Packing for Camp

Simple Living

At Camp DeSoto, we embrace a philosophy of simplicity – from the things girls bring to Camp to the mail they receive to the ways we celebrate. As you pack, keep in mind that Camp is an opportunity for girls to live simply. Costumes can be home made, tribe gear should be minimal, art supplies should be the basics, books should include a Bible, a journal, and a few rest-hour reads.

We have made a list of those things we know your daughter needs in order to feel prepared for Camp. Things beyond that list are extras. Please encourage your daughter to be thoughtful about the added extras, the room those things will require, whether she will be able to keep up with all of her things and keep them organized, and whether there are some things she can be okay without for a few weeks.

By embracing the truth that “less is more,” you will be giving your daughter a great gift: freedom from too much “stuff”, the chance to be resourceful when creating a costume or making a gift, and a much easier and quicker cabin cleanup each day!

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Packing for Camp

Each camper needs only a trunk, a duffle bag, and a shoe pocket for keeping her small things organized. Trunks should be be no larger than 32L x 20W x 16.5H, and you should pack your camper’s clothing and most-used items in her trunk.

This trunk is a good option for DeSoto campers.

Pack her duffle bag with linens and other items to be unpacked, as well as occasional use items, such as her costume and sleeping bag. Once unpacked, duffles are stored in the rafters and only accessed occasionally.

Each camper is allowed one plastic storage container that will fit under her bunk (no higher than 10 inches.) Campers often use a shoe pocket hung by the bed to organize small, miscellaneous items, such as flashlight, toiletries, batteries, etc. Any other shelving or crates brought to Camp will be sent back home with parents or discarded.

Everything Summer Camp is a great resource for your packing needs!

A Few Important Points

Sunday Whites

Campers and staff (including those attending Mass) wear all white on Sundays. Any sweatshirts or sweaters worn with whites need to be bright white with no writing or other decoration. Please do not send strapless, one strap, halter-top, spaghetti straps, backless, low cut, or too tight tops or dresses for your daughter’s Sunday whites. Shorts, skirts, and dresses should be a modest length and not too tight. All white should be “bright white” – no cream or off-white – and free of colorful accents.

Campers will also need white shorts to wear as part of their tribe uniform. It is smart to pack at least one pair of white shorts that your camper can play hard in, as tribe uniforms are worn for all competitive events.

Dressing for the Occassion

When we “dress up” at Camp, we usually wear our whites. We have a few guidelines for appropriate attire for these occassions: (1) tops should have straps at least 3 fingers wide (2) tops should be long enough to cover your stomach (3) and shorts or skirts should be modestly cut and not too tight.

Shirts with sleeves are required in the Camp Dining Hall. Tank tops and strappy athletic shirts are great camp attire - it can get hot under the summer sun! We just ask girls to change tops or throw on another layer before they head to the Dining Hall for the next meal.

Special Events

First Term campers will want to have red, white, and blue to wear on the 4th of July.

Second Term campers want to have red and green for Christmas in July. (Christmas pajamas are fun for Christmas morning, too!)

Parties with Alpine Camp for Boys

For the Senior Social (8th-10th grades) and the Dance (all ages), Alpine boys wear collared shirts and chinos. DeSoto girls wear casual tops and cute shorts (no skirts, dresses, or rompers). For Glee Club, Alpine boys wear their Sunday whites and tribe neckerchiefs. DeSoto girls wear a tribe shirt and white shorts (no skirts or dresses) with closed-toed shoes.

We encourage modesty for these events as an expression of decorum and manners. Girls’ tops must have straps at least three fingers wide, be long enough to cover the stomach (no crop tops), and not be low-cut, off the shoulder, or backless. Shorts must be hemmed (no frayed denim) and long enough to reach her fingertips when standing (3” inseams are a good guideline). We always require closed-toe shoes after dark, for safety reasons - that includes parties with Alpine, since these events last through night activity.

We plan to have events with Alpine this summer, as long as both camps have no known spread of COVID-19 at the time.


Campers need sturdy shoes around Camp, and no flip-flops are allowed (except for showering). At night, all campers must wear closed-toed shoes. Due to safety standards, cowboy or riding boots are required for campers taking Horseback Riding. (Hiking boots, sneakers, duck shoes, and girls’ dress boots are not acceptable for horseback riding.)


Laundry is sent out once a week and returns two days later. Camp laundry is not as gentle or precise as your home laundry – please send only sturdy camp clothes. Send only cloth or nylon mesh laundry bags that will not melt in a commercial dryer. Please label all of your camper’s belongings so she will be able to keep up with them easily.

Living Unplugged

We ask campers not to bring any electronic devices to Camp. If it plugs in, it should stay at home! Girls love living this way, and we love the opportunity it gives them to more fully inhabit the present moment, to relate with each other face to face, and to enjoy the beauty of the woods and the sounds of Camp.

Activity Equipment

Camp will provide the necessary equipment for each activity, including helmets and safety gear, with the exception of those items listed above (tennis racquet, horseback riding boots, guitar, goggles). Expensive equipment that campers bring to Camp (such as a tennis racquet or musical instrument) will be each camper’s personal responsibility. Please do not send your daughter to Camp with electronics, bicycles, vehicles, personal pets, or weapons of any kind.

Happy Packing!

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