The following are things your child will need to bring with them every day. Additionally, a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast each morning are extremely important. If a child stays up late before any camp day, they often have difficulties the next day. We also find that a sugary breakfast is a common cause of fatigue or behavioral issues before late afternoon. We understand that each child has unique nutritional needs, but we recommend to many parents of kids with hyperactive tendencies or attention issues to feed them an English style breakfast every morning before camp, not a Continental style breakfast. In other words: fats, not sugars. For example, bacon and eggs with milk in one extreme, vs. sugar cereal with orange juice in the other extreme. Everyone must pack a healthy lunch (and snacks!) for their children which balances fats and carbohydrates since their energy levels need to last throughout our active afternoons. You should expect a very happy and tired camper back at the end of each day.
Please bring the results from your child’s most recent physical exam to be placed into their file upon check-in on the first day of camp. This recommendation varies in importance depending on the program you are attending, and a very recent physical is not required as long as you were forthcoming when you filled out their health history form. A physical is highly recommended if they have not had one in the past year. Please inform their doctor about this camp and the activities involved.
If your child has a favorite item he or she wants to bring, even if we’ve said they don’t need to, please let us know before the day starts so we can make sure it’s available when they need it throughout the day. Otherwise, these are the items to pack (please make sure all items are labeled with your child’s name):
___ Day pack – comfortable, functional and large enough to hold all of camper’s gear and labeled with camper’s full name.
___ Full, 16 oz. or larger water bottle.
___ Large plastic garbage bag to cover gear in case of rain.
___ Healthy Lunch, preferably using zip-locs, tupperware, and other reusable containers to reduce trash.
___ Healthy Snacks for morning and afternoon snack breaks.
___ Swim bag – plastic bag with swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, sunhat, and water shoes (swim goggles optional).
___ Hat for warmth in cool weather.
___ Full brim sun hat.
___ Shoes or boots that can get dirty. Please make sure they have broken in footwear in advance to avoid blisters.
___ Long pants are required since we often move through brush. Shorts are fine to bring/wear in addition.
___ Long-sleeved shirt is required for same reason as previous, and to prevent sunburn/dehydration in open terrain.
___ Rain gear. An entire change of clothes (including shoes) is a good idea on days when it might rain, but please balance this with thought about what can easily be carried in a backpack and what might get lost. Also remember that while cotton clothing is comfortable and excellent around a campfire, it is worthless if it gets wet.
___ Fleece, wool, polypropylene, or nylon pullover – as appropriate for weather. So, consider whether your child might be working around a campfire each day when jeans/cotton/wool are needed (synthetics melt and burn) or whether it might be cold/rainy when fleeces (fluffy synthetics, or woolens) are what’s needed.
___ Car Seat for kids utilizing our vanpools who are under the state minimum size requirement for seat belt use. Please be sure to install your child securely in our van each morning before departing.
Although we always try to keep clothes and footwear as dry as possible, please encourage your children to allow the clothes they bring to camp to get dirty and become Naturalist clothes for forest exploration. Take a trip to Value Village or the Salvation Army or another used clothing store to find such clothes if necessary. Also, remember that it’s not the same temperature by the water or in the wooded areas, and we often crawl through thick vegetation, so having long pants and a long-sleeve shirt available are required, although you can also include a pair of shorts for days we stay in the lawn area. Earth-tone (natural) shades of clothing (e.g. browns and greens) are best, along with clothes which are quiet as they brush against things.
Lost & Found Policy: If your child leaves something at camp, it will be donated to charity at the end of the season. You can also arrange to pick it up at our home office in Puyallup, or have us bring the item with us to a class we hold in your area during October or November. Otherwise, we won’t have staff to package and send home forgotten items. Again, to help avoid losing things, please label each item and pack only what your child needs. Please leave electronic devices and other distractions at home.