Packing for summer camp can feel like tackling a new recipe: you have this guide with all the essential ingredients, but you want the result to have a not only a taste all your own, but one that serves your needs. Just as you want to be nourished and pleased by whatever you cook, you want your clothes to be comfortable and to work for you. At Flourish Summer Camp, campers go from early morning walks in the woods, to group warm-ups, to dance class, to work in the garden, to stilt-walking lessons, each an activity that could involve a change of clothing. And then there is the unpredictable Minnesota weather! Packing well can be tricky.
One August, campers came prepared for the usual heat wave, but we had temperatures that dove down to fifty degrees. Campers were layering each other’s clothes on so much that it was impossible to know that the person wearing the bright green sweatshirt was the person you thought they’d be.
So, how do you pack to be prepared for anything? One answer is layers of practicality and practically everything: light sweatshirts, sweatpants, both long and short sleeves, one warm sweater, a water-proof jacket, extra socks and plenty of t-shirts. A hat and scarf are not out of line, even in summer; and at least one pair of comfortable, durable shoes. Kids who bring umbrellas do not regret it, especially if they are the compacting kind. (If they don’t get used against rain, they often get used in performance.)
Summer camp, a retreat from the pressures of your school and community, can be a time to throw fashion to the dogs and to figure out just what works for you, basically. Just as food is a basic need, so are clothes, so take what is practical, functional, comfortable, and above all, healthy, things you can spice with your own personality.
By Eva Barr, director, Flourish on the Farm