Summer camp is a great place for making new friends and finding people to hang out with. Even, if you do have friends, just consider it an opportunity to find new people and maybe start up on one of those summer romances.
- Clothes: You are going to be in the wilderness, but you still want to look good. Don’t pack in a cute little suitcase, as you might go for long wilderness hikes during the week and counselors may want you to bring a backpack to carry a water bottle, lunch etc. For pants, pack trendy but comfortable outfits-some suggestions are Lululemon capris and/or shorts, at least one pair of skinny jeans, and some cute, slightly over-sized graphic t-shirts. This is summer, so get in the mentality of bright colors and infuse your own personal style into the mix.
- Shoes: Try a comfy pair of flats. Dressing in a cool way is great, but if you dress like you are heading to the school dance, the you will pay the consequence of being uncomfortable. It depends on the weather in your area, but pack lightweight tops as well as t-shirts such as a cute plain colored tank top or spaghetti strap(Check with your camp first some camps do not allow tank tops). One last point: if your camp has a lake, river, or pool, where campers frequently go swimming, you’ll want to join in, so bring a couple of durable bathing suits.
- Hygiene: People will avoid you if your breath stinks. Make sure you bring all the necessary products: a comb, shampoo, conditioner, detangler, mouthwash, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. You will probably get dirtier at camp than you do at home. Take as many showers as allowed without being excessive. Staying clean and cute is awesome, but OCD never made anyone popular. Gum or chewing gum could help your breath for a short while…but some camps don’t allow gum or mints. Before a social event you can take a quick few minutes in the dorm to brush your hair and teeth and apply deodorant.
- Personality: Go up to people and introduce yourself. Don’t laugh too hard or talk too loud just to appear confident. You’ll seem insecure and fake. Start conversations. Ask people to go get ice cream with you or to go to the pool. Make your social group as large as possible. It depends what type of friends you want, but aim to be interesting. If you act like a scene kid, then make friends with normal people and emos or goths too. At camp there are normally at least a hundred kids, and there will be all different types to get acquainted with – endless possibilities.
- Social Life: People will only want to hang out with you if you’re both interested AND interesting. Ask questions and be prepared to answer ’em, too. Music is a great way to bring people together. Be upbeat, and if you are naturally shy, take your time but don’t push people away. (You might not get much sleep after staying up and playing Truth Or Dare with cabin mates. If missing a couple hours sleep makes you grumpy or overly tired, try caffeine or simply going to bed a little earlier.)
- Be Creative: If there is nothing to do, then think of something! Make people think of you as the one to come for to have fun. All around camp there are things to do, and you will be highly respected if you can take the tiniest things and turn them into a blast for all.
- Trend-Setting & Following: Don’t be exactly one and the same as everyone else. If you plan to overthrow a popular girl, don’t act exactly like her. People will think of you as fake and desperate. Instead, try to quietly get above her by simply being better. If she is completely happy and preppy, make her sound a little stupid by simply being calm, cool, collected, and even a little bored-seeming. If she dresses all in pink, dress emo or scene. If that girl has a close-knit group of “exclusive” friends, be the same, but include different types in that group. Don’t be a sheep for the sake of popularity, as it won’t work, and you will be stuck being someone you hate. Remember that the social groups of camp are a bit different than in school, so even though there is a popular group, chances are it won’t be quite what you’re used to.
- Swimsuits: Pick a cute yet modest swimsuit; don’t pick a teeny tiny “revealing” swimsuit; a one-piece or tankini is better. At some camps you may need more than one swimsuit, so bring an extra while your first one is dirty. Some camps also require certain colors of bathing suits so check the camp uniform rules.
- Invite kids over to your dorm for games, hang out, food, etc. Don’t actually say “Want to go to my cabin to talk and play games, and maybe eat?” because that sounds dorky. Just talk for a while on the doorstep then go inside to chat.
- It never hurts to go above and beyond the coolness already established at your camp. If exercising is in, take a public jog every morning. If people respect daredevils, fall flat on your stomach/back off the diving board. But don’t do anything too stupid like a skinny dip. If it is “in” to act preppy and cute, then do it if you want to. But if you want to be emo instead, try reading the manuals on “how to be scene” for fashion and act calm and collected instead of giggly and happy.
- If you are taking a bus, than bring some card games or other multiplayer activities. Chances are that unless they came with a friend, they are probably as bored as you are. You might be able to make friends before you even leave to bus!
- Don’t become a brat because you’re popular.
- Have fun and enjoy summer camp!!
- One of the easiest times to make new friends is at on the bus. Talk to a few girls before the bus leaves then once you board the bus ask her to sit next to you. You’ll know if she really likes you if she’s excited you asked and asks you to sit with her on the ride home.
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