What to Pack for YOUTH 2023 | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
July 2023

What to Pack for YOUTH 2023

By Chris Wilterdink

Remember, you all are coming to Daytona at different times from different climates. This packing list is a guide that you can add to or subtract from based upon your group’s needs!


Four days’ worth of clothing. You will be inside hotels and the Ocean Center (which are air conditioned) AND outside (which is hot, humid, and beachy). You may want extra shirts, shorts, pants, etc., for additional options to change during the course of the day.

  • Event guidelines for clothes are comfortable and reasonably modest. There is no strict dress code. We believe in all of you to make appropriate clothing choices.
  • Do your best to avoid wearing clothing designed with aggressive language, explicit graphics, or meant to be divisive. Clothing like that runs counter to our efforts to create a safe and welcoming space.
  • Clothing that fits is always a good choice, avoiding anything that reveals a lot of skin. If your church has a dress code policy, please follow those guidelines.

Comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals for the beach.

  • You will be walking to and from your hotel, around the Ocean Center, and getting your steps in while at YOUTH 2023!
  • Some people may prefer sandals or beach shoes. There are stations to wash feet periodically along the beachfront.

Beachwear, including swimsuits, hat, sunglasses, coverups, etc.

  • Each day has time where you can be on the beach. Bring an appropriate swimsuit, and anything else you may need to be comfortable on the beach.
  • Coverups are included because the hotels do ask for guests to have shirts and shoes on in the hotels themselves. Plus, if you’re like Chris (one of the Y23 organizers), lightweight sleeves prevent sunburns so much better than any kind of sunscreen.

Other Items:

(If you are flying, remember – size limit for individual liquid containers is 3 ounces or less.)

  • Toiletries. Yes, the hotels have limited soap, shampoo, etc., but bring things with you that you like to use to stay clean.
  • Sunscreen and Insect Repellant. Bring a decent SPF, and enough to apply several times a day. We’re on the beach, so mosquitos aren’t too bad, but if you’re worried about insect bites, some kind of repellant is a good add.
  • Dental care. Brush. Floss. Twice a day. Five out of five dentists agree with us.
  • Beach Towel (optional). The hotels do have beach towels to borrow, but they have to be returned. Otherwise, the hotel charges you $20 each!
  • Meal money and snacks. Your group is responsible for breakfast every day. Lunch and dinner are provided for you at YOUTH 2023 July 26 and 27. Other days, other meals, and other snacks…bring meal money and follow along with your group leader’s plans.
  • YOUTH 2023 Store Money. Our awesome shirts and other merch will be on sale until we are sold out. Everything is in multiples of $5. We can take cash and cards.
  • Donation Money. There will be opportunities to donate during YOUTH 2023.
  • Fun Money. There are local beach shops and entertainment areas along Daytona Beach.
  • Prescription medications or over the counter medications, as long as your group leader is aware of them, and you are following your local church’s practices.
  • Charging cables and converters. Most hotels have regular power outlets, not USB-direct charging.
  • A willingness to meet new people, seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

Things Not to Bring:

  • Anything illegal. No smoking, no drinking, no drugs, no fireworks.
  • No weapons. You can’t fly with them, and the Ocean Center is a gun-free zone. Even if you normally carry, please leave weapons at home for this event.
  • Disruptive attitudes and unkind behaviors. You probably don’t have many of these anyway, but they don’t belong at YOUTH 2023.
  • Anything that you are afraid of losing.

Things you will receive onsite:

  • A drawstring type backpack
  • A reusable water bottle.
  • A YOUTH 2023 custom New Testament
  • A program book
  • A nametag/lanyard
Chris serves as Director of Young People’s Ministries for Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Chris has a BA in English Education, and an MS in Project Management, and over 15 years of local-church youth ministry experience. He is passionate about leadership and faith development in young people and helping ministry leaders understand their value in the lives of young people. A Stephen Minister, Chris is a native of Colorado living in Franklin, TN with his wife Emily, 2 children, and sausage-shaped beagle.