A Parent’s Guide to Summer Camp at Clearwater Forest

Whether your children are veterans of Clearwater or you are new to Clearwater and thinking of signing up your children for their first week of summer camp, we image there are a few questions you may have about how everything works. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to summer camp at Clearwater for parents. We hope it helps put your mind at ease when saying goodbye to your kiddos as you drop them off on their first day.

Table of Contents:

What Makes Clearwater Unique
Daily Schedule
Health & Safety
Staff Training
Contacts/Getting Ahold of Your Child While They are at Camp
General Info
Packing List

What Makes Clearwater Unique

At Clearwater Forest we aim to change lives in God’s woods & waters. What does this mean, you say? Clearwater is a magical place both in presence and in spirit. It is a place where people come to sing, celebrate, worship and play together. It is a place of acceptance that encourages people to find their commonalities and embrace their differences. It is a place where campers can try new things and learn new skills without fear of safety or judgement. It is a place where young adults guide and nurture campers into future leaders. It is over 1,000 acres of mostly unspoiled forest and lake shore, where kayaking, canoeing and water sports are a way of life. Most of all, Clearwater Forest is a place where many feel closest to God and free to connect with their spirituality.

Daily Schedule:

Each day at Clearwater is a new adventure for our campers, but we like to follow a basic schedule to keep things running smoothly. Below is the schedule for a typical day at camp…

  7:00 AM  Early Morning Options: Kayaking, Nature Hike, Polar Bear Swim
  8:00 AM  Breakfast
  9:00 AM  Morning Worship: This is a high energy worship with music sing alongs, skits and the theme of the day.
  9:45 AM  Quest Groups (Bible Study)
11:00 AM  Cabin Time
12:00 PM  Lunch
  1:00 PM  Rest Hour: Time to rest, read a book or write home.
  2:15 PM  Camper’s Choice Activity: Choose between a wide variety of activities from water sports to lawn games, high ropes, archery or crafts.
  4:00 PM  Free Time: Campers can choose to go swimming, have access to the store, play field games and more!
  5:45 PM  Dinner
  7:00 PM  All Camp Game
  8:30 PM  Evening Worship: More mellow than in the morning time, but plenty of music and sing alongs.
  9:00 PM  Cabin Devotions followed by Bedtime for Discovery campers; Jr High & Sr. High Activity
10:00 PM  Cabin Devotions followed by Bedtime for Jr. High campers
11:00 PM  Cabin Devotions followed by Bedtime for Sr. High campers

Health & Safety

We take the health and safety of our campers very seriously at Clearwater Forest. Each week we have a designated health/medicine officer to distribute medications and perform first aid. We plan to have a volunteer registered nurse for each session as well and our staff are all trained in basic first aid, CPR and emergency procedures. All medications, whether prescription or over the counter, are turned over to the health officer/volunteer nurse at the beginning of the week. Our campers follow strict rules and safety procedures to utilize the many facilities we have such as the high ropes course, climbing wall and water front. We always have a lifeguard on duty when campers are participating in any water activity.

If your camper has specific medical concerns, including dietary needs/restrictions, please fill out the information to completion on the registration forms. You may also call the office to talk with someone specifically about your camper’s health needs.

Click here to register

Staff Training

At Clearwater, we strive to find summer staff that are spiritually, mentally and emotionally mature to ensure that not only is your child in good hands, but in good hearts. Each staff member has been personally interviewed, reference checked and background checked before they even set foot on the property. Once here, they receive 14 days of intensive job specific training which includes every topic from camper care, behavior management and preventing and/or identifying child abuse to activity and small group facilitation to leading Quest group bible studies. Our staff are particularly skilled at brining campers together, helping everyone feel included, and dealing with homesickness.

Contacts (if you need to reach your child while they are at camp)

If you should need to get ahold of your camper for any reason while they are attending camp, or if you have general questions, you can call the camp office number at any time.
Office: (218) 678-2325
If no one is available in the office to answer, the voice message will give you the number of someone who is available 24/7.
You can send your child care packages, letters or postcards any time during their stay at camp to the camp address: 16595 Crooked Lake Road Deerwood, MN 56444
*Please note any food items will be held in the dining hall for your camper to enjoy during snack and meal times only.


Please visit our FAQs page for answers to more everyday questions!

FAQ Page

General Info

Forms and Fees:
Fees are due paid in full 10 days before any camp session begins. If registration occurs within 10 days prior to the start of the session, all fees are due with registration. Please complete the Physician Signature Form that is attached to your confirmation email and mail or fax it to the office prior to your camper’s arrival.

Camper Store Accounts:
All campers have a camp store account. Parents may deposit funds into that account during the online registration process. Typically, Camper Store Accounts range from $15 –$60.

Opening Day Schedule:
Check-in begins at 3:00: Campers and parents will be greeted by our staff on the Clearwater Forest driveway as they enter and given information about cabin assignments, unloading, parking and other information. The Opening Assembly begins at 4:00 p.m. Parents are welcome! Please note that our staff is not ready to receive campers prior to 3:00 p.m.

Closing Day Schedule:
Please join us for our Closing Program that runs from approximately 9:30 am until 10:15 am. Parents are encouraged to attend. We suggest that vehicles are loaded after this program to allow the campers to participate. If your child needs to leave at a time other than 10:15 on Saturday, please contact the office so proper arrangements can be made. Your child will only be released to the adult/s identified on their registration form.

Packing List

What to Bring:
Please plan on bringing enough clothing for the entire duration of your stay, including 2 week programs. Laundry facilities are not available for camper use. Mark all items with the camper’s name!
Long Pants (2)
Shorts (2)
Shirts (6)
Underwear (6) and Socks (6 pair)
Shoes (2 Pair- sandals and running shoes)
Pajamas (2)
Sweatshirt (1)
Light Jacket or Rain Coat
Hat with Brim
Athletic Swimsuit
Bed & Bath
Sleeping bag or sheets and blankets
(Note: Jr. High campers with have a campout and
a sleeping bag is recommended.)
Bath towel (2), Hand Towel (1), Washcloth (1)
Beach Towel
Tooth Brush, Toothpaste, Dental Floss
Brush and Comb
Other toiletries (soap, deodorant, etc)
Bible, Notebook, Pen and Pencil
Water Bottle
Sun Screen
Insect Repellent (Low Deet)
Flash Light and extra batteries

Good, But Not Essential
Fishing Gear
Reading Material
Inexpensive Watch

Please Leave at Home:
The following items will be confiscated and returned at the end of camp:
Personal audio/visual items such as ipods/mp3 players, cell phones, tablets or e-readers; chewing gum; valuable jewelry; snacks/food

Clearwater Forest Camp & Retreat Center