This should give you just about everything you need to know for COUPLES CAMP. Have a question beyond what’s covered here? Talk to your Camp Leads.
We’re all in this together. COUPLES CAMP isn’t a “sit and get” retreat. It’s an adventure that we’re all going to share. It’s going to be great!
We’re intentionally not giving you all of the answers to every possible question. You’re all smart, capable people who’ll be surrounded by others just like you. We’re just going camping for two nights. You’ve got this! Nothing worth doing is easy. That little uneasy feeling you’ve got? The “oh man, can I do this?”. That’s you being stretched. That’s growth happening, right now. That’s good stuff.
COUPLES CAMP isn’t for everyone. We’ll always choose the path less traveled. We’ll err on the side of challenge. If someone asks you if we’ll make special arrangements or exceptions for them, the answer is almost certainly a loving “No.”
There won’t be any storage accommodation for nursing moms. We love that nursing moms are coming to camp and we’ll have a small amount of extra electricity available inside a barn for pumping but there won’t be any communal refrigeration/storage available for anyone to use.
Everyone will attempt the hike with their gear. That is critical. Everyone attempts it and everyone makes it. If you need a cart to carry gear, great. Bring a cart. (We won’t be supplying carts.)
This is your event. Camp Leads are the hosts. You’ll need to work together to pull together all of your gear and provisions. We’ll provide a super simple lunch of brats and mets on Saturday, but your campsite will need to handle all the other grub and gear you’ll need. If you have any sort of dietary restrictions or special needs, make sure you take extra precautions. Lunch won’t have any special options. You’ll also need to bring some water, but we’ll provide beer and wine for everyone. (And some extra water.)
Wait, beer and wine? Yes. While it certainly isn’t the focus, it will be present.
Plan to meet with your campsite before camp. This is your chance to have everyone together, in whatever space you want. No worries if some folks aren’t available or are out of town. Just do your best.
This won’t be Couples Counseling Camp. We’re going to clear some space for God, embrace the challenge and disconnect from the everyday. CC 0001 will be 70% camping, 20% open space, and 10% content/teaching and worship. We expect God to show up in incredible ways.
The camping is primitive. There won’t be a shower house or electrical hookups. We’re all in tents. God was all about tents! How many shower houses can you find in the bible? Paul was a tentmaker, not an electrician!
You’re carpooling with your group to a place near Neville, OH. Get details from your Camp Leads.
You’ll need to arrive (as a group) on Friday between 4:00pm and 6:30pm. We’ll shoot for departure by around 1:00pm on Sunday. As with marriage…if you’re in, you’re in for the whole thing. No late arrivals or early departures.
Generally, we’re off the grid during COUPLES CAMP. We’ll be turning off and collecting cell phones before we head out to the campsite. Another option is to leave it locked in your car before hiking in.
Everything you pack needs to fit into one duffel bag and one backpack. You’ll be hiking all your gear over a mile, so pack lightly.
CLOTHES. Two main ideas: keep yourself dry, and dress in layers. Extra socks, a jacket for night, a rain layer, etc. You’ll also want sturdy boots, or something rugged enough to handle hiking in the woods all day.
TOILETRIES. You pretty much just need Wet Wipes (for cleaning up without water) and a small towel (like a shammy, just in case). A toothbrush and toothpaste is sort of optional. Don’t bother with a razor.
FOOD. We’ll supply lunch on Saturday, as well as beer/wine/soda/water. Beyond that, you’ll need to bring your own—food for dinner Friday, breakfast and dinner Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. Lunch on Sunday is up to you (we expect to be leaving the camp area by around 1pm). Bring food that can be stored without refrigeration, and that doesn’t need a whole lot of prep time (unless you’re a campfire gourmet). Clif Bars, jerky, cheese and crackers are all great options.
INDIVIDUAL CAMPING GEAR. Make sure you get ahold of all of this stuff:
GROUP CAMPING GEAR. Make sure you’re covered with all these between everybody in your campsite:
OPTIONAL CAMPING GEAR. Bring this if you have it, and if you have room.
WHAT NOT TO BRING.
How to make the most of your camping experience.
You might find a few things repeated in here. That’s how important they are.
Recurring Question: How cold is too cold? While this event is not weather dependent, and we don’t expect it to be below freezing, we don’t want anyone injured. Here comes the science: The American College of Sports Medicine says until we hit -18 degrees (that’s right, negative 18) actual temp, we are good to go! Leave it to OSHA to be totally unhelpful and vague, saying that basically sitting in your house is a risk. You can get Hypothermia or Trench Foot at temps above 60 degrees (what the heck is trench foot?).
The bottom line is, weather in the Midwest is unpredictable and it could be cold. We aren’t going on Shackleton’s expedition; we’re spending a couple days in the woods together.
Some other helpful tips. Note — The writer recommends bundling up inside your sleeping bag. Your call on which advice to follow.