5 Shoes You’ll Want at Summer Camp

At camp, we are on our feet literally all day; often on rugged and uneven terrains, and in a variety of weather conditions. Help your staff prepare for your terrain by recommending the right foot wear for them. When counselors arrive at camp unprepared, it starts the job off on the wrong foot (pun intended!).

At a risk of sounding like a mom (which, I am a mom, by the way), proper foot care is essential at camp. Ending up in the health center with blisters, cuts, and ingrown toenails is a time drain. Help your staff out by letting them know what shoes to pack! Here’s our list. 


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Pack sneakers that will keep your feet happy all summer!

Sturdy sneakers. We are talking about running or walking sneakers with tie laces and solid soles. Not Keds, not Toms, but good old sneakers. You may call them tennis shoes if you live in the southern US. Take care of your feet and wear with these dry socks. It’s like a little piece of heaven for your feet.


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Crocs. $23 on amazon.com

Water Shoes/Flip Flops. Your camp will probably offer a place to swim and you’ll need appropriate foot gear to go with your bathing suit.  Flip flops are a great choice, as are Crocs, or water shoes. Something easy to slip on and off that will protect your foot while walking though camp. 


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Walmart – $20

Rain Boots. yes, really. Just like you wore when you were 5. Staff may see this item on the list and decide against it. However, when it rains at camp, you still need to go outside and often it is muddy. Having a pair of easy to slip on rain boots will make you an unstoppable counselor this summer at camp. 



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need cleats for your job?
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or hiking boots ?


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or maybe something for the art studio?

Shoes for your specialty, if needed. If you will be hiking this summer, pack your hiking boots and be sure to break them in now! Or, if you need cleats for your job, be sure they are broken in this spring as well. Working in the art studio, be sure your sturdy sneakers are okay to take a hit  from some paint.




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cute shoes for leaving camp. These pretty white shoes will not stay white if you wear them while at camp!

Going-out-of-camp shoes. You’ll get out of camp on days and nights off, so you’ll want to put something on your feet that you don’t wear every day while at camp. Trust me; leaving camp shoes are something different than the sturdy every day shoes you wear while at camp. Depending on where you plan to go on your days off, you may want to pack sandals, slip ons, or something rugged if your day off consists of rock climbing and hiking.


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Walmart. $10


Slippers (totally optional). When you get back to your cabin at the end of the day or at rest hour, having a pair of slippers to put on your feet is like a small massage for feet that have been running on fields all day, or hiking up mountains, or swimming in lakes. Reward your feet at the end of the day by slipping into your slippers. Bonus camp tip: wearing slippers in your cabin means that when you get into your bed at night, you don’t bring in all the miscellaneous pebbles that landed on you cabin floor that day. DOUBLE BONUS TIP FOR BUNK COUNSELORS – having the bunk “shoe free” keeps the floor MUCH cleaner with 8-10 campers tramping in and out all day.  Keep your slippers by the front door!


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Bed, Bath, and Beyond. $10.

And, if you really want to be good to you feet, rub some peppermint foot lotion on at the end of the day once you are in bed. After two months of camp terrain, your feet will be happy your paid some attention to them every night!


In the mood for some camp reading this winter?

I recently read a novel, based on friendships that began at summer camp. Like most of you interested in working at camp this summer, a book that references camp gives me good vibes in the middle of the winter.
The book is titled, “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer, a New York Times best selling author.

What I really wanted to know about the book is where did the author go to camp? So I googled it. Turns out she went to a camp in Stockbridge, MA, which is right in the Berkshire Mountains, the same setting as the camp in her novel.  In an interview with NPR, she says, “I made wonderful friends and that, actually, is as much a part of it as anything else. My closest friend is someone I met that summer in 1974. And my closest friend sort of talked about the world in a way that, you know, none of my friends back in my suburb did. And I began to be a little different and to sort of think of myself differently. And at the end of the summer, you know, going back home, as in my novel, it was like a tragic thing. My parents showed up in their Rambler and took me away and I felt like I was being kidnapped. Like, ‘Why are you making me live in that house?’ Of course, I had great parents who had a house full of books, but something had been lit in me that never got unlit again.”

If you are interested in really feeling (or re-living)  the connections you make at camp, I’d recommend giving it a go. While the book received all sorts of fabulous reviews from actual book review experts, I’ll let you know that this camp expert gives it a thumbs up, too!

Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

Holiday Wish List Ideas

Now is the perfect time to put together your holiday wish list….with all things camp!

Here’s a few ideas of what to ask for, or what to give a camp friend this holiday season.

Now is the perfect time to put together your holiday wish list….with all things camp!

Here’s a few ideas of what to ask for, or what to give a camp friend this holiday season.

Brought to you from your friends at CampStaff.

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This hat is perfect for camp. It’s cute, stylish and practical, too. If your camp is near the mountains, beware of cold nights even during the summer.

Pro tip: get this hat now to use for the winter AND the summer!

Screenshot 2018-11-15 10.53.41A sturdy water bottle is the perfect item for camp.

Pro tip: get a water bottle with a flip nozzle like this one; it’s much easier to take quick sips thought the camp day without having to unscrew anything.

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Just imagine your camp’s state and zip code on here. Great idea for you or for a camp friend!

Pro tip: self-explanatory

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Bandanas. A different color for every day, or share them with your camp friends. Bandanas are great accessories, hair pieces, and are unisex.

Pro-tip: Can’t go wrong with bandanas at camp and you’ll be sure to find more uses than ever thought possible!

Looking for Summer Camp Staff? Camps can join CampStaff.com and search through thousands of staff applications. We’ve been connecting summer camps and summer camp staff since 1996.  Let CampStaff help you find the perfect summer camp staff.  Looking for nurses? Visit us at CampStaffNurses.com.
Looking for a summer camp job? Campstaff.com is a free, single application website connecting staff with thousands of summer camp jobs at hundreds of summer camps across the United States and Canada. 
RN’s, LPN’s, student nurses, and other medical professionals, CampStaffNurses.com has summer camp nursing jobs across the United States at some of the most beautiful summer camp locations.  Spend your summer working with great co-workers. Many camps offer the option to bring your family to camp. Apply today for free with a single application at CampStaffNurses.com

More Gift Ideas to Keep Your “Camp Self” Alive – $10 and up

For those of you out there feeling the post summer camp blues, treat yourself to something nice to inspire you and remind you of your “camp self”. It’s strange but true; a tangible item may just be what you need to remind you of who you are at summer camp; the person who shared openly and honestly, the person who took risks, and the person who was a friend to all.

If you feel like sending a gift to a camp friend, or buying something campy for yourself (don’t worry, we won’t tell if you treat yourself to something nice), here are some awesome gifts we’ve found. We’ve posted gift ideas for $10 or less on our blog, so now it’s time to share some ideas if your pockets are a little deeper.

As we’ve said before, CampStaff is not affiliated with any of the companies whose stuff we are showing you. These are simply items that we like for the feel good value they give us. Each one is guaranteed to have us thinking about camp, and, with any luck, drawing on those emotions that make us feel inspired and motivated all year long.

Gifts in the $10+ category:

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Camp Vibes Only Tank Top


These tank tops are too cute. The maker has all sorts of awesome camp sayings on the shirts, including “happy camper” and “live, love, camp”.  This would be a great work out shirt during the winter and go-to shirt for the summer!

Thisismyyeargear  became this store owner’s motto and incredible things happened through its ability to motivate her… we like that type of inspiration!

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Bear Hug T-Shirt


If you didn’t laugh out loud at this pic, you may have to look again. It’s hysterical. A sure treat of a shirt to make you feel silly and campy!

Crazydogtshirts have gotten some great reviews on their fit; and they make us laugh. A winning combo.

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$16.94 each

Who doesn’t want a great mug? Campfire or not, this mug looks like it will be perfect for a cup of coffee tomorrow morning. I’d probably even eat cereal out of it.

The creator of this mug sells her company, The Odysea, as “For the surfers, mountain explorers, campers + chillers”. This sounds like some camp people I know.

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Camp Swell Bottle


Swell’s were all the rage this summer. Nice looking water bottle and it apparently keeps your water cool for up to 24 hours. This Swell already has a cute happy camper logo on it. Of course we’d expect you to dress it up with even more camp stickers!

GlassKnobsGlueStix is the name of the company who produces these little beauties. The owner posts pics of her creative space in her house – it’s rather inspiring if you are looking to be inspired. And, let’s face it, we’re all looking for a little inspiration.

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Personalized Notepad


If you sent this personalized notebook to a camp friend, it would be sure to make them smile. Or, buy it for yourself and be sure to make yourself smile. Simple and sweet, a nice addition to your desk! It makes us feel organized just looking at it.

CurioPress creates this notepad along with stationary; there are other camp options available, too, if you care to explore. The owner is a one-woman business who admits she pays attention to all the details. We can support a woman like that!

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Camp Wood Banner Pennant


This pennant would look awesome in a college dorm room. The main pic on this blog post is another pennant from the same company. I love this one so much that I’m either buying it for my office or making one myself when I get to summer camp!

Based in Maine, the Unpolished Barn manufactures all of its own products from start to finish. While many of the products have a Maine seacoast feel, the owner is able to capture the feeling of camp in this fantastic Camp Pennant.

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Magnetic Picture Frame


We love the fact that this frame has magnets on it; three of them to be exact. And the frame itself if 9×11 so you can hang three great camp photos on it with the magnets. Or, just one big one. We get feel good vibes just looking at this photo and we don’t even know those people.

FrameAMemory1 puts this quote on her site: “The best things in life are the people we love, the places we’ve been, and the memories we’ve made along the way.” So, as far as we’re concerned, she gets it.

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Zip Code Necklace


The maker of this necklace states that it is perfect for a camp-lovin’ kid. We agree! Have the zip code of your favorite summer camp permanently placed on a necklace. It will be a great conversation starter, which means that you will get to talk about camp even more often with strangers!

Masdesignsjewelry is the creator of this gorgeous piece and supports camps openly in her bio. We love it!

$10 and under Buys to help you hold on to your “camp self”

Home from summer camp? How’s the re-entry going? If you are anything like me, you re-watch videos on your phone from Olympics, you are thrilled that you took pics in live mode so you can feel for a brief moment what you felt when you originally took that picture at camp. You use social media these days, but only to see what your camp friends are doing. You may be in denial that school/work has started or is about to start.

Good news – we’ve found a bunch of stuff that will help you hold on to your “summer camp self” – you know, the person who worked their butt off this summer and has never been happier as a result of it. I find myself often referring to this version of myself through the year and I think these items will help me in my quest to remember my summer self.

So if you are looking to send something to a friend from camp, if you are starting your Christmas/Chanukah lists,  or you just really want some awesome stuff to have around that remind you of your camp self, here are some fun buys.

(Disclaimer: only look at these gift ideas when you are procrastinating. You will get so side-tracked by your summer job memories/emotions that it may be hard to get back into what you are supposed to be doing!)

And the actual disclaimer: CampStaff is not affiliated with any of these vendors in a business relationship (or a personal one, for that matter). We are sharing with you today items that we love that will evoke camp feelings in your heart and help camp stay alive in your soul for the next 10 months.

Gifts For

Under $10:

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back pack pins


These little camp pins are so cute that I sort of want to buy all of them. Great for a back pack for you, for your camp friend, or for your summer staff. What says camp more than a s’more?

Aweedmark is the creator of these tiny gems. On her site, she perfectly writes ‘In my shop you’ll find original, retro-inspired illustrations that are meant to take people to a more simple place, to bring back memories of adventures had long ago, or inspire adventures yet to be had. ‘ (She hit the nail on the head; I wonder if she was ever a camp counselor?)

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adventure sticker


Fun sticker for a water bottle! At camp, we carry around our water bottles like they are attached to our bodies. We rarely wash them, we add stickers to them until there is no plain bottle left to see. Continue the love of your camp water bottle while at home; you’ll be amazed at the amount of conversations it will spark when you bust that camp water bottle out!

TurtlesSoup is a greeting card and stationery brand with inspiration rooted heavily in pattern design, nature, animals, and pun-based humor. Sometimes whimsical and often sarcastic, they believe that the best way to connect with one another is by sharing a laugh to go along with the heartfelt sentiment. (yes, TurtlesSoup, you sound like true camp people!)

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Camp Life Laptop Sticker


Dress up your laptop with this sticker that will remind you every day of camp. Sort of like a water bottle, camp staff (and campers) like to dress up their laptops with as many stickers they can find that make them think about camp. My laptop has a moose on it. It literally makes me smile every time I see it.

The Sticky Moose is the maker of these decals; truly, their name is so great that I think we should support them.

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camp magnets


Stick these fun wood burned and hand painted magnets on your fridge. Every time you grab a yogurt or a piece of cheese, you’ll be reminded of happy days at camp! If you are feeling creative, make some yourself!

AshAtticCo. creates every part of the process is done in house (in Tennessee). First they cut down a tree branch, then using a miter saw they cut the shape needed for the project, the wood is then sanded down. Next they heat treat each piece to cure it. After cooling they are ready to start painting and woodburning. They take the time to make a true representation of what they are portraying so you can look back and reminisce. (thanks, AtticCo, we do have a lot of camp memories that are worth reminiscing about).

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Life Is An Adventure Patch


Yes, the backing is velcro, so no sewing is required! Another cool gift for yourself or a camp friend to remind them of the adventure they just finished this summer.  There are some more pretty cool patches on this site as well if you explore a bit.

BournAdventure is the maker of these patches and they have a really fun story. It all stated with their love of the Toyota FJ Cruiser and has transformed into a business. Their story is well worth the read, as they are true adventurers to the core.

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Camp Life Felties

$4.00/set of 4

Can’t say I really knew what a feltie was and had to look it up. Turns out, they are felt appliques that you can use for multiple crafting uses; from scrapbooking to embellishing your hat. Pretty cool little accessory for a little price.  I like the message this one sends; camp life. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

RaggityBaggity can custom make a feltie for you; so start thinking about your camp memories and put it on a feltie!

Summer Camp Staff; What To Pack (part 2)

We had such a great response from our post last week on items for staff to pack, we thought we’d share a few more items with you. So, if you are packing up to head off to camp this summer, here’s a few more tips on items to bring along.

These tips come from almost 20 years of summers at camp, with the addition of packing my own children for camp every summer. If I had a title, it would be “packing guru”.

Rain Jacket

Yes, this item is probably on the packing list from your camp. Yes, you really need a rain jacket. Preferably one with a hood. It’s sort of the pits at camp when you get wet and can’t get to your cabin for hours to change into dry clothes.  Invest in a good rain jacket if you don’t already have one. (secret; my favorite rain jacket is actually 20 years old…talk about a great buy!)


Rain Boots

Okay, this is not a necessity. Maybe a nice plus if you have the space when you are traveling to camp. High, mid-calf rain boots are like small miracles on a rainy day at camp. You are un-stoppable in those puddles and happy as a clam.


Hiking Boots

If you need to purchase hiking boots for your camp (check the packing list!), I highly suggest the boots that reach higher than your ankle. Higher boots support your ankle better and they also stay on your foot better (think mud). If your foot has stopped growing and you have some extra cash, think about investing in a good pair of boots as you will have these for years to come.



Backpack (or day pack, or book sac, or whatever your choice of lexicon is)

When you need to throw your clothes together for a day off or need to carry some fun supplies around camp, a backpack is an excellent piece of gear to bring with you.



Booklight and Headphones

Since you’ll probably be sharing space with a co-counselor or peers for lodging, plan on being considerate. Pack a booklight if you like to read in bed, and pack headphones if you listen to  music when you sleep.



Bathing Suit

I am 99.9% sure that you are packing a suit for camp this summer. Be sure it is a suit that stays on well when you are active in the water. You won’t be sunbathing in this suit; you’ll be on the water trampoline or waterskiing. Make sure your suit is up to the task of activity all summer long!




If you will be working at camp along the Canadian or Mexican border this summer, bring your passport along in case their is the opportunity to travel into another country. Check with your own camp to find out if traveling across the border is common at camp and be prepared in case you have the opportunity to explore!



Have an awesome time at camp this summer and be your best!

Looking for a camp job? Visit www.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

Summer Camp Staff, What to Pack?

For all of you staffers getting ready to head off to camp, you are probably starting to think about what you will pack for the summer. No doubt your camp has sent you a packing list. Use it!

And… I thought I’d share some general camp items with you that are among my favorite.

  • water bottle – if you can, get the kind with a “flip” top, instead of the screw on/off top, I guarantee that you will stay more hydrated. And, believe me, staying hydrated at camp is key! (well, staying hydrated in life in general is pretty key)

    doesn’t have to be a camelback brand, but I really like the ease of taking a quick sip without unscrewing anything!
  • real sneakers – I know you can wear flip flops to some places at camp, or slip ons, or some form of coverage on the toe. Your feet will be so much happier if you have real sneakers with real support with real shoe laces. Being on your feet for countless hours a day can hurt if you are not ready for it! Be ready.

    real sneakers with real support with real shoe laces!
  • a winter hat if you will be in the northern part of our continent! I know, a hat in the summer time sounds a bit crazy right now. But if you are in the mountains on a chilly night in June it is awesome to sleep with a winter hat on – it keeps you cozy and warm!

    A Winter hat for summer camp? yes, if you will be in the north or in the mountains. Or, both! So cozy to sleep with a warm head.
  • a journal to write in, even if you have never done this sort of thing before. Camp often inspires us to try new things and to reflect on the many new experiences we have. Pack one and surprise yourself when you use it.

    pack a journal – you may just be inspired to use it!
  • shower caddy – they make them soft and foldable or hard and rectangular. Either way, you will be sharing space with others and having a home for your toiletries makes life that much nicer.

    easy to pack shower caddy and a nice home for your summer toiletries
  • head lamp – yes, like the kind you would wear if you were spelunking (don’t know what spelunking is – look it up – it will be your new word of the day). Head lamps are generally accepted as cool in the world of camps. Additionally, they are ridiculously useful.

    yes, these head lamps come in handy all the time at camp! (please note sign above my head)
  • 4th of July Clothing (or Canada Day Clothing if working in Canada!) – pick up some red, white, and blue ahead of time. You’ll be so glad to not have to scrounge around last minute to find something festive to wear. While you are at it, throw in some fun bandanas, hats, or other gear – dressing up at camp always adds a nice twist to the day and it’s fun to have a few clothing items to pull from!FullSizeRender 4

If I sound like a mom in some of these item suggestions, I apologize. But I am a mom. And I am a mom with a lot of camp experience. Trust me on these tips!

Looking for a camp job? Visit www.campstaff.com and fill out your FREE profile. We’ve been connecting camps and staff since 1996; let us help you find the perfect summer job!

CampStaff has a new website!

Exciting things are happening over at CampStaff!

Exciting things are happening over at CampStaff. We have a new logo, a new staff member has joined the ranks and soon we will have a brand spanking new website. With our new website we endeavor to create a quick, simple and efficient database of prospective camp staff for the industry’s best camps to search through.

For Seekers:

CampStaff creates a free opportunity to contact some of the best camps located all over the country. Camps from Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, California and states across the country use CampStaff to fill their seasonal positions of camp counselors, program specialists and leadership positions and they’re looking for people just like YOU!

For Camps:

For a small annual fee, you unlock our searchable database of prospective staff members who want to work at your camp! Applicants can directly send you their information through the site if they come across your camp before you find them or you can use our newly designed search functionality to find specific staff with specific skills and expertise (you can also save a search for later!)