Boys Camp and Girls Camp Packing Lists

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Coming prepared to camp sets the stage for a summer focused on learning and fun in the outdoors. Please arrive at camp with all of the required items from these lists. All clothing and gear must be well marked with your camper’s name.

Some of the best quality items for life in the outdoors can be found at secondhand stores or gear exchanges! Young people grow quickly, so we highly recommend that you look for stores in your area where you can find secondhand items for a lower price. You can find logoed versions of many items on our packing list in the Chewonki Store (we encourage you to order early). 

Visit our Chewonki Store:

Gear Lending at Chewonki

All campers will have the opportunity to borrow gear for the summer from Chewonki’s Packout. You do not need to reserve gear in advanced. Items that are available for lending include:

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Compression Sacks
  • Sleeping Pads
  • Trip Dry Bag / Backpack

Camp T-shirt

All campers will receive two Camp Chewonki logo t-shirts as part of their enrollment. They will be distributed upon arrival at camp!

Packing for Camp

Living in a cabin, yurt or tent at camp means that we all embrace group living and shared space! This means living simply, and leaving items at home that will not be needed during the summer. We request that you limit what you pack to the items on these lists, as we have honed it over many summers, and find that it meets the needs of our campers.

Each camper will have their own set of shelves and shared storage space under their bunk to keep their belongings organized while at camp. We recommend packing for camp in duffle bags that can be easily compressed and stored while not in use. Trunks are not recommended due to limited space. Please ensure all items are in a bag upon arrival to camp, even if arriving by car. Loose items often get misplaced on arrival day.

We highly recommend packing together with your camper. This allows them to understand all the items that are going to camp with them and where they are. It also prepares them for the task of packing for themselves on their cabin trips and when they prepare to return home.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about items on this list or how to acquire them. We look forward to working with you to ensure a stress-free packing experience!

We are able to provide additional clothing to campers. Please contact the camp office ( several weeks in advance of arrival for more information.


  • 6 total t-shirts (4 for Puffins) –  Campers will be provided with two Chewonki t-shirts on opening day. We recommend at least one of the remaining t-shirts you pack must be a synthetic blend. 
  • 8 pairs of underwear (5 for Puffins) 
  • 2-3 bras – if appropriate, at least 1 sport-style bra
  • 11 pairs of socks (6 for Puffins) – at least two pairs must be wool or a wool blend (e.g. Smartwool, Darn Tough, Wigwam, etc.)
  • Sleepwear – comfortable clothes for sleeping
  • 1 set of long underwearboth top and bottom base layers, wool, synthetic, or a silk blend are required. For the top, crew, henley, or zip-top t-neck styles are all appropriate
  • 4 pairs of shorts – cotton is appropriate, and at least one pair must be lightweight, quick-drying synthetic
  • 3 pairs of pants – at least one pair must be lightweight, quick-drying synthetic; no more than one pair of cotton or denim 
  • 1 warm top layer – heavy sweater or jacket; wool or fleece is required; must be able to be packed down into a backpack
  • 1 set of rain layers – both a rain jacket and rain pants required and must be able to fit over base layers; jacket should be sturdy and include a hood, both nylon, and breathable fabrics are appropriate (Gore-Tex, Patagonia H2No, Marmot Precip, L.L. Bean TEK)
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 long sleeve rash guard top (this is now a required item)
  • Optional Sweatshirtcotton hooded or zip-up can be a nice addition, but not necessary

11-Day vs. 3-Week Programs

Packing quantities are for 3-week Full Session (10-day Puffin Program is listed in parentheses where different)

A Note About Layering

Layering is combining different garments to achieve insulation and protection from wind and rain. Insulating layers should be synthetic or wool fibers, which insulate when wet. Cotton is a poor insulator when wet. Layers must fit comfortably over each other so that they can be worn together.

Footwear and Headwear

  • 1 pair of closed toe wet shoes – Used for boating and swimming on trips; must stay on foot and have a closed toe; old sneakers, neoprene booties with soles, or Keens are all appropriate; NO CROCS!
  • 1 pair camp shoes – must be a sneaker or athletic shoe for running around
  • 1 pair of rain/mud boots – must be a durable boot for rainy days and farm chores, such as Muck, Bog
  • 1 pair of sandals – for airing feet; Croc, Tevas, or Chacos are all appropriate
  • 1 pair hiking boots (recommended for young Herons- graduating grade 6)ensure a comfortable fit and that they are broken in before use at camp to avoid blisters
  • 1 pair sunglasses – must bring neck strap
  • 1 sun hat – full brimmed or baseball style is appropriate
  • 1 warm hat – wool or fleece is appropriate 

Bedding & Hygiene Items

  • 2 sets of sheets – twin size with pillowcases
  • 2 blankets
  • 1 pillow
  • 2 towels – one can be a beach towel
  • 1 washcloth, optional
  • Sunscreen – enough for the duration of camp, spill-proof, non-aerosol container
  • Bug repellent, optional – spill-proof, non-aerosol container
  • Toiletry kit

Your container for storing and carrying items to and from the washhouse;
must include:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Shampoo and soap
  • Hairbrush/Comb
  • Lip balm
  • Nail Clippers
  • Additional Items as needed (tampons, pads, lotion)
  • Prescription medications – See the Health & Safety page of our website for more information about CampMeds
  • Prescription eyeglasses – must bring neck strap

Laundry Process

Laundry is done once a week. Cabins collect their laundry all together and it gets done by our housekeeping team on a weekly schedule.  For this reason, labeling all camper clothing is especially important. Laundry will also be done when a cabin returns from their trip.


  • 2-4 stuff sacks – for organizing personal items
  • 2 water bottles – one-liter water bottles – must be durable (e.g. Nalgene, Camelbak, Kleen Kanteen, Hydroflask)
  • 1 headlamp – e.g. Petzl, Black Diamond, Princeton Tec; make sure to bring spare batteries
  • 1 small day pack – for off-campus excursions and day hikes


Trip Equipment

(These items can be borrowed from Chewonki)

  • 1 sleeping bag* – synthetic fill, three-season bag, 15-35 ℉ (e.g. REI Lumen, LL Bean, North Face Cat’s Meow, Marmot Trestles, Sierra Designs)
  • 1 compression sack* – for packing up sleeping bag
  • 1 sleeping pad* – closed-cell or inflatable sleeping pad (e.g. Thermarest, Ridgerest)
  • 115L Dry Bag with backpack straps* (e.g. Boundary Pack 115 or Pro Pack 115) A great option to pack all of your things in when packing for camp
  • 50-70L Internal Frame Backpack with sturdy hip belt* Only used with our 12 year old Herons


Miscellaneous Items

Letter writing materials:

  • 1-2 pens or pencils
  • Stationary or postcards – campers will be given time to write a letter home at least once a week
  • Pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes – preparing envelopes at home makes the process of sending mail from camp smoother
  • 2-3 paperback books, recommended – for rest hour, bedtime, or downtime; great opportunity to complete summer reading for school; we does have a small library of books available to campers
  • Nicer outfit for banquet, optional
  • 1 personal journal, optional
  • 1-2 disposable cameras, optional – we take pictures of camp every day; we strongly advise that digital cameras be left at home
  • 1 musical instrument, optional – campers will have opportunities to practice their instrument and perform on occasion. (options for securing available)
  • 1 pair of lightweight binoculars, optional
  • 1 deck of playing cards, optional – card games are a great way to connect with cabin mates during downtime
  • Athletic equipment, optional – campers are welcome to bring a frisbee, football, or baseball and glove; camp has soccer balls for campers to play with during free time


Things to Leave at Home

Money – any travel money will be collected and stored in the camp office to be returned at the end of the session

Electronics of any kind – Chewonki is a screen-free community where we take time to unplug and enjoy the sights and sounds of the natural world; any cellphones (and other devices such as e-readers or handheld video games) needed for travel to and from camp will be collected and stored in the camp office to be returned at the end of the session. Apple watches, fit bits, and other tech-enabled wearable watches or devices are not approved to have at camp.

Food of any kind – our kitchen staff works hard to provide healthy, delicious, and filling meals; we cannot permit outside food in our cabins due to severe allergies and wild animals

Toys, cards, or other expensive items – your favorite toy or Magic/Pokemon card will be waiting for you when you get home, anything you bring has the potential to get dirty, broken, or lost

Knives of any kind – if a knife is required for programming, it will be provided to you by Chewonki

Digital cameras and/or Go-Pros – screen-less digital camera and disposable cameras are approved to have at camp. We recommend not bringing any cameras on trips. Trip leaders will have cameras on trips, and camp photographers will be on campus to take pictures throughout the summer. 

Music Devices – are not approved for camp. Please email or call with inquires or questions. 

Items with an asterisk can be borrowed from Chewonki. You do NOT need to reserve gear in advance.

Laundry Process

Laundry is done once a week.
Cabins collect their laundry all together and it gets done by our housekeeping team on a weekly schedule. 

For this reason, labeling all camper clothing is especially important.

Laundry will also be done when a cabin returns from their trip.

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