Packing tips for 2023
One of the most crucial components of sending your child to sleepaway camp is to make sure you pack correctly. This month’s blog will be all about Packing, the T-Shirt Uniform, and the Camp Store!
For years, we have had a semi-uniform policy at Camp Wekeela. Many of our campers like to wear camp branded camp clothing because it is easy, comfortable and demonstrates the spirit and pride of Camp Wekeela. Our community feels a great sense of togetherness & camaraderie–pillars of our camp philosophy–when everyone is in WekeelaWear. After consecutive summers of camp parents packing expensive, name brand clothing (which may get misplaced or dirty) and some children dressing inappropriately for camp, including having tee shirts and/or shorts with negative messaging, we decided to institute a t-shirt dress code for this summer and beyond.
We have ensured that the daily uniform is cost effective, and consists only of a Wekeela tee shirt as opposed to a set with shorts or some sort of Polo shirt like prep schools. We know that it’s important to allow everyone to express themselves, and we’ve seen counselors wear their staff tees every day and able to do so through their shorts, shoes, etc. Every day starting at dinner the T shirt policy is no longer in effect and everyone gets that chance to wear whatever they feel like, so it’s still a very normal experience at Wekeela this summer.
We’re proud to source and design everything ourselves, as opposed to working with any outside company for shipping, logistics, or returns. All WekeelaWear items are located physically at Wekeela and all customer service questions run through Matthew Caflun, our Assistant Director. There are many other items available for campers to purchase from the store and we welcome you to browse the store to make packing easy for you. Your campers can wear tee shirts from previous summers if they are in good condition. It is prohibited to allow companies to make Wekeela shirts or any clothing, as they do not have permission to use our brand.
To reiterate the amount of time in a day they wear a Wekeela tee, campers will be expected to wear a Wekeela tee-shirt from breakfast until before dinner six days a week. This will allow our campers to wear their own outfits each night for evening activities and specialty nights and on theme days the uniform will not count.
The communication of our new uniform policy can be found in our Parent/Camper Handbook as well as in email blasts that were sent going back to October ’22 and our camp newsletters. We appreciate your understanding and are excited about the added Wekeela spirit this will create!
Packing can be a stressful endeavor, especially for first time families. but using our packing tips can help to make the process much easier! You can also read more packing tips here.
- Make sure you have enough soft foldable duffle bags for packing – Wekeela only allows soft bags – we have storage in each cabin for bags. (we sell these bags at the camp store website with free embroidery).
- Make sure your bags are still in good condition with working zippers and no rips.
- Follow our packing list. As stated above, we have a tee-shirt only uniform. All orders at our camp store will be sent directly to your child’s bunk. If your child needs more Wekeela Wear when they arrive– they can purchase at the physical store when they’re at camp too. Exchanges are done at camp if necessary.
- Label everything! Clothing, equipment, camper trunks, and more. Label Daddy Stickers, or Sharpie – any of these are great! We also recommend sending your camper with extra stick-on labels or a marker in their backpack. The new clothing that is purchased and sent to camp can also be labeled by us upon request.
- Wash dark colored items (sheets, shirts) before they go to camp if possible so they don’t have issues when their clothing goes to the laundry.
- Equipment – make sure your camper has everything they may want for the sports they’ll play which could include small items like a mouth guard for lacrosse and shin guards for soccer. If they have a favorite tennis racket – you can send it. We have equipment for every sport–so this is certainly optional–but some campers have their own preference. Bigger pieces like Hockey Sticks should only be brought if the camper is being dropped off. Please make sure your child has comfortable sneakers that fit well and will be good for active days ahead.
- Crazy Creek chair: These chairs are a camper favorite. Please label it if you get one. We use these in our Performing Arts building, at campfires, and other places where we are sitting unsupported. This is another optional item that can be obtained from our camp store and will be awaiting your camper upon arrival.
- Socks & Underwear: You can never have too many of these items, especially for younger campers. If you think you have enough already, add even more.
- Spirit gear – It’s always ‘campy’ to have a few green and white bandanas, costumes for special events, tall socks and face paint in fun colors. We also will have College Weekend and Color War shirts available at camp!
- Don’t waste time, money, or space on things campers don’t need. For example: dressy clothing – we want campers to be casual and comfortably dressed and focused on their activities and not appearances. We will have one or two opportunities to dress up, where they can wear a polo or sundress.
- Letter writing supplies – pack stationery, stamps, and pens. Include an address book and/or pre-addressed envelopes – especially great for younger campers – we also will have the email-and-reply service, Wekeela Notes, so your child will need a black or blue pen for these notes.
- Some other “good-to-have items” include: battery operated fans that clip to bed frames, flashlights, sunscreen, bug spray, toiletries, extra batteries, and a few fun activities like beads and/or string for making bracelets, Mad Libs, a book or two, and little games like cards, jacks, and pick-up-sticks are good for rest hour.
- Don’t overpack: Remember your child is only at camp for a certain amount of time and there will be items they like to wear more than others. Do not feel the need to go crazy. If you ever need to send anything, you can.
- We are here to help! Wekeela is proud that all of our clothing, website, and customer service is in house. You never need to worry about outside of camp help, if you have questions, concerns, etc. we are just a phone call or email away.
We ask the parents to send the duffle bags in advance of arrival. We unpack and make the beds for every camper so that day one of camp we can get right into programming. If you are dropping your children off at camp, remember we will not be allowing parents to walk to the cabin and unpack, so it will always be beneficial to send your bags in advanced so your child can enjoy the first day without having to unpack.
New Families- You can send your camper to camp wearing a green shirt instead of a Wekeela T-shirt since they aren’t being shipped to you.
We are very excited for the start of this summer!