Camp Frequently Asked Questions

The 2018 Parent Packet will be available February 1st, 2018

The cancellation policies for Resident Camp, Namanu Ranch and Day Camp are located here.

Packing List

Limit: 1 bag/suitcase (campers attending an extended session may bring an additional bag/ suitcase) 1 small bag/daypack, sleeping bag, pillow.

TIP: Luggage is moved between trucks and trailers so please contain all items in bags rather than tying them together.

Items to Bring (quantities listed are for full sessions; please adjust accordingly for half or extended sessions):

  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Toiletries
  • Long pants (2 or 3)
  • Sweatshirt or jacket (2 or 3)
  • T-shirts (5-6)
  • Underwear (5-6)
  • Shorts (2 or 3)
  • Swimsuit
  • Socks (7-8)
  • Long-sleeved shirts (4 or 5)
  • Warm pajamas
  • Flashlight
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm (with SPF)
  • 2 Towels: one for swimming, one for shower
  • Rain gear (jacket or poncho)
  • Small day backpack for overnights in the outdoors
  • Shower shoes or flip flops (not for around camp)
  • 1 pair of shoes or strap on sandals that can get wet/muddy
  • 1 pair of sturdy closed toe shoes to wear everyday (hiking boots, tennis shoes, etc.)
  • Water Bottle

Optional items: stationery, pencil/pen, stamps, pre-addressed envelopes, camera (disposable recommended), sunglasses, wide brimmed hat, one favorite stuffed animal, book, cream or roll-on insect repellent (no aerosol or spray cans)

TIP: Mark all belongings with camper’s name and grade in an easily visible location.
TIP: Items should not be new or irreplaceable.
TIP: We do our best to make sure that your camper comes home with the belongings they came with, but please be sure to check the lost and found when you pick up your camper.

Items to leave at home:
  • Electronics – we encourage campers to stay engaged with their surroundings and have found that electronics tend to make this more difficult.
  • Cell Phones – aside from other electronics, phones (or any quick way to contact home) can actually make a camper feel more homesick. When campers are having trouble with homesickness or other issues, it is best for them to tell their counselor, who can help them to find solutions at camp. If the issue persists, the Camp Director will contact parents.
  • Food – the cabins at Camp Namanu are rustic by design. This means that any food could invite unwanted pests into living spaces.
  • Namanu is alcohol, tobacco, and drug free – If this is a concern for you, please talk to your camper about our policy prior to camp.
    Personal sports equipment, vehicles, animals and weapons should be left at home.
Lost and Found:

Camper items left behind will be stored on site at Camp for 2 weeks following each session, after that date, all items will be most likely moved to the downtown office. Regarding lost and found: contact the Registrar by email registrar@campfirecolumbia. Please include “LOST & FOUND” and the session that your child attended, in the subject line. You can also call Camp Namanu’s main line in Sandy, OR: 503-695-6041.

Pictures of remaining Lost and Found items will be posted on our Facebook page from July through September. Any items not retrieved from the Lost and Found by October 1st will be donated or disposed of.

Questions about Camp Registration:

Contact, or call us directly at 971-340-1608.


The Namanu Summer 2018 Financial Aid Application will be available in January 2018, and the deadline for best consideration of an award is April 1st, 2018. Applications will be accepted after the deadline and throughout the camp season, however funding may be limited after the deadline.

Financial Aid Applications for Summer 2018 programming will be available in January 2018. You may choose to register early with your deposit to hold your spot and submit your Financial Aid request later. There are no guarantees for Financial Aid awards or amounts, and the cancellation policies apply to all registrations. If this concerns you, please wait until January when Financial Aid Applications are being accepted to register and apply. Our registrar can assist you in the process. Financial Aid awards cannot to be used in conjunction with coupons or other discounts.

Before processing your financial aid application, you must be registered for your first choice of session and have paid a deposit. If you need assistance please call the Registrar at 971-340-1608. At that point, please complete and return the financial aid application and you will hear from our registrars by May 1st, 2018. This years’ Financial Aid Application will be available in January 2018, with a deadline of April 1st, 2018 for best consideration. Applications received after the deadline will be reviewed as they come in. Please allow several weeks for a decision.

Our staff are trained in how to handle wet sleeping bags at camp in a discreet and respectful manner. All soiled clothing and bedding can be washed and we do our best to ensure that this is done in a timely manner, without other campers’ knowledge.

If you are concerned that your camper may end up with a wet sleeping bag, please indicate on the health history form so that we can be particularly vigilant in our bed checks. You may also want to talk with your camper about what to do in case of an accident. It is best if a camper tells their counselor immediately, and you can reassure your camper that their counselor will keep the information private. Our staff are compassionate and dedicated to keeping campers safe, happy, and healthy during the day… and even in the middle of the night.

Campers enjoy getting mail at camp! However, the Postal Service can take more time than one would think to transport letters out to Namanu. We do not recommend sending letters or packages to your camper by postal services. If you would like to send your camper an encouraging note or picture, please follow these guidelines:

    • Turn letters in at check in on Sunday
    • Please do not send any food or sweets, as it may attract pests
    • If you sneak a gift or a note into your campers’ luggage, please make sure it is labeled with their name, just like any other valued items so it’s found if misplaced.


All letters must have:

  • Camper’s Name
  • Unit Name
  • Session Number
  • Day you would like it to be delivered

John Doe
Session 3
Please deliver Tuesday

*Please Note: Mail will not be delivered on Sunday or Saturday*

Campers also enjoy writing letters home while they are at camp. For younger campers, it can be helpful to send them with stationery that contains a pre-addressed, stamped envelope. We will do our best to ensure that any mail that we do not think will make it through the US Postal system will be available on the last day of the session to be handed over at pickup.

At Camp Namanu, we encourage campers to engage in games, conversations, or other activities, and electronics are not allowed. There is limited time for reading books, and campers rarely run out of reading materials. If you are concerned that your camper will not have enough to read, they are free to ask their counselor to borrow a book from our library.

One of the great benefits of Camp Namanu is the chance to unplug from the many screens that compete for the attention of young folks. If your camper is in the habit of using technology to get to sleep, we advise helping them practice other ways to relax, such as mindfulness activities (deep breathing or counting silently) or reading a book. Our counselors are trained in various bedtime routines, and we do our best to accommodate the needs of all campers. If your camper has trouble going to sleep, please let us know in the health history form and share any tips that have worked in the past.

Items at the store range from $1 key chains to nice, sturdy sweatshirts ($20-$40). While shopping at the camp store can be fun, it is not a mandatory part of camp, and we encourage families to send whatever they are comfortable with.

When bringing money for the store, please deposit it during check-in at our alumni store. At pickup at the end of the camp session unspent store account funds will be made available to you so don’t forget to ask at check-out. Any store funds not retrieved by September 1st will be donated to Campships.

Most of the health concerns at camp consist of scraped knees and simple headaches. These types of minor issues are treatable within the signed consent of the health form at the end of the week when campers are picked up. We will let you know about these at pick-up on Saturday.

For any serious or persistent health concerns, or those requiring outside medical treatment, you will be notified by phone as soon as possible.

For first-time campers we recommend the following:

  • Schedule a sleepover at a friends’ (staying at another family members home doesn’t always have the same feel).
  • Talk about what your camper is excited about and what they can do if they start to miss home (write a letter, look at a picture, or talk to a counselor).
  • Reassure your camper that everyone at home will be well taken care of and excited to hear all about their time at camp

TIP: When saying goodbye, it is easiest for a child to be the one to walk away, rather than the adult. When you drop your camper off, stand in one place and let them go with a counselor into camp.

TIP:  Reading encouraging letters with pictures of family or pets can be helpful for a homesick camper. You may drop these off with camp staff on Sunday.

TIP: Evenings and bedtime can be especially difficult for a camper experiencing homesickness. Be sure to send a favorite book or stuffed animal along with your camper to ensure they are able to sleep!

TIP: If a camper or family is in a time of transition or uncertainty, being away from home can be particularly difficult. If there are any major transitions happening in the family, please let us know ahead of time so that we can give your camper the support they need.

If a camper is experiencing extreme homesickness, it is best for them to try to engage with camp activities. Our counselors are experienced with coaching youth through these feelings, and are given training and support in this topic. There may be situations in which advice from a parent or guardian will help us in guiding a child through a challenge. In these situations either the Resident Camp Director or a staff member who has been working closely with the camper will get in touch using the contacts listed on the health history form.

When registering for a session of camp, there will be an option to request a cabin buddy. In order to honor these requests, they must be mutual and there must be only one buddy listed.

During check-in on the first day of the session, we will let you know who is in your cabin.

  • Medications (other than rescue medications*) are stored, locked, and dispensed under the direct supervision of the Nurse or Health Care Team. We are unable to distribute unmarked medications to the camper.
  • Medications will be collected at Check-In. All medications including rescue medications must be turned in and will be carried and administered by our staff.
  • All medications must be listed with dosage and time of day given on the Health History form.
  • All medications must be in original containers (Rx or OTC) with specific written instructions for use.
  • All prescribed medications must have the camper’s name and dosages on the original label.

*Rescue Medications:
Bee Sting/Allergic Reactions: If your camper has a known allergy to bee stings, or other severe allergic reactions, the camper must bring an appropriate treatment kit to camp.

History of asthma: If your camper has a history of asthma, you must provide medication for treatment. Even if your camper has not used this medication recently, camp activity (heat, cold water, or dust) can aggravate symptoms and we want to have every tool at our disposal to keep your camper safe.

We strive to make Camp Namanu an inclusive and caring community for all. However, our rugged site can pose challenges for those with physical disabilities. Similarly, we do our best to make accommodations for campers with behavioral/emotional needs. If you have concerns about your camper’s ability to be successful within the constraints of our rustic accommodations, please contact the Resident Camp Director, Steven Joinson.

Camp Namanu strives to provide meals that are healthy and well-balanced. Our kitchen staff are proud of their ability to provide a balanced meal for every child at camp. If the meal is not vegetarian, a vegetarian option is always provided for those who have indicated that preference.

  • Vegetarian Choice: Please indicate on the Health History form if your child is a vegetarian.
  • Vegan Choice, Food Allergies, and/or Special Dietary Needs: It can become more difficult to meet the needs of campers who require a vegan option or campers with specific food allergies (gluten, peanut, etc.).

Families of children with special dietary needs should contact the Resident Camp Director, Steven Joinson, to discuss their child’s needs and Namanu’s ability to accommodate those needs.

Every camper is an individual, and every camper has the right and opportunity to be authentically themselves while at Camp Namanu. While Camp Namanu has gender assigned cabin arrangements, we welcome campers who are in transition. If you have questions, concerns, or you’d like to discuss your campers’ cabin assignment, please call our Resident Camp Director Steven Joinson. He can be reached September-May at his Camp Fire office #971-340-1601, and June-August at the Camp Namanu office #503-695-6041, or by email at