Cheer Camp Essentials

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Many cheerleaders will be heading to cheer camp soon. Camp is a great place to learn new skills, prepare for the new cheer season, and bond with your new teammates. Of course, the items and quantities that you need to bring will depend on how many days you will be there and whether it’s a commuter camp or an overnight camp. Your coach will probably have a list from the company that is running your camp of items they recommend, but here’s a list of some basics and a few optional items that you might find useful.

The Basics for Overnight Camp

Depending on how many nights you’ll be staying, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of the following.

– This seems like a no-brainer, because most teams have two or three different sets of camp wear that they will require you to wear, so make sure you bring the outfits that your coach assigns, including socks, shoes, and hair bows. But you will also need to bring a few changes of clothes for the evenings and some warmer clothes that you can layer in case the weather changes.

PJs, a robe, slippers, and shower shoes. Those hotel and dorm rooms and floors can get pretty chilly at night!

– You know, the basics: soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, hairbrush, bobby pins, ponytail elastics, etc. You might want to grab some travel-sized containers of these items at your local dollar store to save room in your suitcase. And, of course, be sure to bring lots of hairspray!

– A small penlight is light and portable, or you can install a flashlight app on your phone. Either way, these devices come in handy for navigating unfamiliar campuses and rooms at night or to avoid tripping when heading to the bathroom in the dark.

Essentials for Everyone

Sunscreen! You will probably be spending a lot of time outdoors, so pack some non-greasy sunscreen, and don’t forget to reapply it frequently.

– It’s essential to stay hydrated, especially in the summer heat and humidity. Reusable bottles are great–you can fill them with water at any drinking fountain, and you can even add ice. If you bring bottled water, make sure you have enough to last the whole camp, at least 4 or 5 bottles per day.

– Prescription medications, braces, and wraps. If you use any prescription medication, such as an asthma inhaler, make sure to bring enough of it for your entire stay at camp in containers labeled clearly with your name, the dosage, and your doctor’s information. If you have an asthma inhaler, Epi-pen, or any other medical device for emergencies, make sure your coach or another adult is trained in the proper procedure for its use. If you are one of the many cheerleaders who experience sore wrists, ankles, and knees, bring a wrap and don’t forget to wear it. You will be spending a lot of time at camp doing physical activities, so it’s important to protect yourself from further discomfort or injury.

Cell phone. I often wonder how we survived before cell-phones were invented. These devices are handy not only for keeping in touch with your family and friends, but also for taking videos to help you remember the dances and cheers you are taught, and even for taking pictures to share. You can install an anti-theft app so your phone can be found more easily if it’s lost or deactivated if it gets stolen. Remember to bring your charger, too!

Rain poncho or umbrella. Even desert areas sometimes experience sudden flash showers and thunderstorms, so be prepared!

First-aid kit. You don’t need a huge kit, but a few essentials such as bandaids, antacids, and Ibuprophen come in handy.

Sewing kit. Again, you just need a small kit with needle and thread, a small pair of scissors, and a few safety pins for emergencies.

Extra pony tail elastics, soft headbands, a hairbrush, and a little hairspray. Not only will these keep your hair out of your eyes, but they also help keep it out of the eyes of the rest of your stunt group!

Extra cash. Most camps offer souvenirs for sale such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, hair bows, and keychains, as well as copies of DVDs and CDs with the camp dances and cheers, so bring a little extra money if you can. What cheerleader doesn’t like to shop!

The Most Important Thing You Can Bring

If you forget any of the items listed above, you can probably buy or borrow them at camp. The one thing that you can’t replace is a positive attitude, so leave the word, “can’t” at home and stay positive!

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Marge Packman

Marge was a member of her high school pom team and has coached youth and school cheer for over 17 years. She has a BA in English from Northern Illinois University (Go, Huskies!). After graduation she joined the Peace Corps, met her husband, and moved to The OC. After cheer practice, you can find her watching football with her son or perusing the scrapbooking aisles with her daughter.

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