The Only Summer Camp Counselor Packing List You Need To Read

The Only Summer Camp Counselor Packing List You Need To Read

By Liam Macleod

What to pack for a summer camp in America! The essential list for camp counselors.

Image for post

Tick tock, tick tock, counting down the summer clock.

Okay, so your contract is signed, your travel is sorted and your summer camp bags are? not quite packed?

How many times in the last few weeks have you asked yourself ?What do I need to pack for summer camp in America?!?

Relax, keep breathing. We?re here to help.

Here?s our suggested Camp Counselor Packing List for a Summer* at Camp IHC

*Best summer of your life

Image for post

Our summer camp counselor packing list is split into 3 areas? your main luggage, your smaller backpack and your absolute essentials. Got it? Okay, Let?s go!

The Stuff to Pack in Your Suitcase/Backpack

2 Pairs of Sneakers

At IHC you?re going to be ACTIVE. You?re going to want a pack a couple of pairs of sneakers. If you?re brave you can get by with just one pair.. but we warn you, they might get wet and smell! So we think it?s best to pack two pairs, your feet and co-counselors will thank you.

A Pair of Casual Shoes.

Camp is casual, so you can leave the pointy Winkle-pickers at home. We suggest that you pack a pair casual shoes like Vans, Converse, Boat shoes, Toms etc.

T-shirts, T-Shirts, T-Shirts

At IHC we will provide you with new staff t-shirts. (We?ll even let you in on a little secret? this year we?ve got a new design and it rocks!) however some cheap t-shirts for days off, evening activities etc will stand you in good stead. We recommend about 6?8 personal t-shirts that you don?t mind getting dirty!

Image for postImage for post

2 Pairs of Sports Shorts

You?ll be walking thousands of steps a day? and it?s hot! So make sure to pack a couple of pairs of comfortable sports shorts for day to day activities. Light, breathable fabric is great.

A Pair of Casual Shorts

If it?s in the budget, pack a pair of casual shorts. Your sports shorts will be worn all day in the heat, a pair of casual shorts will need to be washed less often and provide a good back up for when supplies are running low.

2 Pairs of Swim Shorts/Bathing Suits

One pair for wearing in the water, obviously.

One pair for when the other pair are drying or getting washed.

Please remember that the girls must wear a one piece bathing suit.

Image for post

Join the Camp IHC Team Here

10 Pairs of Underwear/Socks

If you like the little things in life?

Laundry is done once a week at Camp IHC so the math would suggest that 7 pairs would be enough? but this is camp and you?re going to go through underwear and socks fast. Pack those extra pairs and thank us later!

A Hoodie

Camp is hot during the day but sometimes we have cold mornings and evenings. Pack a warm hoodie for when you?re on OD*, day off or for the morning commute down the bunk line to breakfast.

  • Find out what OD means here

A Rainjacket

Whilst most days it?s glorious weather, we?re in the mountains of Pennsylvania which means we get liquid sunshine too. Pack a lightweight duffel or raincoat to keep you dry on the days where the sun isn?t out to play.

A Pair of Jeans

Pants, Chinos, Jeans? whatever you call them! Even if you don?t wear them at camp you?ll probably wear them on your nights off or going traveling.

Flip Flops

For wearing in the shower or to the pool/lake.

These items are the foundation level of what you should pack in your main bag. Obviously you are welcome to bring more.


This is for AMERICAN staff only. All International staff receive bedding the first day they arrive.

A Towel

Again this primarily relates to American staff but all staff can bring their own towel.

Image for postImage for post

The Accessories you Need

Your Mobile Phone

You can keep your phone in the staff locker we provide you. You can use it check on your time off and you should probably use it to let your parents know when you?ve arrived safely at camp.

2 x American Adaptors

Unless your devices are American of course?

1 x Pair of Sunglasses

The funkier the better ?

1 x Cap

The funkier the better

1 x Watch

The more consistent the better


You can pack the essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen etc but there will be a Walmart run where you can pick up any extra toiletries or accessories you may need for the summer.

International Staff ? Pack These in your Carry On Luggage!

Image for post

  • Your Passport & J1 VISA
  • Visa Paperwork ? DS-2019 form
  • SEVIS Receipt
  • Camp Contract
  • Flight Info
  • Insurance Card
  • Police Check
  • Medical Form


Walmart Run

During your first week on camp there will be a Walmart trip organized where you can pick up pretty much anything.

So that?s concludes the only summer camp counselor packing list you need to read. Got questions? Feel free to email me at [email protected] and I will be happy to answer them for you.

If you?re interested in working as a summer camp counselor at Camp IHC you can find out more here.


No Responses

Write a response