Scenic view of trees at camp

Everything You Need to Know About the Camp Store at Youth Camp

by Jesse Garner

child eating candy from camp store

Everything in One Place

You can find all your pre-camp information in one handy-dandy place right here!

Need to add money to your camper’s camp store account? Click here to log in, see their balance, and add money.

The camp store is a pretty cool place, both literally (tons of AC!) and figuratively (so much neat stuff!). We regularly get questions about the camp store, so here’s the one-stop-shop for all your information needs.

Why do you even have a camp store?

First, we want you to know that the camp store does not exist just to make campers hyper on candy and fill their suitcases with trinkets. Instead, there’s a very important reason behind having camp stores: Ebenezers.

“Ebenezer” is a Biblical name from the Old Testament for a giant standing stone to remind Israel of a great rescue from the Lord. The Israelites tended to forget what the Lord had done, and so they set up a visual reminder. Every time they walked by that stone, they were reminded of God’s faithfulness.

In the same way, we know that campers have spiritual milestones during their time at Pine Cove. The camp store provides an option for campers to take home a physical reminder of their time at camp: what the Lord taught them, the fun they had in their cabin, the fear they conquered going down the slide. For the rest of the year and beyond, they can see, touch, and feel these things and remember.

When can campers visit the camp store?

The camp store is open each afternoon during free time. The exact time varies at each camp, but it’s usually around 4pm to 5pm. Campers will also have a another time during the week set aside to visit the camp store with their cabin. The store is open during opening day when you arrive and closing day as you leave, so there are opportunities for parents and campers to visit the store together.

What can you buy?

We have new products in the camp store each year, so the options are ever changing. You can get a great idea of our physical products like t-shirts, stuffed animals, and wrist bands by checking out the web store. There are a few frequently forgotten items as well, such as toothbrushes and flashlights. We typically update the web store with all the new items for the summer right before camp begins.

The camp store also offers some exclusive items that only come in pre-made care packages. We take care of packaging them up and delivering them to your camper during their week of camp. You can order camo kits, SWAG bags, and fun packs in your online account before the summer starts. These sell out each summer and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

We also sell snacks! There’s nothing like a cold soda or ice cream bar (have you ever tried Dibbs and Dr. Pepper together?) on a hot summer day, so we offer drinks, ice cream products, and candy. Some parents send snacks in care packages they prepare—which is also great! You’ll just need to remind your camper to pack those snacks into their backpacks when they leave the cabin for the afternoon so they have them during free time.

Also, we don’t sell anything that we ask campers not to bring to camp (see more on our in-depth packing guide), so you won’t see any gum, books, or magazines in the store.

I think my camper will like other stuff from the store better than what’s in your pre-made care packages. Can I get them other stuff from the store?

​​You sure can! Send your camper a custom package full of Pine Cove merch that YOU pick out for them with a Bunk Box! These seriously fun boxes are the perfect way to select the stickers, hats, and shirts you know your camper will love and have them delivered straight to their cabin while they’re at camp! Deliveries are available Monday through Thursday.

Order here for Towers, Ranch, Timbers, and Shores
Order here for Silverado, Outback, and Ridge
Order here for Springs

I don’t want my camper buying [fill in the blank]! How can I stop them from doing that?

It’s really important to have a conversation with your camper before heading to camp about your expectations for camp store purchases. We can’t prevent them from buying chocolate (sorry!) so they need to be aware of what you’ll be good with them purchasing. One way you can help limit big-ticket spending is by using the camp store function in our app to load a smaller amount of money on their account at the beginning of the week rather than all of it, then adding more money each day.

How much money should I put in my camper’s account?

First, we use camper accounts rather than cash so campers don’t need to keep track of cash during their week. So please don’t send your camper with cash! 

And the amount is completely up to you. On average, campers tend to have $40 – $70 in their camp store account at the start of the week. If this shocks you, send less! If you don’t think that’s enough, send more! You can add money at any point during the week, so if you’re concerned about putting too much in at first, you can always start out with a smaller amount initially, see if it gets used, then add more. You do you.

Can I keep track of my camper’s camp store balance? How can I add money?

For sure! Click here to log in, see their balance, and add money. You can also do this in the CampLife App. We currently do not offer the ability to see specific purchases, just a balance.

What if my camper does not use all their money?

We’ve got you covered. Anything under five dollars will automatically be donated to the scholarship fund. If your balance is above five dollars, we will refund it back to you the Wednesday after your camp session, unless you tell us in your account you’d like to donate any remaining balance to the scholarship fund. It’s a win either way!

Posted Mar 1, 2022

Jesse Garner

Sr. Director of Camper Engagement

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