It’s been 56 minutes. We’re still on this bus; the conditions here are deteriorating quickly. After the seventh rendition of ‘Love the Lord your God’ I find myself close to the edge, my energy gone. If only I had brought that packet of wine gums! If only! In general when you’re going on a 1-2 hour journey on a bus to camp it’s a good idea to bring some extra food for energy levels and to bribe yourself another pillow.
You never know when a torch may come in handy! Whether you’re on the way back to your dorm room after a midnight bathroom trip or attempting to find that lost sock under your bed, it’s a good choice to bring. If you’re on a camp where you’ll be staying in tents then a torch will help to illuminate the surrounding area and you’ll actually be able to find your own sleeping bag! Your friends won’t appreciate you kicking all of them as you stumble across the tent so make sure you pack a torch to light the way.
- Extra pillow
Whether it is as a weapon or an additional comfort, an extra pillow is one of the best choices to bring to camp. If your friends try to engage you in pillow on pillow combat then you will be ready with a pillow in either hand. If late at night you realise just how uncomfortable you are with a plain white pillow and need the added comfort of your very own Thomas the Tank Engine pillow (maybe this one is just me) then fear not because you have it at hand!
At some point in the day you’re going to need a comfort break from all the brilliant but intense physical activity and fun at camp. I get you. You want to put your feet up and kick back. You want a break for the tired toes and lethargic legs. Look no further, ladies and gentleman, than a pair of slippers. This is 100% guaranteed to give you the full therapeutic sensation of laziness specifically tailored for your feet. (Bonus points if your slippers are super fluffy!)
- Common sense
Hear me out okay! I know this isn’t exactly playing by the rules but I’m the one with the keyboard here! Let me put this a bit more practically for you. If you’re about to go out and play a game outside or go for a walk and you realise there are some dark clouds overhead. Put. On. A. Jacket. It sounds simple but the argument of “I’ll be fine” and “A t-shirt is perfectly acceptable in torrential downpour” will not help your leader when you’re soaked and they have to put you through a dry cleaner!
- Socks (lots of them)
Socks should be considered a great enemy and a greater friend. While they may disappear and reappear at will and constantly leave you needing to wear odd socks (not as bad as it sounds), they also can keep your feet nice ‘n’ cosy, and be a great conversation starter if you wear particularly colourful or exciting socks! The reason that I say to bring lots is that in Scotland we have a 99% chance of rain about everyday so it’s best to always have a spare pair to quickly whip on if your last pair have left you soggy and miserable.
Perfect for the dorm with a particularly noisy snorer. If you feel as you drift slowly off to sleep, the room around you begin to shake at its very foundations and the slow roaring groan throws you from you slumber into a world of low-pitched terror, then my friend you’re a victim of the snorer. Now the best way to combat this is to take out your earplugs and drift merrily back to sleep. Earplugs however might not be seen in your eyes as terribly fashionable so if you choose to forego them then you must suffer the dire consequences. Or just pelt a shoe at them too wake them up and hope that you fall asleep before they do.
- Someone else
Now this isn’t necessary, not in the slightest. I know plenty of folk who came to camp on their own and quickly made wonderful friends who still meet up to this day! That being said if you’re feeling nervous about going to this brand new camp in a brand new place with brand new people then bring a golden oldie (no, not your grandmother). Bring yer pal! When you book up your holiday try and encourage someone else to come with you so you can experience it all together and feel confident knowing your friend is there with you. If you don’t have any friends (like me) or no-one will come with you then no need to fear because at camp you will meet some amazing new friends and plenty of people who are all new to it just like you are!
- Old clothes
Having that old t-shirt and a pair of dirty trousers that your mother was threating to throw in the bin just last week along with you at camp can be a great decision! No matter how muddy the activity or how sweaty the wide-game, it simply won’t matter because you... you had the sense to bring some dirty clothes so you can just get stuck into everything... well done you. I’m proud of you.
- A notebook
I know what you’re thinking; “Mark, come on. We’ve had a good time with your amazing banterous list but you had to get all serious at the end didn’t you?” Well dear reader, thank you for you kind words regarding this list but I’m afraid you have jumped the gun. A notebook is not just a boring place for people to take down their shopping list. Oh no! It is so much more! As you go through camp you’re going to hear some great talks all from the Bible and a great way to remember these stories and go back over them in more detail is to take down some notes all about them as you listen. Also you’re going to be learning some amazing jokes and tricks (at least you will from me) so taking down some of those for later is always a good plan.
I hope this list helps you out when deciding what to bring to your next SU Holiday, and we will see you there soon!