young campers and counselor smiling at ymca camp lakewood

Welcome to our next installment of Couch to Camp, where we're gearing up for all the fun that awaits us for summer at YMCA Camp Lakewood! Read about packing lists, medications, and other tips when it comes to what to bring to camp below.

Want to check out our previous Couch to Camp blogs? Click here to learn about a day in the life at camp, click here to explore what your summer will look like at camp from weather to nighttime, and click here to learn about the check-in and check-out options.

Things to Bring

If you've never been to summer camp before, be sure to check out our Parent Resources page that includes all types of helpful information, including a full packing list!

We want your camper to be prepared and feel as comfortable as possible during their stay. This can include bringing special extra items such as a familiar teddy bear, a good book, or envelopes and stamps to write home with. We do not recommend candy or snacks (they can attract mice to your cabin!), aerosol cans of sunblock or bug repellant, or anything that is highly valuable or irreplaceable.

It is best to write your camper's name on all their items. It is easy for things to get mixed up between bunkmates or left at an activity site around camp. It's much more likely an item will be returned to your camper if their name is on it!


New this year, we encourage families to get medications blister-packed by their pharmacist. This ensures a more streamlined process for medication dispensing at camp. In 2025, blister packs will be required. While it's optional this summer, we recommend familiarizing yourself with it. Talk to your pharmacist about getting your camper's meds in a blister pack.

If your pharmacy is unable to provide blister packs, our Health Director can recommend a pharmacy that may be able to assist you. Email David Williams at to learn more.

Fostering Independence

We encourage you to involve your camper in the process of packing their bags. This will help them locate their items once they're at camp and have more confidence when packing their day pack each morning. Talk about what to do with wet clothes, muddy shoes, and what to do if they realize they forgot something at home (hint: ask your counselor for help!).

Be sure to not overwhelm your camper with items. They should be able to store all of their possessions in a cubby, under their bunk, or neatly at the foot of their bunk. They should be able to carry their luggage themselves and find their own items inside their luggage. Ask your camper what might help them feel more comfortable or successful at camp. Have them test out their packed bags and practice finding things like their toothbrush, socks, and towel. Have them help label everything with their name and practice packing a day pack.

We love the independence summer camp offers campers of all ages, and families can help them start growing their independence even during packing! Gear up - summer will be here before you know it!

Until next time!
Rose, Camp Lakewood Director

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