Don’t leave home without them!
I’ve been on my toes recently with various camps and auditions and such. I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learned through the years about going away to camps and staying in dormitories. There are certain things I recommend you bring so your camp experience is a pleasant one… items that don’t always make it onto the packing list. Trust me on these. I’ve been there, done that.
Shower shoes: Chances are you’ll be in a community shower… or at least one that other people have used over the years. Either way, it’s good to have a pair of flip-flops for standing in the shower. Even during this year, when I was a freshman at college, I only shared the shower with three people, but I still wore my shower shoes. It makes you feel “cleaner.”
Bug spray: You never know what you’re going to run into in the dorm. It’s good to be prepared. Speaking of bugs, bug repellent is another good idea, since you may end up practicing outside.
Plastic bags of various sizes: These come in handy for trash, dirty clothes and even umbrellas. I’m serious about the umbrellas. My high school drill team got caught in the rain once during camp, and since no one had thought to bring and umbrella, we went to morning practice with Wal-Mart bags over our heads.
Umbrella: See previous reason.
Muscle rub and other medications: Making sure you take care of yourself is important. Stretch often and let your muscles relax at night.
Pencil/pen and paper: You never know when you’re going to need to take notes, make a list or feel the need to doodle (on the bus maybe, since you probably won’t have time during camp).
A small tape player with earphones: If you’ll be performing a solo, or if you just want to listen to camp music so you can think about the memory, an inexpensive walkman or tape recorder is a good thing to bring. And it’s good for the bus ride to camp, too.
Blank tape: For recording camp music so you can go over dances if you feel the need.
Any lists and information your director gives you or camp sponsor sends: Not knowing what’s going on is a sure way to stress yourself out at camp.
Water bottle: You’ll need to stay hydrated, so have one you can fill whenever you get the opportunity.
Snacks for energy: My very first camp, I was a new member, so I was at the very end of the meal line for my team. This meant that no sooner did I sit down with my tray and take three bites, the officers were ready to leave and we had to get going to our next dance session. Having energy bars and other quick snacks with you is good for times when you have to eat while you’re going to your next class.
If you have any others you’d like to add, I invite you to post a message in the discussion area for this article. And best wishes to anyone who has camps this week.