Parent Guide Packing List

We are excited about how close camp is! Your child is frenzied with excitement and ready to go, but you have some practical matters at hand. What will they need while they are at camp? Who’s the Tennessee weather? How do you prepare your camper for full days of fun? 

Don’t worry! Our Leadership Academy team is full of camping veterans, and we have compiled a list of things your child will need during their time at camp and further recommendations for an optimal experience.


General Needs For All Campers! 


No matter what camp route they have chosen to take, all campers should be ready for active days full of outdoor exploration. Unless otherwise specified, they should walk into camp wearing tennis shoes or hiking boots perfect for hitting the trails and running in fields. We also ask that you please pack closed-toed water shoes, for we may be crossing in or playing in creeks! Sports sandals instead of sneakers are okay, but we highly recommend having separate, closed-toed water shoes to prevent blisters and for ultimate comfort. We also recommend packing an extra set of clothes and or a swimsuit. Please do not bring or wear flip-flops. 

Days at camp will be spent under the sun, which can get sweltering in Tennessee summers! We want our campers to be protected. Your camper should wear sunscreen and bug spray to start the day and bring both with them for later. A hat would also be helpful to keep the brunt of the sun off their face. For those times when the weather takes a surprise turn, please pack a rain jacket or poncho. Rain or shine, we will forge on with our adventures, but be assured we will seek shelter in case of lightning or severe weather.

Your child will need fuel for their busy days at camp! We ask that they bring a lightweight, reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and to participate in our trash-free lunch challenge; only bring reusable containers for lunch! At camp, we teach children leave-no-trace principles, as reducing our environmental impact is one of the guiding lessons of connecting with nature here at all Leadership Academy Camps. We would love it if our campers began practicing this ethic into their daily lives while still at camp! Eliminating single-serving packaging one lunch at a time is a great way to show our thoughtfulness and connection with the outdoor world. If a child forgets lunch, our staff will call a listed contact. Lunch can then be dropped off, or our team will provide a pre-packaged lunch for a fee of $5.00. 

One of the most vital purposes of camp in recent years is that it allows children to unplug from the digital world and enter nature without the blinders or distractions of technology. For many children, a world removed from technology is hard to imagine or achieve. We ask that you preserve this precious, wholesome environment we create at Leadership Academy, and please do not bring any electronic devices that could hinder this experience. This includes but is not limited to cell phones, digital cameras, iPods or MP3 players, trading cards, and handheld video games. Our staff will upload photos to Facebook daily, so treasured camp memories can be found there!


Nashville Sail Camp


All aboard! At Nashville Sail Camp, we recommend our campers bring many of their basic camp gear listed above, as well as some other gear for their days on the water! 

Campers should arrive ready for sailing, wearing their swimwear with a light t-shirt and shorts over it. Active swimwear is a must. Please wear full-coverage swimwear. Be sure to secure glasses with a strap or string; you won’t want your sunglasses to end up in the lake! 

We don’t want our campers to have trouble finding their sea legs, and the proper footwear will help! Crocks, water shoes, sailing boots, or old sneakers are all good options for the boat. No flip-flops or slides. A Class III USCG Approved Life Jacket is required. A change of clothes is optional. 

Lastly, we cannot stress enough the importance of sunscreen! Come with ‘sport’ ‘waterproof’ or ‘active’ sunscreen already applied, SPF30, or more. We’ll be spending our days under the sun and feeling the reflection of the sun’s rays on the water. To stay safe, we will reapply sunscreen at lunch and we recommend that you wear a hat. 


Mountain Bike Camp

Each day of Mountain Bike Camp is packed with activities you want your camper to buckle up and be well prepared for! To participate in Mountain Bike Camp, each camper must bring their own proper mountain bike that has passed a safety check at one of our pre-approved bike shops. The bike must be transported to and from camp each day.

Safety is our number one priority at camp, and safety starts with the right gear! A well-fitted helmet bought within the last four years is required at camp. Helmets are essential safety gear for biking, and their importance increases immensely as we will be biking around obstacles and on unpaved trails! It is important to note that helmets with any type of damage are compromised and will not protect your child’s head properly. Gloves are also required. Campers will need a closed-toed shoe with a stiff supportive sole for shoes. Skateboarding or “low-hiker” hiking shoes will work. Do NOT wear lightweight or flexible tennis shoes! They won’t provide the right level of protection or support for pedaling. We also do not recommend clip-in pedals unless the rider is an advanced mountain biker. We strongly recommend additional safety gear such as knee and shin guards, chest guards, and a full face helmet. While riding the trails and learning new skills, we want to make sure that our campers are protected from injury in case they wipeout on the trail.

In order to stay hydrated, each camper should bring a refillable water bottle, preferably one that fits into the bottle holder of their bike. We strongly recommend wearable hydration packs as well. Bike water bottles are also sold at camp—please request one of these ahead of camp so that we can ensure your camper receives a water bottle! And don’t forget your lunch and snacks!

While the majority of our time at Mountain Bike Camp will be spent in the forest, the sun’s rays still sneak in! Please apply sunscreen before you arrive and bring some to reapply throughout the day. A rain jacket and hat will also be important in case of inclement weather. 


These guidelines will ensure that your child has the best camp experience possible. We ask that you please respect the guidelines on what not to bring to camp, as violating these rules will impede not only your camper’s experience, but the enjoyment and focus of others. You can see the full list in our parent guides.

Last but not least, we ask our campers to bring a cheery smile and a positive mindset. We are so excited to host your children at camp for fantastic days of fun! So get your bags ready and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!