So … You’re Packing for Camp Woodward

Packing for Camp Woodward — the most epic, amazing, doesn’t-get-better-than-this skateboard camp in the world — is high stakes. You want to bring everything you need to skate your face off in the most wonderful place on earth.

This will be the Board Monkey family’s first time. Camp Woodward put together a very helpful packing list, but we were lucky enough to also tap the experience and smarts of several camp veterans. Here’s what they had to say:

1) Involve the camper in packing. You don’t want your skater to be seeing the contents of the suitcase for the first time the first day of camp. It is bound to be an overwhelming day, so just knowing what’s in the bag can be a big help. It’s also a good lesson in taking responsibility for his or her belongings.

2) Use a lockable trunk. Giant rolling duffels are good too, but the beauty of the trunk is the ability to lift the lid and see the contents (nothing getting lost in the corners). A combination padlock is also much smarter than using the keys that come with the trunk and are easy to lose.

3) Label, label, label. There are hundreds and even thousands of campers at Woodward during the summer. Having everything labeled makes it easier for lost items to find their way back to you. We used a sharpie for clothes and dishwasher safe stickers for everything else (even shampoo and toothpaste).

4) Use 2.5 quart ziplock bags. Organize clothing in 2.5 quart labeled ziplock bags helps the camper quickly find shirts, shorts, socks, etc. and separates the clean and dirty.

5) Two-in-one body wash/shampoo. Skaters sweat and stink! Using a two-in-one body wash/shampoo saves space and encourages a more thorough shower (at least that’s the theory).

6) Snack attack. Skaters are often so busy skating and socializing, they forget to eat and hunger strikes after the dining hall and camp store close. We packed a small amount of semi-healthy snacks to ward off the hangry.

7) Extra shoe laces. Every fall that results in a knee slide is usually also a fall that scrapes shoe laces across the pavement. The laces fray and break and … that is a session-ending situation.

8) Old-school games. There is some down time at night and one veteran camper suggested mini board games as a great way to bond with bunk mates. Uno, Trouble, Spot It, and even magnetic chess.

9) A notebook. We don’t anticipate a lot of journaling at skate camp, but Board Monkey is a goal-driven dude. He wrote down the tricks he wants to learn before and during his time at Woodward. He can check them off as they are mastered.

10) Love. We talked about homesickness and bummers that might occur at camp and how to cope with them (go skating). In between the socks, pads and towels, we also packed a few love notes for our campers to discover to make sure they know we are excited about all the fun they are having and can’t wait to hear all about it when they come home.

There are also a few things we decided NOT to bring to save space. These include a lot of extra clothes. The website reads:

“The Camp Store sells necessities such as toiletries, stamps, batteries, and postcards. The store also has snacks, such as pizza, soda, ice cream, pretzels, chips, and candy. Campers may also purchase Woodward apparel including leotards, shorts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc. Go-kart, Paint Ball and Horseback riding tickets may also be purchased in the store.”

We also opted to leave extra skate tools and parts at home. The website says:

“The Bike/Skate Shop sells a full stock of parts you may need to fix your bike, skateboard, inline skates, or scooter in case they break while you are here. We also carry stickers, hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and safety gear.”

And from prior experience doing weekend trips to Woodward, there were always skate tools available to tighten trucks and fix bearings.

We’re feeling good about our packing and appreciate all the tips! Time will tell whether we packed the right things the right way. Their one-week stint at Camp Woodward starts tomorrow. We will update this list when they come back.