Coming to Family Camp and still have questions? The info below should help you get ready.
REMEMBER: FAMILY CAMP IS FOR YOU
Family Camp is a chance to get away from your normal rhythms. As you go through the weekend, remember that it’s a time to connect with God and each other.
Major on Family, Minor on Community
There will be amazing families all around you that will connect with you, have fun with you, and support you as you grow. This type of community is important, but this weekend your main priority is connecting as a family team.
Every Family Is Different
There will be times where the songs feel aimed at little kids. There will also be times where teaching feels aimed at parents. There will be times where it feels like your family doesn’t measure up. We want to encourage you to get the most out of this weekend by recognizing that all families look different...even yours. How does God want to partner with your unique family?
YOU’LL BE CAMPING IN A "NEIGHBORHOOD"
What’s a Neighborhood?
A Neighborhood is a group of 6-10 families who are grouped together based on things like Crossroads site affiliation, kid’s ages, and requests made during registration. We give these Neighborhoods a name and a centralized camping zone at camp. These zones are where you’ll find your Neighborhood Leads and your Neighborhood’s Prayer Tent. They’re also where your Happy Hour Hangout will take place on Saturday evening.
Get to Know Your Neighborhood Ahead of Time
Knowing folks before you go can make your Family Camp experience a little easier. If you’re able, connect with your Neighborhood ahead of time. Start a text thread, share a collaboration doc, or invite families to a cookout; your Neighborhood Lead will get this conversation started.
Do I have to camp in my Neighborhood Zone?
It’s not required, but encouraged. Camping near people will maximize your weekend.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
You’ll Be Car Camping
You will be able to drive your car (and all your gear) close to your campsite. We think most vehicles will do just fine in our open field terrain, but if there’s wet weather or your vehicle can’t get to your site, use the designated parking spots located near your campsite even if that means walking a short distance. This helps protect the land for future camps and prevents you from getting stuck.
Park and put away your Keys
Once you are parked (either at, next to, or near your campsite) don’t move your car until it’s time to leave camp! Coming and going, or driving to far parts of the property is absolutely not permitted.
Camping is primitive.
There won’t be a shower house or electrical hookups. We’re all in tents or hammocks.
You’ll need to arrive on Saturday between 4:00pm and 6:30pm.
We’ll shoot for departure no later than 1:00pm on Monday.
Communications and Emergencies
We are OFF THE GRID
Turn those cell phones off and leave ‘em in your car.
If there’s an emergency at home: Ask folks close to you to use the Family Camp Emergency Phone Number to reach you.
If there’s an emergency at FAMILY CAMP:
We’ll have a medical response team onsite, and we’ll also have a way to get you from the campsite to a hospital (if needed).
What to Pack
Keep yourself dry, and dress in layers. You’ll definitly want extra socks, a jacket for night, a rain layer, and sturdy boots (or something rugged enough to handle hiking in the woods all day).
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.
We’ll supply lunch on Sunday and Breakfast on Monday. Beyond that, you’ll need to bring your own—food for dinner on Saturday as well as breakfast and dinner on Sunday. Plan for lunch somewhere off property after you pack up and head out on Monday.
Make sure you get your hands on all this stuff:
A headlamp (any kind will do - no need for professional grade)
A folding camp chair for the campfire (you’ll need this for main sessions)
A sleeping bag (a basic one will work; it’s only 2 nights)
A pad to go under your sleeping bag - you’ll be glad you brought one. If you don’t have one, Google "camp thermal break DIY" to find cheap ways to make your own.
A plate and/or bowls - You’ll need these for meals you make AND meals we provide.
A cup for coffee/soda/water/beer/wine
A spork or other utensil
OPTIONAL CAMPING GEAR.
Bring this if you have it (or if you have room)
Jetboil or similar cooking system
WHAT NOT TO BRING.
Don’t bring a gun. We’ll have too many people, and it’s completely unnecessary for this event.
Don’t bring power tools. They’re too heavy and bulky anyway.
Clothing for two days (Light colored, non-cotton is best)
Water resistant shoes or boots
Cup for hot drinks
Tooth Brush / tooth paste
Tent or hammock (check poles,stakes, etc)
String, rope, bungees
Jetboil or similar cooking system
Battery operated fan
How to make the most of your camping experience.
Moisture is the enemy of comfort. Keep that in mind as you make choices. There are no dryers. What gets wet, stays wet. What is wet is cold and miserable.
Sleep naked in your bag, especially if it is super cold. Your sleeping bag will work much better if you don’t sleep clothed. (Seriously, it’s designed to use your body heat to warm the bag.) DISCLAIMER - there’s about as many opinions on this as there are people in this world. Bottom Line: do what works for you. If that means getting into your bag fully clothed, great.
Wear good water resistant or waterproof shoes/boots.
Have a couple of wet wipes with you at all times or close by. Sometimes nature calls when we least expect it.
If it is super cold, a Nalgene bottle filled with hot water (heated by jetboil or a pot on the fire) will make your sleeping bag super comfy. Just heat the water, dump it in the Nalgene (close the lid tightly) and throw that into the foot of your bag when you get in. Don’t do this until you are 100% ready to go to sleep, you want to soak up as much heat as possible. Don’t heat a plastic bottle or a bottle with a plastic closure by the fire. It could easily develop a leak and your bag will be wet and miserable all night.
Pro-tip: Throw the clothes you’re going to wear in the morning into the bottom of your bag too (not between you and the Nalgene). They will help keep the heat in the bag and they will be toasty for the morning.
If it is going to rain or snow, Cotton is the enemy. Denim is only slightly better. Wear synthetic items if possible.
Do not place your tents super close to the fire. Sparks can reach them but heat cannot. Sparks can ruin a tent quickly.
Always stake the tent down (even if it isn’t windy).
Always put on the rainfly securely (even if it doesn’t look like rain).
Always keep the doors zipped shut unless you are actively accessing the tent. You don’t want to sleep with all sorts of critters and bugs.
Always place your tent on the most level ground you can find. The ground will not be level so place the “head” of your bedroll at the highest point.
Locate your headlamp and have it with you before dark.
Make sure that anything you bring (clothes, gear, etc) is as versatile and multi-functional as possible. It is much better to bring 5 things than to bring 25 things.
Don’t put food inside your tent unless you want a nighttime visitor with paws. Most tents have a “vestibule” which is a spot covered by the rainfly outside of the sleeping area where you can store items.
Put all trash into a trash bag immediately. Things will blow around and get scattered very quickly.