A group of kids playing 9 Square at an Iowa summer camp.

A Day in the Life

Campers at Camp Bear Creek live every other season for summer. When they climb into their bunks at night, they dream of the adventures that await them the next day. Kayaking, swimming, art, archery, games, worship, and more—here, camp is a lifestyle, but every camper has their own version of how to live it.

Every program is different, but we wanted to give you a glimpse into a day in the life of a Camp Bear Creek camper.

7:00amRise and shine! Campers wake up and get ready for their day. This looks like getting dressed in the changing room in their cabin, walking to the bathrooms to brush their teeth and freshen up, and packing their bag with everything they might need in the morning.
8:00amWho’s hungry? It’s time for breakfast! Campers sit in the dining hall with the other kids from their camp group (no worrying about not finding a seat or a friend to sit near). Breakfast might look like scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes, or our beloved French Toast Sticks! Not feeling the hot breakfast options? There’s always a cereal bar as well.
8:30amBefore we leave to start our morning activities, we like to spend some time together in worship. We sing some songs and watch a video that introduces our Bible study theme for the day.
8:45amIt’s time for Activity Hour! This unique hour in the morning offers campers a choice of activities. All groups and ages mix together for some extra and unique fun to get their day started right. Options like sidewalk chalk, flag football, yarn weaving, karaoke, slime-making, pool party, or so many other activities could be on this morning’s schedule.
9:45amWho made their bed this morning? During Activity Hour, our infamous Cabin Inspection Bureau (CIB) were inspecting every cabin to see which group was the tidiest. Since the CIB themselves always seem a little silly, this award ceremony is always one that leaves us laughing.
10:00amAnd they’re off! Groups re-convene to begin their own morning schedule. Perhaps this morning includes creek stomping and arts & crafts or a nature hike, snack, and paddling the corcl boats around the pond. With eight different programs running at once, there’s always a lot of activity. Campers stay together with their group and participate in age-appropriate activities.
12:00pmMany hands make light work! Each day, groups take turns setting up the dining hall for meals. When it’s your group’s turn, you’ll set out the place settings (plate, fork, spoon, knife, and cup) for each seat. Plus, you’ll help set out the napkins, condiments, and drink pitchers for each table. This way, everyone has the chance to help and contribute to the whole community during their week.
12:30pmWe’ve already done so much and it’s only lunch time! Campers again sit together with their group, and there’s always a lot to talk about after a full morning of activities. Food is served family style, and campers can look forward to kid-friendly meals like hamburgers, spaghetti, turkey and cheese sliders, or pizza. Plus, at each meal, there’s either a fruit/veggie option or full salad bar.
1:15pmAfter all that activity, campers might be feeling ready for a nap! Rest time is an hour in the afternoon to do just that. Campers return to their cabins to read, sleep, write letters, play quiet games, and just spend a bit of time relaxing before an afternoon of fun!
2:15pmCannon ball! Swimming is a favorite activity here at Camp Bear Creek, and most campers will hit the pool every afternoon. You can choose to float on a pile of pool noodles, practice your dive, slide down the slide, or splash around with your friends. This is the perfect way to beat the heat on a hot summer’s day!
3:30pmBreak out the Bibles because it’s time for Bible study! Each group will have Bible study together for an hour every day. This always includes a mix of activity, games, reading, and discussion, and campers work together to memorize a verse for the week based on the Bible study theme. We might all be from different denominations and traditions, but we can come to grow in faith together as we study the building blocks of what we believe.
4:30pmWe’re not slowing down yet! There’s more activities to try. From slip ‘n slide to 9-Square, sling shots to challenge course, there’s more to do at camp than can really be experienced in a week. That’s why so many Camp Bear Creek kids come back every summer!
5:30pmRing that dinner bell! Once again, it’s time to gather together for a meal. At least once during the week, most groups will also get the chance to cook out a meal together over the fire. We make campfire pizzas, skillet enchiladas, breakfast hash, and all kinds of yummy meal options. Plus who doesn’t love a good sticky pie or s’more or banana boat for dessert? Some of the best eating at camp happens around the campfire!
6:15pmBreak out the mops, because we’ve made a mess! We believe that part of living together in community at camp is taking care of the site and facilities we live in. Each group will work together to clean their assigned area for the day, whether that means sweeping up the floor in the craft room, picking up trash in the meadow, or mopping the floor in the bathroom. Everyone does their part to keep our living spaces clean!
7:15pmIt’s time for COLOR WARS! Without a doubt, these evening games are a Bear Creek favorite. Campers are split between four color teams (where all ages play together) and each night, the teams compete for points to see who will be crowned the ultimate color war champions! There are often costumes, lots of laughter, and a crazy amount of talent and effort on display during each game. It’s the perfect way to play all together and run out the last of our energy.
8:30pmAfter so much activity, we’re all ready to move into a more reflective and peaceful space. One of the best parts of our day is gathering together as a whole camp for worship. We believe that worship can look like a lot of different things, so we do our best to provide a variety of different settings and experiences each week for worship. We might gather around the campfire in song, experience different prayer stations, have a giant dance party, walk the labyrinth, worship in the pool, or journey together through the Christwalk – a character-led, interactive experience through a story from the Bible. No matter what it looks like, this is a chance for us to connect with God and spend some time exploring our own personal faith and expressions of belief.
9:00pmHow was your day? This time of day is called Group Check-In. Campers and counselors have a chance to sit together with their group, talk about their day, reflect on what they learned, and get excited for what tomorrow holds. 
9:30pmYAWN! Feeling tired? For our elementary campers, this is the point in the day when they change into PJs, brush their teeth, climb into bed, and maybe read a story or have some flashlight time before lights go out.

For our middle and high school campers, the day isn’t quite over! It’s time for evening program! This late-night game is just for older kids, and it’s always a lot of fun. You might find us playing battleship in the pool, playing glow-in-the dark ultimate Frisbee, or chilling with board games. Every night is different, but it’s always something fun just for the oldest kids.
10:30pmBy now, even our big kids are ready for sleep. It’s time to pack it up and call it a day. Everyone is headed to the cabins for a night’s sleep before we wake up and do it all again tomorrow!

Summer 2024

Registration is now open!

A group of kids posing for a picture at summer camp in Iowa.