Get Your Kids Ready for Overnight Camp

By Chad Hershberger

As a parent of two Camp Mount Luther campers, I know my experience is different from other parents because I am Camp Mount Luther’s executive director. As such I am often coming and going from camp and so if my kids forget something, I can very easily bring it to them. If you are a parent getting your child ready to come to camp this summer, you may have some anxiety in what to make sure to pack. So, here are things that you should make sure your kiddo has when they arrive for drop off! (And don’t worry—if you forget something, we can find a way to get it to them!)

  • Bedding: a sleeping bag and pillow are probably the best, but sheets and a blanket will work. Because our week-long campers go on an overnight camping trip, a sleeping bag works better for that.
  • Clothing: Make sure you pack enough for each day. Old clothes are best as kids tend to get dirty at camp. Pack extra socks and be sure that week-long campers bring long pants. They will need them when they go hiking to help prevent ticks! A sweatshirt and/or windbreaker is also a must for chilly days.
  • Footwear: Sneakers are crucial and packing shoes that can get wet is a good idea in case they go for a creek hike or go canoeing. Sturdy shoes for hiking are also good. If you are buying new boots, make sure you wear them a lot before camp and “break them in.” Sandals are okay to wear at CML but we prefer ones that have some type of clasp around your ankle. Flip flops can be worn in the shower and at the pool but we discourage wearing them for other activities.
  • Pool Attire: Speaking of the pool, bring a swimsuit (in good taste). You will want a towel as well. Big beach towels are nice for swim time.
  • Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, comb or brush, more towels and washcloth. Again, if you’d like some type of shower shoes/flip flops to go to the bathhouse and to wear in the shower, please bring them.
  • Camping Essentials: Don’t forget a flashlight. Lots of us use our phones for a flashlight but since you can’t have phone at camp, make sure you have an old fashioned one! Bring rain gear- it could be a poncho, raincoat, or rain suit. And bring a personal water bottle. We often have water bottles for sale at the camp store if you’d like some camp swag!
  • Outdoor Essentials: All kids should bring sunscreen and be taught how and where to apply it. We have some limited supplies on hand if needed. Bring a hat to shade the sun if you’d like. Insect repellent (with DEET to repel ticks) is also a good idea.
  • Cabin Time: A Bible, notebook, and writing utensil (if they wish to write letters or postcards at home) are all encouraged.
  • Bring a camera (if desired) to take pictures. Again, remember we don’t allow phones, so you’ll need a digital or other camera for camp.
  • Most importantly, bring your enthusiasm for a great week at camp!

Please do not send food along. As mentioned, cell phones are prohibited for campers under age 15. Senior high campers can bring phones, but they will be collected and those campers will have designated phone time in the evenings.

It’s a good idea to mark your camper’s belongings so if something gets lots, we can get it back to you!

Of course, if you have any questions, reach out to us at And we invite you to join us for the summer camping season! You can register here.