Ah the important question! What does your camper need while attending Eco Camp? Probably the two most important things are food and water … but there’s more to a successfully packed backpack than you might think!
The Backpack itself:
- Please remember that your camper will be hiking all over High Park and other green spaces on their offsite trip … if the backpack itself is heavy to start with … adding food and swim stuff will make it extra tough to carry!
- If you are purchasing a backpack, either new or used make sure it’s sturdy with good zippers but aim for something simple. Fewer pockets = less weight. A little padding on the back is good and a hip belt is excellent! This transfers the weight off your child’s shoulders to their hips and legs and makes it much more comfortable
- If you’re using your campers school backpack make sure to empty it completely and remove as many extra bits and pieces possible to keep it as light as possible
Food – Lunch and Snacks:
- Good Food will keep your camper going much longer throughout the day and keep them happy while at camp! We ask that you make sure it’s peanut and nut free and that you make it as litterless as possible 🙂 Light, plastic reusable containers are the best at not adding weight to your campers pack and keeping food from getting squished at the same time!
- Whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies will give your camper the energy they need to be active all day and keep their tummies feeling full. Veggies and dip are good snacks … good old apples, pears, peaches, etc. are easy to pack and eat on the go
- Your camper should have 2 snacks (morning and afternoon) plus a lunch … If you’re camper’s in extended care … bigger, more substantial snacks are suggested
- Packing your campers lunch and snacks – please avoid using big bulky insulated or separate lunch bags. This adds more weight to their pack and at times can’t even fit in the bag. Hiking with an extra bag in their hands is both uncomfortable and unsafe … if your child trips and falls while hiking with something in their hand they will be unable to break their fall
- Insulate and cool what absolutely needs to be and put the rest in separate cloth bags or plastic containers. It’s much easier to pack a number of separate containers in your camper’s bag than one big lunch bag (Counsellors will help dig in bags for snacks if they get buried!)
- Please avoid sugary snacks, pop and simple starches in their lunch … it makes for a tough sugar crash in the afternoon and they’ll have a harder time enjoying afternoon activities
All The Other Bits and Pieces:
- Sunscreen, Hat and Refillable Water Bottle! The three big must haves besides food!
- Swim suit and towel … only on swim days (usually Tues. and Thurs.) there is generally less hiking to do on swim days so the extra weight won’t bother them as much
- Rain gear … if the forecast calls for it … or if the Weather Network and Environment Canada can’t seem to get their acts together and forecast what’s actually going to happen this summer 😉
- Extra socks … that’s usually the only extra clothing they need … if you feel your child needs extra clothes please make the “back-up” set as light as possible
What to Wear to Eco Camp:
- Sturdy shoes and socks or sturdy close toed and close heeled sandals for hiking in
- Clothes you don’t mind them getting a little dirty in (or a little wet if it’s hot out and they’re playing water games)
- Sunglasses are optional … Hats are not! 🙂
What NOT To Bring:
- Please do not send any electronics, cell phones, etc. with your child. You can always contact us in the office or the Counsellors onsite if you need to pass on a message. These devices are distracting and we would not want to see them get damaged or broken
- Electronics also includes electronic pets, ipods/mp3 players, etc.
- Anything with peanuts or nuts in it
- No valuables or jewellery – rings on fingers can cause problems if they get hurt … plus it can all get dirty … or lost in the garden … we still find trowels and cultivators buried in there every year!
Hopefully this information will help you pick and choose what to pack in your camper’s backpack and help them have a fun, successful time at camp!