What to Pack

As the weather in our region can be highly variable, it is important to send your camper to camp prepared for the current weather forecast. We maintain a weather board just outside our Camp Office with each day’s forecasted conditions, as well as the following day, to help you stay informed about expected conditions during the camp week.

We recommend sending the following items with your camper packed in a sturdy backpack appropriate to your campers physical size. (Please no roller – backpacks as they do not travel well on our trails.) We also recommend labeling all items with your campers first and last name so they can easily be returned if they are misplaced.

Every Day (Monday – Friday)

  • LARGE Lunch and necessary eating utensils.

Staff tip: Please avoid packing foods that need refrigeration or a microwave for preparation since we often eat outdoors. In addition, we strongly recommend packing more food than you would for a typical school lunch, as our campers are very active throughout the day and may need some extra calories to avoid afternoon fatigue. A few granola bars on hand is a great way for your camper to get some extra nutrition between activities.

  • Water bottle
  • Change of clothes (including socks)
  • Rain jacket
  • Hiking boots or athletic shoes that are ok to get dirty
  • Sunscreen
  • (Optional: Insect repellent spray*)

*Repellent sprays containing DEET have been proven safe to use for children in concentrations between 10 – 30%. Please do not pack a repellent spray above this concentration and let our staff know if your camper intends to use chemical repellent so we can assure it is applied safely.

Swim Days (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday)

All camps except our Preschool Naturalist program will enjoy a trip to Taughannock State Park at least two times during the week on one of our swim days. Please pack additional swim gear for these days including the following:

  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Optional: flips-flops for the beach area

Staff tip: Packing a plastic or waterproof “swim” bag in which to store wet swimming gear after swim time will help keep other items in the backpack from becoming damp.

Please Do Not Pack

At the Cayuga Nature Center day camp, we believe that an important part of immersion into the natural world for our campers includes a break from the use of technology with the exception of use for educational purposes. Please do not send with your campers handheld gaming devices or cell phones. If you would prefer your camper to carry a cell phone for emergency purposes, please advise them before they attend camp that all phones must be stored in their backpack at all times during the camp day. Use of iPods or mp3 devices to listen to music during appropriate times at camp may be allowed on a case – by – case basis assuming it is not disruptive to the program or other participants.