Pre-Camp Email #20 — Please Make Sure Your Camper Is Hydrated

Date published: June 13th, 2017 | By Matthew


Dear 2017 Parents,

This is email #20 in our pre-camp series.

Safety is our primary concern. Today I want to talk about hydration.

Summers are hot in Pennsylvania. The temperature can get into the 90s.

Worse than the heat is the humidity.

Campers coming from the Southwest or the West Coast are sometimes caught off guard by how oppressive the humidity is. They say it feels sticky.

One thing about the humidity is it makes us sweat. A lot.

This means we’re losing fluids, more than normal. (Remember, no air conditioning.)

Dehydration is a risk, especially for campers who are unfamiliar with staying hydrated.

Drinking water has become an important part of our culture here. Every camper brings two water bottles to camp. Every camper brings water on every activity. We have a water bottle rack next to the breezeway where campers hang their water bottles, to save them trips back to their cabins.

And we have specific recommendations for how much water to drink every day.

The amount of water we recommend is based on two things: (1) a camper’s weight, and (2) what kind of day it is.

We recommend drinking 0.5-1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight per day. So, for example, if your camper weighs 128 pounds, we recommend that he drink 64-128 ounces per day, which means 2-4 quarts (most water bottles are one quart). That’s every day.

Our recommendations are displayed in a chart below. The first column is weight. The second column is minimum quarts — that’s for a regular, do-nothing day. The third column is maximum quarts — that’s for an active, hot or sweaty day.

80 1.3 2.5
90 1.4 2.8
100 1.6 3.1
110 1.7 3.4
120 1.9 3.8
130 2.0 4.1
140 2.2 4.4
150 2.3 4.7
160 2.5 5.0
170 2.7 5.3
180 2.8 5.6
190 3.0 5.9
200 3.1 6.3
210 3.3 6.6
220 3.4 6.9
230 3.6 7.2
240 3.8 7.5
250 3.9 7.8
260 4.1 8.1
270 4.2 8.4
280 4.4 8.8

Some campers think our recommendations are excessive. They say they’ve never drank so much water in their life. Some try to avoid drinking their water. They tip up their bottles up and pretend to drink, but they’re just taking mini-sips.

The biggest complaint we get is “it makes me pee”. The second biggest complaint is “water tastes gross” (we have delicious well water).

Our Big Kids (a.k.a. counselors) have eagle eyes. They look out for signs of dehydration. Early signs are headache and flushed face. More concerning signs are fatigue, dizziness and dry mouth.

This is where you come in. It can take up to one week for a camper to become fully hydrated. If your child is not normally hydrated, we ask that you get them hydrated before they arrive. This means more water and less juice, soda and tea.

The easiest way for a camper to tell if he’s hydrated is for him to look at his urine. His urine should be clear and copious.

Any questions about this? Concerns? You can always reach me at 717-567-3349 or Thanks for your help!



Matthew T. Smith
Owner / Director
Longacre Leadership Camp

Here are all the links to the Pre-Camp Email Series and CampMinder.