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The Ultimate Day Camp Counselor Backpack Guide

The #1 trait of a successful camp counselor is coming to camp prepared.  Let’s face it, whether you’re brand-new or you’ve been at it for years, it helps to learn from someone who’s been there.  After spending more than 20 years in summer camp programming, I’ve collected an extensive list of necessary and optional items!  This resource is intended for Day Camp Counselors who work a typical M-F 9-5 schedule at a local day camp.

We all know that there is nothing worse than having the campers assembled for an activity only to learn that you forgot a few necessary items.  Packing off this list will save you valuable time, ensure camper safety, and confirm that you have the necessary supplies at the ready!  Good luck and have fun!


LIFESAVERS –  Things you can’t do without like:

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellant

REWARDS & MOTIVATORS – “Tricks of the trade” like:

  • Stickers
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Incentive Cards

PAPERWORK & DOCUMENTS – Things that keep you out of trouble with your boss:

  • Rosters
  • Notes
  • Lesson Plans

PROGRAM RESOURCES – Things that make you everyone’s favorite counselor like:

  • Fidget Spinners
  • Markers
  • Deck of Cards

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