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Get Ready for Camp #3: What To Bring (& What to Leave at Home!)

Whether it’s your first time sending your child away for the summer, or you’ve been doing it for years, we’re here to help make the packing process as smooth as possible. Read on for tips and advice on what to bring to camp this summer!

Packing in an organized and thorough way will help ensure cabins are kept tidy. Please pack clothing in a suitcase or duffel bag that can fit under the bunks (11 3/4 inch height).

We will be doing laundry twice first session and once second session, so please try to not over-pack. Pack for 8-9 days of clothing (with the exception of socks/underwear – a 12 days supply is recommended).

Packing tips:

  • Label EVERYTHING! Items get left at various places around camp, and this is how we are able to get them back to their owners. Yes, this includes water bottles, books, toiletry bags, pillows, towels, sleeping bags (and sleeping bag cases), and sheets!

  • Pack alongside your child so that they know what they have and where it’s located.

  • Since campers will be using their suitcases as storage, consider using packing cubes or ziplock bags and organizing by section - especially items like socks, underwear, and toiletries.

  • Clothing: Campers are not required to wear anything specific (other than closed toed shoes and hats/shirts that cover shoulders on hikes!), so whatever they feel most comfortable in is perfect to pack. Try to avoid items that require special cleaning care, like hand washing or dry clean only items.

  • Most campers like to dress up on Shabbat (Friday night) - we don't require that campers wear white (or anything in particular) and ask you keep in mind that they are still at camp, where clothes can get dirty, when deciding what to send for Shabbat clothes.

  • Don’t send anything expensive - it can be hard for campers to keep track of everything while running around camp and having fun all day! We do our best to help campers keep track of items and to get lost items back to campers if found once they leave, but we cannot guarantee this.

What not to pack:

  • No cell phones! or other internet/cell data connected devices (iPads, tablets, laptops, electronic games). E-readers are fine.

    • There is not a place for campers to charge devices inside of the cabins (we have charging stations by the main lodge and there are outlets in the bathrooms), so battery powered headlamps and reading lights are also helpful.

  • Additional no-nos:

    • valuable items (including clothes that you really care about keeping clean!) & money (except for kupa!)

    • pocket knives, weapons of any kind, lighters or matches

    • new this year - no hair dye!

More details about what to pack can be found in the packing list but below are the VIPs (Very Important Packables):

  • A water bottle with a shoulder strap. This makes it easier to carry around at all times, to keep properly hydrated, and to ensure it doesn't get left behind!

  • Good sunscreen and a hat - hats are required when we go on tiyulim (hikes).

  • 2 pairs of close-toed shoes (nothing open-toed is allowed as regular footwear). Flip-flops/crocs/water shoes are acceptable only for the pool or showers. Camp terrain is uneven and open toed shoes are a safety hazard.

  • Chapstick (a few of them!)

  • Good quality skin lotion and/or Aquaphor/Vaseline - the air is very dry and it's important to apply each evening - madrichimot (counselors) will be reminding everyone to put it on, but it would be good to let your child know beforehand

  • A warm jacket - it gets cold at night, even in the summer!

  • A backpack that the camper will take with them on the bus and take out on tiyulim (hikes).

  • Medications are not permitted in suitcases, if you haven't already, please read our new medication policy here. Exceptions must be authorized ahead of time.

  • A good flashlight with extra batteries

  • Pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes, to encourage your children to write home!

  • Kupa contribution

"What's kupa?"

One of the ways campers learn about Gilboa's emphasis on shituf (sharing) is through a communal fund we call kupa. Kupa is a “give what you can, take what you need” system – so please contribute what you are able to! At Gilboa, campers don’t need personal money and we don’t have a camp store. The kupa system makes sure that all campers can get replacement toothbrushes, batteries, socks, etc. and buy things like ice cream or a pizza party as a kvutza (group). At camp, we aim to reduce a sense of “haves” and “have nots” and see the community as a place that provides for everyone, regardless of personal financial means. Below are just suggestions - you are welcome to contribute more or less.

Suggested kupa contribution amounts:

  • Elementary school & middle school kvutzot - $10-20 per week

  • High school kvutzot - $15-30 per week

You'll be receiving a kupa envelope in the mail before you arrive to camp - please bring your kupa in cash in this envelope (but if you forget, you can always Venmo @camp_gilboa).

"Why no cell phones?"

We do our best to create an environment where social interactions – uninterrupted by electronics – thrive! We understand that many children & teens use their phones for music and photos, and recommend bringing IPods or mp3 players, and a disposable or digital camera (don't forget batteries and/or chargers!) Prepare for this now - it can take time to build playlists and upload music, and in the Spotify age we've gotten very used to instant access.

We also know that many campers are used to scrolling on their phones during downtime and recommend coming up with other quiet activities when they need alone time. Books and coloring books are great free time activities when campers need a break from socializing.

Note: Phones that are found will be taken and kept in a safe place until the end of the summer. They will be returned before campers get on the bus or are picked up.

Please prepare your child for this policy!

"What if I forget something important?"

If you realize you left something important for your child at home, email Alison before sending anything to camp. We have a no package policy, and can likely get whatever your child is missing for them!

Knowing what to bring and what to leave at home is key for having a positive experience at camp! Contact Alison with any questions!

Happy packing!


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