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What to Bring to Camp

How many outfits do I need?

It is important to pack enough clothes for a full week, plus a few extra days. Laundry is done every Friday for all in-camp sessions, except the Junior Camp session. There will be times that campers get wet or dirty and have to change.

The first packing list below is a suggested list for the June and Main camp sessions. Adjust slightly for the 2- Week session (no dances). The second is a separate packing list for the Junior Camp session, followed by a third for Father/Son Weekends. Although not all campers choose to go on extended backpacking trips, campers in all sessions will go on cabin overnight campouts and need to carry a sleeping bag, rain gear, clothes, water bottle, their share of the group’s food, etc. A daypack or book bag is not large enough or sturdy enough to hold the necessary gear.

Do I need a trunk?

We suggest using a durable camp trunk, without wheels. Trunks are usually kept under the bottom bunk which has a 19-1/2” clearance. The following vendors have been very helpful to our camp families by providing great service and discounts:

  • Everything Summer Camp
    (800) 535-2057
    Use code BEHOLD in the camp code box on the home page of Everything Summer Camp’s website.
  • Kangaroo Cases
    5% discount for Falling Creek families

Green & Gold Shirts

June, Main, and 2-Week Camp campers are assigned, by cabin, to a green or gold team upon arrival to camp. Team assignments are for all-camp games and some other in-camp activities. The packing list for the June, Main, and 2-Week sessions includes (1) green and (1) gold t-shirt. A reversible Falling Creek green and white (“gold”) shirt is available through the online store prior to camp and for sale in the Camp Store on Opening Day. Green and gold t-shirts brought from home are fine. The shirts may have writing on them—they do not have to be plain.

What should I bring for camping out?

Campers at Falling Creek have opportunities for spending a night or more in the great outdoors during each session. Overnight campouts with the cabin group, canoe trips on rivers or lakes, backpacking adventures, mountain biking, and several rock climbs are a big part of our program. These could be some of the most exciting times your son spends with us at camp. Your son will need a few basic items for these camping trips. We suggest borrowing this gear if you have a source.

Frame Backpack

Although campers do not have to sign up for extended backpacking trips, they will all go on cabin overnight campouts, and will need to have a good frame backpack. The frame is critical because it lets the pack maintain the proper shape for holding camping gear and helps with weight distribution, preventing back and shoulder pain. Typical school-type day packs or book bags don’t have enough room for carrying a sleeping bag, clothes, and other camping gear. The pack needs to be large enough to fit about three soccer balls inside (30-40 liters), plus have outside pockets and places where a sleeping bag can fit. The frame may be external to the pack, but internal-framed packs are also popular, easy to manage, and take up less space. Lastly, be sure that the straps fit your son. Some examples of internal frame backpacks that are also adjustable for growing boys are: REI Tarn 40 (liters), Deuter Fox 30 or 40, or the Osprey Ace 38. If you do not want to purchase a frame backpack, ask a friend or neighbor if they have one your son can borrow.

Sleeping Bag

Hollofill, Polarguard, or some other synthetic fill are recommended for sleeping bags for summer out-of-camp trips. Be wary of down or cotton as wet down or cotton, in a sleeping bag or on a camper’s body, is cold and miserable. The sleeping bag should fit into a stuff sack. When stuffed, it should be about the size of a watermelon or smaller since it will be carried in or attached to the backpack. A temperature rating down to 40 degrees is adequate.

Rain Gear

A good rain jacket is a must at camp. It goes over fleece to keep the wind and water away. Jackets, sweaters, and hats made of fleece retain their warmth even when wet. Again, please stay away from cotton items. Avoid plastic ponchos which are easily torn when walking in the woods. A good rain jacket should repel water and preferably have a hood.

Other Camping Items

Except for long trips, where a boy may be carrying 1/4 to 1/3 his body weight in his pack, most boys will not need hiking boots. Trail-running shoes are fine, as are running or other types of comfortable/sturdy sneakers.

Flashlights and Head Lamps with LED’s are wonderful on trips and around camp at night.

A pad to place under their sleeping bag is essential for retaining warmth while sleeping. Some are made of foam material that is more comfortable than simply sleeping on the ground. Others fill with air when used, and then deflate for packing.

Please label all gear.

These vendors have given Falling Creek Families discounts on outdoor gear:

Do I need to bring sheets?

Falling Creek provides sheets and blankets for all campers and staff. Therefore, personal sheets should not be brought to camp unless required for medical reasons. Falling Creek is not responsible for personal sheets and blankets. Boys should bring their own pillows, pillow cases and towels, as listed in the packing list. Please label them.

Can I bring flip flops?

To prevent injuries to staff and campers, athletic shoes should be worn at all times. Crocs, flip-flops, and sandals without a heel strap are not appropriate for camp. Due to our varied terrain and active culture, closed-toe shoes and socks are recommended. Flip-flops may be worn in the shower or cabin if your son desires.

What about special “themed outfits”?

Silly costumes are always fun to have at camp, though not mandatory. For example, boys in past summers have brought 4th of July themed gear, pirate outfits, fuzzy onesies, Hawaiian tropical shirts, and more.

Can I bring a hammock?

Hammocks have become increasingly popular at camp. As an optional item, we welcome boys to bring their hammocks and straps (also include tarp, stakes, and line for out-of-camp trips) to camp. Hammocks may be used for resting in camp during appropriate times and sleeping on out-of-camp trips, following the guidelines outlined below. We do not allow campers or counselors to sleep in hammocks on cabin overnights.

Cabin overnights are limited to a single cabin and each camp site has a covered shelter allowing campers and counselors the opportunity to develop camaraderie and a sense of working together in a safe and comfortable setting. The use of hammocks on cabin overnights can diminish a shared experience. While campers and staff may bring their hammocks to use while preparing and enjoying dinner, we ask them to sleep as a group in the outpost shelter. By limiting the use of hammocks, we hope to encourage inclusion and community–themes we stress often at Falling Creek.

Hammock Guidelines

  • Hammocks may not be hung on top of each other/stacked.
  • Hammocks are to be hung at a height that allows entry without assistance/climbing.
  • There are areas of camp where hammocks are not allowed. Ask a counselor if you are unsure about your hammock spot.
  • Hang hammocks to sturdy, living trees only.
  • Campers are responsible for their hammocks and accessories. Falling Creek Camp is not responsible for lost or damaged hammocks or accessories. Label hammocks and accessories.
  • Please take hammocks down when not in use.

On out-of-camp adventure trips, hammocks may be used for sleeping, however, it remains essential for campers to pack both a sleeping bag and sleeping pad as outlined in the Parent Handbook. This will ensure that, regardless of sleeping arrangement, boys remain warm and dry while camping. If a hammock is to be used for sleeping during an overnight adventure trip the following guidelines are to be observed:

  • A hammock tarp is required for protection from the elements and nighttime dew.
  • A liner, sleeping bag, or blanket should be used with the hammock for warmth and additional protection from the elements.
  • The hammock and tarp must be set-up and secured prior to nightfall.

Can I bring my pocket knife?

A small knife that fits into a pocket can be a useful tool in the backcountry. Boys aged 13 or older are permitted to bring one such knife to camp. The blade must be entirely enclosed by its handle or sheath when not in use and is not to exceed 3 inches. Lockable blades and non-serrated edges are allowed. Double-edged, spring-loaded blades, switchblade knives, or other bladed objects such as Ninja stars are not allowed.

With the highest concern for safety, boys are obligated to tell their counselor or trip leader prior to using their knife. When not in use, the knife must be stored under control of its owner.

Campers using a knife for purposes other than a beneficial tool will lose this responsibility and privilege.

Dismissal from camp will be immediate if the knife ever represents a weapon or is used irresponsibly.

It is assumed that boys, aged 13 or older, who bring a knife to camp have their parents’ approval and have proven to them that they are qualified to handle a knife properly.

Is there anything I can’t bring?

Campers should not bring any food, candy, lighters, matches, water guns, weapons (see Knife Policy above), or balloons, to camp. Aerosol products are discouraged unless required for sunscreen or insect repellent preferences.

All electronics, including iPods/music players, cell phones, smart watches, and electronic readers such as Kindle and Nook, may not be brought to camp. If these items are brought to camp, we will collect them and hold them in our office until Closing Day. Campers may bring cameras/GoPros that do not have Internet connectivity with them to camp. Cameras/GoPros are only to be used outside of the cabin setting. Falling Creek Camp is not responsible for lost cameras or GoPros.

Clothing, sports gear, trading cards, and any other items of sentimental or high monetary value should left at home. Falling Creek Camp is not responsible for lost, missing, damaged, or destroyed personal property.

Campers do not need to bring cash to camp; any necessities purchased from the Camp Store will be deducted from your son’s store account balance after the end of the camp session. Incidental purchases may include batteries, a toothbrush, stamps, or an extra water bottle. The exception is for campers who may need spending money for the airport, if flying. Cash or credit cards for travel may be checked into the Program Office on Opening Day.

But I can keep candy in my trunk to snack on right?

Food of any kind is not allowed in the cabin, because it will attract insects, mice, and snakes. Please leave all your snacks and candy at home. Any food found in the cabins will be collected and held onto in our office until Closing Day.

If you are worried about being hungry between meals, we always have baskets of fresh fruit available in the Dining Hall. We serve three hearty meals each day, where you may eat as much as you are hungry for. We also have a small snack (milk and cookies) after Evening Program, before bed.

What if I lose something I brought to camp?

Not to worry, if you labeled everything, we can get your lost item back to you easily! Parents, please write your son’s name on everything he brings to camp. We make a strong effort to return lost and found items while your son is at camp and have greater success if all items are labeled with his full name. It is important to have all of your son’s clothing and belongings clearly labeled with his full name, not initials – including shoes, sleeping bag, tennis racquet, toothbrush, backpack, trunk, etc. Sharpie markers work very well, as do name tapes, and name stamps.

We make a strong effort to return lost and found items while your son is at camp and have greater success if all items are labeled with his full name. On Closing Day, please be sure to check the cabin, the cabin porch, and the Lost and Found area before leaving camp. With the exception of socks, underwear, water bottles, and towels, Falling Creek will return labeled items to campers once they have left camp. Mailing related costs may be charged to your account.

Unlabeled items will be logged and kept for a short time following camp, and then donated to local charity if not claimed. Falling Creek is not responsible for lost items.

The vendors below have been very helpful with clothing labels:

What kind of laundry bag should I pack?

Please pack a laundry bag for your son that is of good quality and that can be securely closed. Foldable hampers or bags without a secure method of closing are not acceptable. Laundry bags that cannot be securely closed may lose the contents during its trip to and from the laundromat. Again, label all clothing items.

We use a commercial laundry service and ask that you not send clothing of sentimental value or any expensive clothing that cannot handle high heat or heavy spin cycles. Laundry is sent in on a weekly basis and is returned the next day. There is no laundry service for the Junior session.

Be sure to check out the Pre-Camp Checklist video found on our Falling Creek Camp YouTube page.

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