How to Cope With Camp Deprivation in the Winter

It’s that time of year – the snow has started to fall, Christmas lights are going up and it is absolutely necessary to wear many layers if you plan to leave the house. Winter is upon us! But even with the excitement of the holiday season, this can be a time when the missing-camp-blues come on strong. We call it campsickness.

Campsick adj. \ˈkamp-ˌsik\The opposite of homesick. An intense longing to be back at summer camp.


We are exactly half of the year away from summer camp and some might find the idea of waiting 6 months to be back at Clearwater a bit hard to bear. Don’t worry though, you are not alone in your campsick blues! We’ve put together our top 7 tips for coping with camp deprivation in the wintertime, and I don’t just mean putting Clearwater gear on your Christmas list.

7. Send Letters to Your Camp Friends

I know we live in the social media age where new friends are just a click away, but if you really want to bring back the feel of being at camp, you need to go offline! I’m talking about snail mail here kids… Writing actual handwritten letters to your friends at camp, finding their home address (probably through social media) and then putting your letters in the mail. It’s that simple! And it will certainly brighten your friend’s day to receive a handwritten note in the middle of winter reminding them of how much fun you had together at camp.

6. Get Outside and Try a New Activity

Part of what makes camp so exciting is all the new activities you get to try your hand at. From crafting to high ropes, archery and water sports, you can try something new every single day at camp and that keeps things exciting! Bring that excitement home with you by trying something you’ve never done before. Seeing as it’s wintertime, you can try out a new winter sport like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice skating. Doing something that gets you outside (yes, even in the cold!), gets you moving, challenges you, and will help you keep your mind off your mid-winter campsickness.

5. Teach Your Friends and Family Your Favorite Camp Traditions

Break out your song book or study up on the lyrics to your favorite camp songs and teach your family and friends. Breaking out into spontaneous camp songs is a sure-fire way to bring back some of that camp spirit! Another suggestion would be to teach your family how to say grace Clearwater-style and start all your meals with a little Clearwater tradition.

4. Create a Summer Camp Countdown

Do you know the exact number of days until the first session of summer camp 2019? We do! We’ll give you a hint… there is a countdown on our summer camp homepage. Get old school with us and create a countdown calendar – or better yet, one of those paper chains where you tear off one chain link for each day that passes until you are down to zero. It’ll help you put your camp energy towards something constructive.

3. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Sometimes it’s nice to get out your old camp photos and relive your cherished memories from camp. Spend a few hours looking through photo albums or re-reading your camp journals to remind yourself what you love so much about your time at Clearwater. If you didn’t keep a journal while at camp, why not start one now. Write down your favorite stories and memories so you can look back on them next summer while you’re there!

2. Bring Camp Home With You

No, we aren’t talking about kidnapping your favorite counselor! We mean a good ol’ fashioned DIY “day at camp”, in your own home! Get your friends and family involved and spend a day doing all sorts of camp things. Cook your favorite camp meals, try a new activity, get your arts & crafting on by creating friendship bracelets or test out a DIY tie-dying kit. Sing your favorite camp songs and start each meal with your favorite Clearwater grace. At the end of the day, you can even build a campfire, roast s’mores and maybe even set up a tent in your backyard or livingroom to get the full experience. Don’t forget to put away your devices for the day and unplug, afterall, that is part of what makes Clearwater so special!

1. Sign Up For Snow Camp!

The #1 best way to cope with camp deprivation in the wintertime is to come back to camp!! You heard us… come join us for a weekend at Clearwater Forest, January 4-6, 2019, where you can join in on all of your favorite camp activities and traditions, reunite with camp friends and participate in Snow Camp. Registration is open on the website and space is limited so secure your spot today!

Clearwater Forest Camp & Retreat Center