Unitarian Universalist Family Camp
in SW Michigan

What to Bring to Camp

  • Days are hot in July and nights may get cool in the woods when the sun goes down. Bugs are also a reality here, so despite the heat in the middle of the day, long pants may actually be preferable to shorts. Make sure you bring an extra pair or two for the children who may get pretty dirty during the day.
  • In case it does get cool in the evening, a sweatshirt or fleece pullover may be a good idea. Sneakers or hiking shoes are encouraged for children as they will be outdoors and actively engaged. Comfortable walking shoes are advisable for youth and adults as well. The ground is uneven and there are plenty of things to step on.  A pair of Crocs or flip-flops is advisable for use in the showers.
  • paddle boatsThere is a lake on the grounds available for swimming, wading and (non-motor) boating. You’ll want to bring a swimsuit and some water shoes or Crocs for going in the water. 
  • Some of the buildings are not air-conditioned. While there are box fans in the rooms, it may be plenty hot and humid at night so plan on lightweight pajamas or simply shorts and a T-shirt to sleep in.
  • Don’t forget rain gear! Weather in the Midwest is extremely unpredictable in July.  Rain ponchos or jackets are highly encouraged.
  • bandanasWe will be outdoors during the day -- which means if it’s not raining – it will be hot and humid. Bring a hat to protect all of the vulnerable heads in your family and possibly sunglasses. Bandanas work well, too. We have some printed with the Chalice Sparx family camp logo at the camp store. Bandanas are also great to help you cool off when drenched with cold water and placed around your neck.
  • If you or any family member takes prescription medication, be sure to bring plenty of it along with you. There is a nearby pharmacy in Watervliet, but it is at least a 15 minute drive from where our camp is located. You won’t want to miss out on all the great activities we’ve planned while you are taking a side trip to fill medication needs.
  • travel-size toiletriesPack plenty of personal toiletry items – toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, shaving supplies plus shampoo, conditioner and soap for the showers. Should you forget, we do have a few supplies available free or for purchase in the camp store. Be sure to bring hand towels, bath towels and a beach towel as well as they are not supplied by the retreat center. You might also find baby wipes (just please don’t flush them) or hand sanitizer a great way for clean up on the go.
  • Pillows and mattresses are supplied by the retreat center, but we will need to bring a set of sheets and pillow cases (or a sleeping bag) for every bed we intend to occupy. Most beds are twin size, and a few are queen-size. In some rooms, twin beds can be combined to create a larger size bed and in others, there is extra room where a camp bed or Pack-and-Play can be set-up for kids. Should you forget to bring sheets or pillowcases, there is a small supply available for rent from the camp store.
  • Sunscreen and bug spray are a must. Natural remedies are preferable, but be sure to protect yourself from the sun which can easily burn skin of all shades and the bugs will be out in full force, especially in the evening and at night. Mosquitoes as well as Deer Ticks are common in this part of Michigan, so make sure you plan to protect and check.
  • flashlightsAnother necessity is flashlights. It gets really, really, really dark at night out in the woods. Equip each member of your family with a flashlight and make sure you have extra batteries. This is especially important for adults and youth who want to participate in the night hike or travel to and from the nightly bonfires.
  • Yes, we will be tie-dying stuff and you will want to be part of the fun. Bring white cotton shirts, sheets, and other clothing items for tie-dying.  We will have a fashion showcase of these items as part of our time together.
  • If you play a musical instrument, bring it along for the Talent/No Talent Show, the sing-a-long or an impromptu jam session with other musicians. We love music and we want you to share your musical talent with us.
  • Speaking of the Talent/No Talent Show, costumes and props may be brought along to compliment or enhance your act.
  • Don’t forget those things which will help you share and preserve the memories you will be making at camp. Cameras, film, memory cards and batteries are essential and you might want to bring a journal or sketchbook to capture memories as well. Youth or adults engaging in the creative expression workshops might want to bring along some drawing pens, markers, colorful pencils or a notebook to write in.
  • We will have a Silent Auction on the last evening of our time together. The proceeds go to our scholarship fund for youth and young adults or families in need. So bring along some new or lightly-used items you don’t want and contribute them to the Silent Auction. Fun and silly items are welcome as well as moderately valuable objects. But please remember it is a family environment and all ages will be present for this activity – and any very valuable item is probably not a good choice as we cannot guarantee its security.


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