The Packing list you didn’t get – but should have.

Attention all campers and staff at Mataponi for the summer of 2012:

When you packed for the summer, did you fill your trunks with tennis shoes, tank tops and toenail polish? Did you shove stuffed animals, stationary and sunscreen into your suitcase? Did you overload your backpack with beach towels, bikinis and bug spray? 

Well, if you did, great job on following directions. You will definitely use all of those items throughout the course of the summer. The packing list you got is a great guide to all the “basic stuff” you need to bring in order to make your time at camp for pleasant and comfortable.

But did you know that there’s ANOTHER packing list? An unofficial, unspoken of, yet very necessary list of items you MUST bring to Camp Mataponi!

It’s time to bring this list out from under the bunk bed and out into the open. Sure, you need to bring sweatshirts, shorts and sports equipment. You need a sleeping bag, socks and stamps. However, without these other items, you may miss out on some of the most memorable moments of camp. So, if you failed to bring any of the items on the list below, get ready to write a letter home, because you’ll be missing out if you can’t dress the part. 

A tutu. You might think this frilly, lacy skirt is only for ballerinas, but that is not true here at camp. You need not be a dancer to wear one of these. In fact, a tutu not only makes a great skirt that can be worn over leggings or spandex shorts, but it can also double as a lovely wig. Furthermore, this is the preferred dress code of many counselors at socials.

Anything neon. Whoever said our camp colors were green and white was sadly misinformed. Neon anything, be it a tank or tennis shoes, is the way to go. The brighter, the better.

A wacky wig. Your natural hair is lovely, but nothing says “theme dinner” quite like a bright wig with long, tousled locks.

Ridiculous socks. Yes, socks are on the packing list already. But what the list should specify is that socks should NOT be white. Colorful, patterned socks of various lengths are what is required. You need tall ones for playing posse and to wear with rain boots. Short ones can be worn with flip flops for a touch of personal style and flair. And nothing says “I’m hiking Mt. Washington” like bright knee high socks popping out of dull brown hiking boots.

Nike running shorts. This is a big one. Even if the only running you do at camp is from lineup to the dining hall, these shorts are a definite part of the unofficial Camp Mataponi uniform. You know the one’s I’m talking about: the Nike Tempo track shorts are the round-legged shorts with the colorful accents on the side. This season, our friends at Nike have given the world an array of colors and patterns to choose from, and paired with a Hanes V-neck, you’ve got the most comfortable outfit in the world. Throw on a pair of Havianas and now you’re really cooking. Of course, if you don’t have any Nikes, you can still be stylin’ in a pair of Soffe shorts. Just be sure to roll them up at least 12 times. 

Solid color clothing. This is really something that requires advance planning. Whether it be during Olympics, Jamboree, Sing, Birthday Ball or Girlie Death Hockey, there will come a time at camp-several in fact-when you will need to dress yourself from head to toe in one color. Most people have red, white and blue clothing all prepared for the summer, but you never know when you might need to don all pink, yellow or black for some activity. By the way, it should also be noted, that here at camp the color pink is an acceptable substitute for red;, additionally , green is an acceptable swap for blue, as is purple.

So there you have it: the pacing list that wasn’t in any mailing. Look around camp, and I’ll think you see that veteran campers and staffers alike have adopted this list and passed it on throughout the years. All of these wacky items are part of what makes Mataponi such a unique place to live and work for seven weeks of the year!

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