Items to Bring

Items to Bring

For All Company Members – 

  • Snack – To eat at Reef Campground
  • Bag Lunch – For your arrival the first day
  • Warm Sleeping Bag, Pad & Ground Cloth – You will sleep on wood floors in the fort buildings
  • Eating Utensils – Cup, plate and/or bowl, knife, fork, spoon, and water bottle
  • Toiletries – Don’t forget sunscreen — the sun can be very strong, toothbrush and toothpaste, baby wipes – for cleaning up oneself at night
  • Any Necessary Medications – Include written instructions for the teacher; give medications and instructions to the teacher upon school departure
  • Pencil –  For writing in journals and sketching
  • Hat/Scarf – Russian style scarf for girls and/or a warm hat for night watch. Sun hats are highly recommended for students and adults alike, especially for spring or fall dates
  • Change of Clothes and Shoes – Children and parents should wear their costume to the fort. Bring a second set of clothes as well. Even if the weather looks warm, evenings are always quite cold on the coast. Students feet and clothing often get wet during the day’s activities therefore two pairs of shoes are essential. Black rain boots are highly recommended. Bring layers to prepare for all weather scenarios
  • Warm Jacket/Sweater – Layers are important for the changing coastal weather
  • Rain gear as needed – Be prepared so you’ll stay as dry and active, and as safe and possible
  • Name Tags – Create your own name tag with a Fort Ross design and character’s name
  • Recommended – We encourage each Company member to put their sleeping gear into a plastic garbage bag with a clear label of their Company name. This is a great way to make unloading, finding and moving gear easier, and most especially helps to keep sleeping gear dry. If you prefer a more authentic option you can use canvas bags, but note that it will not keep things as dry

For Teachers (Ross Managers) –

  • ALL signed Liability Release Forms (media portion optional) – Hand in to ELP Instructor
  • Signed Teacher (Manager) Contract – Hand in to ELP Instructor
  • Journals – As a class project, have students make a small blank journal so that they can write down their impressions of their time at Fort Ross
  • Nightwatch Activities – Board games, cards, etc
  • Flashlight – For safety it is a good idea for both the teacher and parents to bring flashlights. Students should not have flashlights
  • Schedule – Bring copies of your ELP schedule for you and your Officers
  • Mail Call – Bring letters if you’re planning on doing mail call
  • Spending Money (Optional) – If you would like to visit the Visitor Center, Bookshop and Museum at the end of your program, you may suggest that students bring spending money.  And don’t miss the wonderful collection of baskets, kayaks and much more on display!

Teachers also check with the parent Officers of each Role Group to ensure they have the following items.

For All Role Groups –

  • Role group web page printouts – Some parent (Officers) find it helpful to have printouts of their role group webpages so they can refer to them  when they’re on site 

For Militia Officers – 

  • Firewood – You must bring dry kindling and newspaper. FRC supplies some  firewood for your program. If you have wood we appreciate donations to our supply. Each group will use about ¼ cord of firewood; this is about 8 boxes of wood. (Double that if you plan to use the indoor brick oven
  • Matches 
  • Flint and Steel – This is optional if Militia wants to try using these to start the kitchen fires
  • Mapping Tools – This is optional for Militia groups wanting to map the Fort. Tools include paper, writing/drawing implements, and a measuring tool and compass, if desired

For Cook Officers 

  • Towels –  You will need a good supply of dish-towels, towels for drying and hand towels for all 
  • Dish soap –  For clean up
  • Tablecloths – This is optional, but does make for a nice presentation in the kitchen
  • Water – The tap water in the fort is safe, but it doesn’t taste very good. We highly recommend that you bring a few gallons of bottled water and have the children bring refillable water bottles
  • Food – Food for your recipes and one half gallon heavy cream for churning butter (if planning on this Cook activity), oil, salt, pepper, matches, etc 
  • Oil – As needed for cooking, AND for seasoning cast iron pots
  • Hand soap – There is no hand soap for washing hands, so please bring enough for all!
  • Cheesecloth – For straining butter (if planning on butter churning)
  • Food bins – We strongly recommend that Cooks bring food storage bins with secure lids to store food overnight safely and to keep the small critters out of your food stores. We also recommend bringing containers to take home any leftovers
  • PLEASE DO NOT BRING – Individually wrapped food items (no juice boxes or anything with straws, etc.) as it generates a lot of garbage and the wrappers often end up on the ground

Hunters –

  • Bait – Squid or any bait suitable for rock fishing at the ocean 
  • Fishing License – For adults only (a day use license is sufficient). Officers must visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website to be familiar with any and all fishing restrictions at Fort Ross State Historic Park. Thank you in advance!

Artisans –

  • Project supplies – Paint, nails or whatever supplies they need for their craft project.  (We supply basic tools)

Clerks – 

  • Trade Store Items – Any items ready for sale in the Trade Store
  • Pay packets and Company ledger – Depending on the Clerks chosen system of payment
  • Critter-proof containers – for any food items being sold at the Trade Store 


  • Plants and/or seeds – For planting in the garden
  • Hand tools (Optional) – A few hand tools are provided, but you can bring more
  • Gardening gloves (Optional) – To keep hands protected during gardening work
  • School sign (Optional) – To put in garden plot
  • Scarecrow made by the Gardeners (Optional) –  To put in garden plot


  • Project supplies – Whatever is needed for your chosen project, such as the AcornCordage or Wool projects. Check the supplies list on these Gatherer pages carefully, to make sure you have everything you need. Remember Gatherer projects need to be done according to season, plan ahead to ensure you have all the materials you need
  • Gatherer Journals (Required for this group) – See the Gatherers Classroom Projects page for details. You may also bring pens or colored pencils to do leaf printing in your journals at Colony Ross. You can bring leaves in preparation or look for fallen, non-toxic leaves at Ross