What to Bring to Church Camp

By Berry Mathew

What to Bring to Church Camp

Church conferences in 2023 are a fantastic time to participate in fun activities, build connections with fellow Christians, and, most importantly, hear the message God has in store for you. Of course, all of these beautiful promises necessitate a little preparation beforehand.

We’ll give you a helpful shortlist of what you need to bring for church camp, along with some essential must-have items that you might have forgotten!

The Essential Church Camp Checklist

Your Bible

The living, breathing Word of God—yeah, that’s pretty important to bring along to a church camp where your primary objective is to learn about God’s truths and the plan He has for your life. All jokes aside, you’ll want to ensure you’ve got a physical Bible instead of just a phone app. Your church camp may not allow phones inside the sanctuary since there’s no real way to police whether you’re using them responsibly.

To avoid having your phone taken away during camp or distracting yourself with social media, bring your paper Bible so that you can focus during the sermons and come away with God’s Word written on your heart. 

While you can markup in the Bible app, it’s also nice to bring along a pen and dot some notes in the margins. It makes your Bible feel more personalized and lived rather than just a dusty old book that you cart to and from church once a week.

A Change of Clothes

More likely than not, church camp will last a week or two. With that in mind, you’ll need to pack enough clothes for the entire trip. Research the weather where at the church camp location and dress accordingly. If it’s cold, pack a hat, gloves, and scarf!

Remember, some church camps may restrict what you are allowed to wear, so it might be wise to consult with a camp counselor about their dress code or policies during camp to avoid getting caught out.
It’s also a good idea not to bring clothes that you wouldn’t want ruined. Church camp can be very active, and some wear and tear is inevitable. As such, bring along clothes that are comfortable, practical, and (preferably) quick-drying; that way, you can get the most out of camp without having to deal with uncomfortable or impractical clothes. As a helpful little reminder, don’t forget your belt if you need one!

A Battery-Powered Fan

If you’re going to a cabin for church camp, you might want to bring a battery-powered fan to stay cool. That way, you can beat the heat and avoid fighting over an outlet. You may even be able to clip it to the bed and enjoy your cabin experience without the oppressive heat and humidity of a cabin.

The Right Footwear

Camps often have a rule against open-toed shoes, so make sure you bring along a pair of closed-toed shoes so that you can participate in the outdoorsy activities. Climbing walls, for example, require closed-toe shoes if you want to participate.

Of course, you should also bring a pair of cheap flip-flops so you can get to and from the showers or the bathroom without worrying about dirtying up your good shoes. Similarly, you’ll want a pair of hiking boots you don’t mind getting dirty or wet for hiking or going down to the waterfront.

A Decent Flashlight

Depending on where you’re going, a flashlight is a must-have utility tool. Not only does it provide plenty of light on the trails (duh), but it also serves as a bedside table lamp in the cabin before lights out, giving you a little time to read your Bible or chat with fellow campers without bumping your head into the bunk beds.

A Camera

If your camp allows it, a camera is an excellent bring-along to ensure you capture all of the best moments with your friends and footage of the fantastic events you participate in. Just be sure not to get too caught up taking pictures; you’re there to grow spiritually first and foremost, so if a counselor asks you to surrender your camera, honor their request.

A Yearning Heart

Most importantly, church camp goers should come equipped to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. After all, that’s what church camp is fundamentally all about, equipping believers to go out and spread the gospel to the ends of the earth. It also provides a powerful opportunity for nonbelievers to hear the gospel, participate in a Christian community, and begin their faith journey with mentors and counselors to guide them.It’s a powerful environment that leads to meaningful life change, but none of that will happen if you’re too focused on the material things. Bringing a heart prepared to learn and grow is essential. God may challenge you with something you didn’t want to hear at camp, whether it’s a sin you don’t want to confront or a life path that wasn’t part of your plans.Keep your heart and mind open to change, conviction, and guidance. You may find that God is calling you to something higher that He will reveal at church camp, and that’s not something you want to miss for the world.In a similar vein, keep your attitude and your spirit in check so that you don’t hinder a brother or sister’s growth, too. The last thing you would want to do is redirect the camp environment away from Jesus so that another camp attendee misses His calling on their lives. Go prepared to change, and God will move in your heart and guide you toward His plans.

The Bottom Line

Church camp is a wonderful and exciting time of friendship, fellowship, and growth. God moves in significant ways during church camp, and you want to make sure you get the most out of it—both in what He has to say to you and the adventures you have along the way! Bring your Bible, appropriate clothes, additional comfort accessories, and a heart yearning for God, and you’ll have the time of your life at church camp.