Preparing for Camp


Whether it’s your child’s first time away from home or her last season as a CIT, we know that overnight camp involves planning and conversation. Below are some tips on how to prepare your camper and what to pack for camp. 

Getting your Camper(s) ready: 

Here are a few tips to help you get your child ready for the adventure of camp:

  • Involve them in shopping for camp. You can even doing some packing together.
  • Pack a favorite personal item, like a T-shirt, cap, or small stuffed animal.
  • Have them "practice" showering, sleeping over at friends’ or relatives’ homes, and writing letters.
  • Talk with them about fun camp activities they are looking forward to.
  • Share stories about your own first times away from home. (Keep it positive!)
  • Point out what your child does well and how that will be an asset at camp.
  • Post a letter to your camper a few days before they depart, so it will be waiting on the first full day at camp.

It also helps to have a few conversations with your child before they head off to meet new friends. Here are a few things you can say-not all at once, but over time in the week before camp:

  • Every camper is part of a group and as your parents, we expect you to cooperate and help out.
  • It’s completely OK to feel homesick or miss home. Just remember all the fun you’re going to have while you are at camp. If it helps, write us a letter and/or talk to your counselor.
  • If you’re having a problem, your counselor is there to help you. Don't wait to tell us, you can tell your counselor. Be honest and ask for what you need.
  • Clean-up is part of camp, you do it every day and we expect you to participate.
  • There are many new things at camp, and you may not like them all or be as good at some as you are at others. We expect you to try!
  • Go about making a new friend or two. If you’re shy about meeting someone new, ask what they like and be a good listener.
  • Not everyone has to be your friend, and you don't have to be everyone else's friend. If you have one or two good friends at camp, that's great! We do expect you to be respectful to everybody.
  • Have fun and tell us all about it in your first letter home!

Packing for Camp: 

Please label all items with your child’s name and plan enough items to last the entirety of your camper's stay. If your camper is signed up for a stayover weekend, they will have an opportunity to do laundry in preparation for their next session. You can download our packing list below. 

Traditional Camp Packing List

Packing lists for LIT, CIT, and Watia Adventures are coming soon!

Parent Packet:

We are working hard at making updates for the upcoming summer.


If you have any questions regarding your child’s stay at YMCA Camp Watia, please do not hesitate to call us at 828 209 9600 and we will be happy to assist you.