and we can’t wait for everyone to join in the fun with us! Speaking of fun, have you registered for camp yet? We’d love to see you at Camp Timbercrest this summer.