Three Forms You Need for Summer Camp | UMC YoungPeople
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May 2024

Three Forms You Need for Summer Camp

By Jeremy Steele

Summer camp is on the way, and planning all the details can be daunting. You’ve got to get the topic, the lessons, the games, and the supplies for the games. You’ve got to make sure you hit the payment deadlines for the retreat center, communicate food allergies to them in time, and argue with them about why you need to be able to drive your car right up to the cabin.

And you’ve got to get the forms and letters ready to send out. Wait. Where are they? Did you save them as a Google Doc or send them in your email? Don’t worry. We’ve got you. Below are templates you can use for a packing list, conduct covenant, and parent letter. Just copy and paste and add your logo! Feel free to customize and feel free to send us back your adaptations.

You’re welcome!

Retreat Parent Letter

Dear Parent,

We will take some time to get away on a summer retreat and have some extended time with God and one another. Our theme is “Freedom”; we will use this theme to discuss living a life free from the bondage of sin and free for joyful obedience to God. This weekend will be extremely fun as we play mud football and miniature golf, talk around a bonfire, listen to our speaker, and worship with the help of a band. Our speaker is a United Methodist pastor and former youth pastor. In my entire career in youth ministry, I have seen few who match this pastor’s ability to speak to youth.

This is a great time for new students to come and invite friends as we get some extended time to form relationships with one another! Please begin to pray with your students that God will help them think of whom they should invite. I know that although you are excited about all of these things, you need details. So, without further ado:

  • We will leave for Camp on [DATE] at [TIME] and return the evening of the [DATE] (about [TIME]).
  • The final cost of the trip will be [PRICE] per student.
  • There is a [PRICE] deposit due by [DATE]. The remainder is due by [DATE].
  • Each student must fill out a conduct covenant and medical release. If you think you already have one on file (they only last one calendar year), call [PERSON] at the church: [PHONE].
  • As always, no one should consider staying home because of money. Scholarships are available, and students who have participated in the fundraisers will be given priority.
  • There will be a parent meeting [DATE] at [TIME] to give you all the final details and let you ask questions.

This packet includes a couple of other forms that we will need before we leave on [DATE]. I hope this information is helpful. If you need more information, please call me at the church: [PHONE].

Conduct Covenant

In all meetings, retreats, or other events under the sponsorship or guidance of my church, I am a representative of that Christian community, and I am responsible for my actions. I understand and agree to abide by the following guidelines:

  1. I will not bring or use any illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or tobacco.
  2. My conduct and talk will be in keeping with the highest Christian regard and respect for all people. I will not use any profanity or obscene language.
  3. I will obey the youth staff and counselors at all times.
  4. As I am able, I will participate in discussions and/or activities.
  5. I will meet our shared understanding of appropriate dress.
  6. I will keep the area used for the meeting, retreat, or any other event clean. I will respect the vans or other transportation as well as the overnight accommodations. I will take care to leave all properties in their original condition.
  7. I will use my seatbelt while traveling with the youth group.
  8. All PDAs (public displays of affection) will be in keeping with the highest Christian regard and respect for all people.

As a minimum, the first violation of any of these rules will result in a warning. The second offense will result in a call to the parents.

Should conditions warrant or violations continue, the youth will be sent home at his or her own cost.

I have read and understand the Youth Ministry Covenant. To the best of my ability, I agree to abide by it.

Signature of Youth____________________________________ Date_____________________

I, as parent or legal guardian, understand and agree to uphold the policies of the church youth group with my student while he/she participates in any meeting, event, trip, or retreat. Also, I understand that I am responsible for all damages incurred to property or person resulting from the actions of the above-named student:

Signature of Parent____________________________________ Date_____________________

Packing List

  • Personal Teddy Bear
  • Bible
  • Clothing for five days
  • Shoes (at least one pair that can get wet)
  • Flashlight
  • Rain Gear
  • Bag for dirty, wet clothes
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Water Bottle
  • Backpack
  • Light jacket or sweatshirt
  • Camera
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Swimwear
  • Extra money for the snack bar
  • Frisbee, Football, other similar items
  • Alarm clock
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and other toiletries
  • Earplugs if you have a problem sleeping with old people’s snoring
  • Two towels
When he's not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, Jeremy is the associate pastor at Los Altos UMC in Los Altos, CA. Jeremy has spent over twenty years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field. His most recent book is the "All the Best Questions." You can find a list of all his books, articles, and resources for churches at