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The Camp Counsellor Packing List

Getting ready for your summer camp counsellor adventure in Canada? Packing can be overwhelming, but don't worry! This Camp Counsellor Packing List will ensure you have everything you need to lead an unforgettable camp experience.

Whether you're a seasoned camp pro or a first-timer, this list will help you avoid any last-minute scrambling plus your camp will also give you a packing list. We've got you covered for everything from conquering outdoor activities with your campers to cosy camp nights under the stars.

Author: Camp Canada
16 Apr 09:13
Suitcase or Backpack?

First things first, something we get asked a lot is ‘Should I take a suitcase or a backpack?’ The best choice for you depends on your travel style and the specifics of your trip. Both have advantages and disadvantages, it’s all down to your personal preference!


Pyjamas - You’ll need those cosy ones, the short ones and the goofy ones.

Pairs of Shorts - The weather in Canada is HOT during the summer.

Waterproof Jacket - Although it can be hot, you may get a few rainy days.

A Pair of Jeans - You can never go wrong with a pair of jeans, they’ll be your fancy clothes at camp and are good for days off.

Sports leggings or Joggers - They’re easy to wear and comfortable to move around in during activities plus they’re good for colder days and chill time.

T-Shirts/Vests - Bring a white one so you can tie-dye it at camp and check out our merch store for some cool tees.

A Warm Hoodie - To pair with your jeans on a cold day, or even to make the nights a little cosier. Hoodies are the best.

Pairs of Socks - You’ll need lots of these, socks tend to go missing during the summer so it’s good to bring as many as you can.

Pairs of Underwear - Same as the socks!

Swimwear - As a camp counsellor you’ll have the opportunity to join in on the fun activities with the campers, including the water sports, so be prepared to get in the water! Some camps have rules regarding bikinis and speedos, so make sure to double-check with them!


2x Pairs of Trainers (or sneakers) - They are comfortable and practical, and you’ll be wearing them all day. Every day. Also, bring a pair you don’t mind getting dirty!

A Pair of Casual Shoes - Don’t forget there will be time for you to leave the camp and have a wander as well as your time after the camp weeks. You’ll be grateful you brought a pair of ‘normal’ shoes.

Crocs (with Jibbitz) - Everyone at camp will be wearing them. And if you have Jibbitz, campers love to trade them!

Flip Flops / Sandals - For the showers and for the lake.




Travel-sized shampoo/ conditioner/ body wash

Reusable Makeup pads


Bug spray - 110%

Medication - If applicable, keep this in your hand luggage. For the border security checks, ensure they’re in their original labelled containers.

To save space (and weight) in your bag or suitcase, pack travel-sized versions of your usual toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste. You can grab full-sized toiletries when you get there from Walmart or Shoppers. This can be a fun bonding trip with your camp friends.

Small Essentials

Mobile Phone - Top Tip: Many participants find Canadian SIM cards useful for staying connected in Canada and at camp. If you need a Canadian network provider, check out PhoneBox!

Mobile Phone Charger Cable

An Adapter - Make sure to buy the correct one. It’s always handy to buy an adapter with a plug and USB ports so you can charge more than one thing at a time!

A Portable Charger - This can be very useful if you are travelling long-distance after your time at camp.

A Pair of Sunglasses - We recommend polarised sunglasses, especially if you’re on the waterfront!

A Photo from Home - You’ll be away from home for a while, taking memories such as a picture of your family and/or your family pet can bring you back home and make your smile even bigger (if possible).

A Camera - You will definitely want to capture all of your amazing experiences at camp and your post-camp adventures.

Snacks - Take ALL the snacks. Whilst the food in Canada is awesome, taking snacks with you to camp from home can help you during the summer, especially if you’re feeling homesick. It will bring you some comfort!

Headphones - Pack a pair of headphones to enjoy the latest movies, TV shows, podcasts or audiobooks on your flight. It's a great way to pass the time and stay entertained.

Fan - For those hot days, thank us later.

Shower Caddy - At camp, the shower block may be a short walk away from your cabin. Having a shower caddy will be a game changer as you can carry all of your toiletries in one trip!

Packing Cubes - Packing cubes are a useful way to keep your clothes organized, save space (thanks to compression!), and help you find what you need quickly and easily.

Money - We would advise you to bring some physical cash in case you have any trouble with bank cards. This can be very helpful if you’re arriving early before heading to camp. The amount of money to take to camp with you will depend on how often and how much you are paid, but you’ll know this before arriving at camp. Consider your days off plans - will you be mostly on-site or venturing out for day trips? Make sure to factor in any post-camp travel as well.

If need a convenient way to move your money internationally, we would recommend opening an account with Wise! This season we have teamed up with Wise to offer you a better deal when banking abroad. By signing up Wise account through our exclusive Camp Canada link, you will get a one free transfer coupon for up to 500 GBP (new users only). This exclusive offer ensures that your first £500 or its equivalent in another currency will be free from any exchange rate fees when you spend or convert it to CAD, preparing you financially for your adventure in Canada.

A folder/wallet - To keep all your important travel documents safe and all together

Travel Documents

Your Passport

Work Permit Documents

Your eTA

Flight Itinerary

Boarding Passes

Your Placement Agreement

Medical Check Documents

Police Check / ICPC Check Document

Staff Recommendations

“A headlamp and a good attitude ready for adventure are all I need.”

“If you’re into photography (and I don’t mean the iPhone kind), carry all film with you onboard, as screening equipment for a checked luggage can damage undeveloped film.”

“Books! Soft covers and magazines are the best, and it’s always a good idea to bring books If you don’t mind parting with them in a good old book swap.”

And there you have it, your camp counsellor packing list. If you still have questions about what to pack, please reach out to us. You can also connect with alumni via the Camp Canada Official Community group and ask them for tips on what to take. Happy packing!

Camp Canada
We're the original Camp Canada. We've got offices around the world, including in Toronto - whatever you need to know about summer camp in Canada, we've got the answer.

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