FAQ - General


Do I need spending money?
money, spending, merchandise, buying, buy, rides, activities, food, cafes

A few activities/items may attract a small charge, but none of these are compulsory.

  • T-shirts around $30
  • Hoodies around $45
  • Caps around $25
  • CDs
  • Other merchandise will be on sale too.
  • Hurricane Ride - $2
  • Other afternoon activities around $2-$6

You can also purchase tasty snacks at any of the camp cafes at cheap as prices (all going to great mission causes!)

So, yes, some spending money isn’t a dumb idea, but there is nothing else you need to pay for once you get to camp. It’s all sorted! Sweet deal.

Who organises Eastercamp?
organise, organises, Canterbury Youth Services, responsibility, responsible, CYS

Canterbury Youth Services (CYS), a registered charitable trust committed to helping local churches build healthy youth communities.

As well as our involvement with Eastercamp, CYS runs an annual Youth Leader training weekend, Amped Intermediate camp, and Xtend camps for Christian high schoolers.

Contact the CYS office for information on these events, or for youth leader coaching, youth work resources, youth pastors training courses, mentoring and networking.

See www.cys.org.nz for more info.

I am a camper with special needs and need to bring a carer to camp with me. How can I arrange that?
helper, help, special needs, carer, support, wheel chair, disabled, disability

It is fine for a person with special needs to bring a carer with them.

While parts of Eastercamp do not suit the needs of everyone, we make the effort to ensure that anyone can attend and feel part of the place!

Both the camper and the carer need to register and pay the full camp fees. Please state any special needs clearly on your registration form so we can assist you as best we can. Talk to your groups Key Leader too as they will be able to help you out with any queries and will ultimately be responsible for your young person while they’re at camp.

What is the provision for accidents and medical emergencies at camp?
accidents, medical, injury, doctor, nurse, safety, paramedics, hospital, sick, illness

We put a lot of thought, energy and resource into making sure Eastercamp is as safe as possible. However sometimes accidents and illness do occur. Fear not - a team of qualified medical staff - doctors, nurses and trained paramedics - are available 24 hours a day throughout camp at a specially setup clinic.

This team is for dealing with moderate and serious medical issues only. A leader should always come to the clinic with the camper and stay during treatment.

Serious medical cases or accidents are referred to Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department accompanied by a doctor, nurse or leader as appropriate. The emergency number provided by the camper will be used to inform a parent/guardian if a camper is referred to the hospital.

Campers should inform us of any pre-existing condition when they register. The Medic Team consults this report before treatment is administered.

I have a pre-existing medical condition/allergy. What do I do?
medical, allergy, allergic, condition, medication

Make sure you let us know when you register and state it on your registration form.

We pass all medical information to our team of medical professionals. This remains confidential within our medical team.

Make sure you bring the all medication you require to camp. If you have a particularly serious condition that requires some special attention, please contact us prior to camp to advise us and talk to your groups Key Leader.

How secure is Eastercamp?
Security, safety, safe, police, secure

We have a shift-based 24hr Safety team patrolling the site internally and along perimeter fences.

Non-registered intruders without a valid reason for being onsite are issued trespass orders and referred to the POLICE.

Eastercamp is linked in with the Police and they will have officers on shift around site.

If you want to come to EC, don’t try and sneak in - register!

Help! I don’t have a tent. What can I do?
Tent, accommodation, sleeping arrangements

Build one from logs, like Man vs Wild

Or… Contact your Youth Leader and let him/her know. They will ensure you have somewhere to sleep.

  • Talk to your mate who has a tent and bribe them with lollies for a spot in it.
  • Buy one off Trade Me

Hope for the best and just show up without a tent (no, actually, don’t do this).

I lost stuff at camp. How do I get it back?
Lost property, gear, valuables, lost

Email us as soon as you realize something is missing after you get home.

We do our best to reunite lost property with its owners, but please be patient. It can take some time for gear to be returned to the office, especially if it has been taken home by the wrong person.

Named items definitely stand the best chance of being returned. We may ask you to mail us a post-paid mailing bag before we can return your gear. After six weeks we donate leftover lost property to a local charity. We do not do mass emails out to all campers in search of individual camper’s gear.

PS: don’t ring us up with a vague description of an iPod… that bird ain’t gonna fly sorry!

How do I contact my young person during camp?
contact, child, call, cellphone, reception, coverage, message, voice mail, phone

Cell phone coverage at camp is patchy, but you may be able to get hold of people.

If you have an emergency, and need us to get a message to a camper, please telephone (03) 354 2181 or message us from this website (we’re always checking emails at camp).

If phoning, leave a clear message with your name, phone number, and the name and youth group of the camper. We will clear the office messages several times a day during camp, and the camper will be able to use the office telephone to get back in touch with you if necessary.

Please understand that with an event this size, and depending on what is happening in the programme at the time we get your message, it can take a while to track your young person down.

If there is a serious emergency reason you need to get hold of your child (e.g. family illness etc) then the quickest way is to come out to camp.

What are the contact details for the Eastercamp office?
call, phone, contact, details, CYS, Canterbury Youth Services, office

Please see our Contact page.

PS: our office isn’t always staffed (sometimes we’re out and about setting up bigtops and baking pies etc) so ring first. Please and thank you.

Do you postpone EC for bad weather?
weather, cancellation, postponed, cancelled, postpone, cancel

We’re tough and we know you are too, so we try to run EC rain or shine!

When you’ve got over 4500 people showing up for camp it’s hard to cancel/postpone anything with clear communication, so we don’t cancel camp unless the conditions provide any immediate serious danger to property or person. We now have a Cancelation Refund option when registering, please see here for more information and terms & conditions.

It is important you bring gear and equipment for all situations/weather, as it can get pretty cold at night, hot during the day, windy when it’s windy, and wet when it rains (obviously).

If you have any doubts about what to bring, it’s always best to check with your youth group leader first.

The news page on this website is the best place to find up to date cancellation and/or emergency information.

I have a friend who wants to come to Eastercamp but has left high school, can they come?
age, older, friend, restriction, too old

Yes. And no.

Easter camp is for those aged between Year 9-13 or are aged 13 at the start of camp (2nd April).

If you would normally still be at high school in 2015 but have decided to leave then you are still allowed to come. If you are older than high school age you cannot come as a general camper. You could come as a leader or volunteer. Talk to your youth leader or contact us CYS for further information.

I’m arriving late on Thursday night. Will I be able to get in?
Arriving, late, check in, registration, enter, gate

Yes, if you are arriving before 11pm, the check-in desk will be open. If you are arriving after 11pm, or on Friday morning, you will have to check in with the Safety Team at the gate. If you are the leader of a group arriving late, please let us know in advance.

I need to leave camp during the weekend. Is that OK?
leave, work, exit, leave pass, passes, sport, wedding

We can’t imagine why you’d want to leave, but if you must…

We take the safety of campers and security of the campsite very seriously, so coming and going during camp is discouraged.

Occasionally, however, people have to leave the site for legitimate reasons, e.g. for work, to give birth (it has happened) or to attend a wedding. No one may leave the site without a leave pass.

Before camp, campers who wish to leave must supply to in writing to the CYS Offices: reason for leaving, times of departure and return, a contact phone number while away from camp, and if the camper is under 18, signed permission from a parent or legal guardian. Download a leave application form by clicking here or talk to your youth leader.

When do the gates open?
Open, registration, gate, start, time, gates

The gates open for campers at 2pm on Thursday 2nd April. From that time you can register and set up your accommodation area as directed. Follow the instructions of the Safety Team at all times. Please note, non-registered campers (including parents) are not permitted onsite to help set up.

Youth Leaders and Youth Group Parents can set up at other times. Please check the Leaders’ Guide for dates and times.

I’m a vegetarian/vegan/fruitarian/aquatarian/am fussy/have a serious food allergy. What about my meals?
allergies, allergic, allergy, gluten free, vegetarian, special food, requirements, kitchen

We will be providing a vegetarian and gluten free option - but you need to let us know if you require this when registering. If you don’t, unfortunately we don’t cater for ‘those who forgot and then tell us at camp’, so tell us early, or you’ll miss out. (We mean that quite seriously – we cater on the exact numbers).

The kitchen is flat-tack turning out thousands of meals three times a day, so unfortunately it’s too much to ask them to handle all special food requirements.

If you are concerned about not getting your special food requirements met, we recommend bringing your own food. We will have fridge space available if you need it, but please let us know in advance, message us via the contact page. There are no discounts available for not eating the food. Camp is still pretty good value!

Yes there are pies, if you have a special requirement of having to have pies. In fact, the food is better than some of us have at home, so we kinda look forward to this all year.

What will I eat?
Menu, food, eating, eat, dinner, lunches

Food! And heaps of it.

Who’s supplying it? Us!

Yes, all meals on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are included in the camp fee, as are Monday breakfast and lunch. There is no meal provided Thursday night, but the cafés will be open for light (and greasy) snacks if you have a gap to fill. What a deal!

Do we bring dishes?
Dishes, plates, bowls, food, dinner, lunches, cutlery

Three options on this one friends:

Use your hands like a third of the world does. Messy, but you won’t lose your hands like you might your plates.

Hope for the best and “borrow” your mates plates.

Bring your own plates so you can eat the el-tasty food in style!

There are plenty of places to wash dishes in hot water, so there is no need to use disposable plates. Be environmentally friendly! Bring your plate/s, cup, bowl, knife, fork and spoon in a named bag that will last the weekend. Bring a couple of tea towels as well.

What is the best meal at EC?
best, pies, food, meals, dinner, lunch

Either lasagna, burgers, nachos, or pies. Tough choice. However, all the top meals involve meat and cheese (unless you’re a vego).

When is EC?
Eastercamp, when, dates, weekend, easter, March, April

Thurs 2nd – Mon 6th April. The gates open 2pm on the Thursday with the program kicking off in the Big Top at 8pm. Camp finishes at 1pm on the Monday.

(Why does it have to keep changing from year to year??!!! Don’t blame us, blame this system)

Put it in your calendar, you wouldn’t want to show up a weekend late… #megafail.

Where is EC?
Where, Spencer Park, location, map, spencerville

Spencer Beach Holiday Park. 110 Heyders Rd, Spencerville

We’ve made it easy to find your way there too! Use our super special Big Brother… cough… uh, Google directions feature right here!

What gear do I bring to camp?
Gear, packing, stuff, list, pack

Good question. In fact so good, we’ve dedicated a whole page to “what to bring”, and conversely “what not bring”.

Right Here

What don’t I bring to camp?
forbidden, don’t, valuable, gear, banned, drugs, alcohol

Use your common sense on this people; bringing valuable items is just silly…

We’ve got a page with all info on gear -good and banned - but since you’re here, absolutely no:

  • Drugs or gear to use drugs with. (You will get arrested)
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons
  • Gang colours or insignia (we’re all mates at EC)


Now’s probably a good time to remind you of the rules.

Is EC a Christian event?
Christian, religious, religion, church, God

You betchya!

But we welcome people from any walk of life to the event. You don’t have to be part of a church or youth group at all (but you do need to come with one) - you’ll have a mint time whatever you believe!

EC is a combined Christian Youth Group event. Churches from all denominations attend from all over the South Island.

Is Eastercamp Earthquake safe?
EQ, Earthquakes, safe, evacuation, aftershock

We’re pretty confident that Eastercamp is a safe place to be in the super-unlikely-very-remote chance there is an Earthquake/Aftershock/Jiggly wiggly/bumpy earth/ground movement type event.

However, talk is cheap - and the detailed answer is available on a Emergency Evacuation document we’ve made available on the downloads page!

Will there be bananas?
Food, Yum


What is Pie Day?
Food, Pies, Pie Day, lunch

The day we eat pies for lunch! It’s a glorious day.


How can I get more registration forms?
registration, forms, flyer, rego, paper, sponsorship, online

This year, all registrations are online. It’s much easier, faster, eco-friendly, (and if you have shares in Visa or Mastercard your dividend will grow too).

If you don’t have access to internet or a credit card/direct deposit access, talk to your youth leader – they’ll be able to help you out.

If you’re requiring sponsorship, you will still need to register the good ole fashioned way. Talk to your Key Leader about this, they have access to the form.

How old do you have to be to go to Eastercamp?
age, old, limit

You need to be at least 13 years old by the start of camp (2nd April) or in Year 9 or above this school year.

If you’re younger than this – be patient, your time is coming.

If you’re older than this, come as a leader or volunteer!

If you don’t know how old you are, we can’t help you… we have our limits, sorry.

Is there a family discount?
discount, sibling, brother, sister, family

Unfortunately this year this is no family discount. In the past the family discount has been a small discount to ease the burden on families sending more than one camper. We’ve pondered this and believe it’s better to target more needy families through our sponsorship system. If money is an issue for you – contact your groups key leader about sponsorship.

Can I register and pay a deposit?
register, registration, deposit, save, money, pay, fee

No sorry. We used to do that and it was a nightmare and still is a nightmare.

Each camper must ensure all fees must be paid in full at the time of registration. Fees CANNOT be paid on arrival at camp. Registrations close Friday 27th March, 5pm.

I’ve registered for camp, but now I can’t come. Can I get a refund?
cancel, cancellation, refund, money

Of course! Think twice about not coming though. You seriously don’t wanna miss out.

If you are cancelling before 5pm Friday 27th March, contact us to explain through the web form or by phone. If you leave an answer phone message, please be sure to state clearly your ID number, name, address and contact phone.

Where possible your credit card or internet banking transaction will be reversed, less the $40 non-refundable portion. Otherwise a refund cheque for the fees paid, less the $40 non-refundable portion, will be mailed to you after camp.

After 5pm, Friday 27th March, you need to notify CYS by phone with details as above and supply a medical certificate if you require a refund. Campers must phone their Youth Leader to let them know also.

I cancelled my registration for camp before 5pm, Friday 27th March, but haven’t got a refund yet.
refund, money, bank account, cheque, withdraw, cancelled

Don’t panic!

If you applied for a refund just before camp, chances are we’re flat out running EC itself… but we haven’t forgotten about you!

If you have not received a refund by the mid May 2015 please contact the CYS office and we will check it out for you. All refunds are sent by either cheque or direct deposit.

If you paid your fees by cheque, the refund will be issued to the same name as on the payment, and mailed to the address of the camper

What about late registrations?
register, late, rego

They don’t exist.

Absolutely no registrations will not be accepted after 5pm, Friday 27th March. This includes leaders!

Why? Imagine you are cooking a meal for 4500 people! Then at the last minute, the person who asked you to cook the meal said “Oh bro, can you cook another 200 servings?”


So, play nicely, register on time, get your mates to register on time and think about the cooks and admin team.

CYFS (or the Ministry of Health, etc.) will be paying my fees. How do I register?
CYFS, Child Youth and Family, invoice, register, registration, fees

Good question.

You need to contact your Youth Leader, as Canterbury Youth Services cannot sign the form as being directly responsible for the camper during the weekend.

The Youth Leader, or a Youth Group Parent who knows the camper and will be responsible for his/her wellbeing, needs to sign as carer, and full fees be paid to CYS in the usual way. Most of the time CYFS require an invoice from us, please contact the office to talk to one of our admin team about setting this up from you. We will need a purchase order number from CYFS and an email address of your case worker to make it happen.


I want to pay by direct deposit option, how does this work?
payment, bank, transfer, direct deposit, credit, dd, account2account

We are now using a system called account2account with Payment Express. This means you need to have your internet bank details with you when you register.

It uses a secure system to get you to login into your internet bank account to transfer the money.

Payment Express is a global leader in payment technology and their system is very secure. More information on Payment Express security here.

PS. using this option saves us $$$ in credit card processing fees, thereby making camp cheaper for everyone. Thanks folks!

How do I know my registration has been accepted?
confirmation, registration, rego, complete, completed, email, accepted

Ok folks, listen up! Be patient… we don’t have robots processing registrations, we have humans! And sometimes it can take a little while for us to get your rego processed, especially when we have 4500 of them coming in.

However, within a few working days of your registration being processed, a confirmation email will be sent to the address you supplied when you registered.

Sometimes this email can end up in your SPAM folder, or if you made a typo, you might not receive an email.

If you are not on email, and are not sure if you are registered, ask your youth leader. They’ll also have a confirmation pack for you with some all good EC treats and info in it!

I can’t afford the camp fees. Can I still come?
sponsorship, money, afford, expensive, help, fees

Don’t be ridiculous; of course you should still come.

No one should miss out on camp because they can’t afford it. Talk to your youth leader about sponsorship options. They may have some church sponsorship available.

CYS also has a sponsorship fund available kindly donated from generous individuals who think EC is pretty sweet, but you must apply to this through your youth leader. We require contribution of half the fee from the camper.

Can I come as a day visitor to Eastercamp?
visitor, day, pass, guest, gate, registration, register

Always a heartbreaking one to answer…

Sorry, but day visitors are not allowed. People who attend selected parts of the programme often unknowingly disrupt the community atmosphere of camp. Visitors also create headaches for our Safety and Admin team members who are responsible for the integrity of the site and the wellbeing of a very large number of young people. Let’s not even start on the headaches it causes the cooks.

This includes adults who are just coming to “have a look”. If you are keen to be involved with camp, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer to help: Youth Group Parents, Safety Team, site team, activities supervisors, admin, marquee set-up and pack down.

No, you cannot buy a “day pass” so please don’t ask.

What about people with non-food special needs?
help, special, needs, requirements, disabled, wheel chair, wheelchar, medical

If you have other special needs, e.g. wheelchair access to facilities, please state them clearly on your registration form.

Wheelchair access to toilets and showers is available.

We welcome everyone who wants to come to camp. If you need to speak to someone about your needs before registering, contact us. We’ll see what we can do!

How much does EC cost?
cost, afford, money, registration, EC, Eastercamp, fee, price

$145 if you register before 5pm Monday 16th March

$155 if you register after 5pm Monday 16th March

NO registrations will be accepted after 5pm Fri 27th March 2015.

I am a Senior Pastor, can I visit camp?
visitor, day, pass, guest, gate, registration, register

Yes we encourage senior pastors to come and visit their youth group to say hi and see what we do. Please talk to your youth group key leader to contact us to put you on the guest list.


Are there special busses organized for Eastercamp?
transport, bus

We don’t specifically organise ‘EC Busses’ but often youth groups will be bringing a bus out to camp. If they are taking a bus and you are able to secure a space on it, you’ll be ensuring you don’t have to wait in the often way-too-long registration queue, as you’ll get priority check in. Sweet deal!

If you can’t catch a bus, make sure you carpool! We can’t reduce traffic congestion, we need your help.

Is there car parking available?
transport, bus, car, parking

We have limited car parking available onsite. If you can’t use a youth group bus then make sure you carpool.

Some car parks are a short distance from the main camping sites so be prepared for a little walk. No cars are allowed onsite during the event without a car pass.  And no, you can't have one.

For security reasons, campers may not access cars during EC. If you know you will be coming and going during camp, please advise our safety team when you arrive otherwise you will most likely be blocked in – don’t say we didn’t tell you.

When can I collect my young people from Spencer Park on Monday 6th April?
pick up, collection, time, end, collect

Yes, all good things come to an end…

Camp finishes after lunch, Monday 6th April. Instructions for pack-up will be given and all campers can expect to be involved for a short time. Adults picking up campers can arrive from 1pm.

Please be prepared to wait if your young people are not free to leave at that time. Please be patient if there are traffic hold-ups, and remember that campers and volunteer staff are all likely to be tired.

You may have had the weekend off – we haven't! Your cheerful co-operation with the staff, Safety Team, and Police will be greatly appreciated.

Some youth groups are busing back to their churches. You should talk to the Youth Leader of the Youth Group your child is going with to arrange pick up times from their church.

How do I get there?
transport, options, bus, car, map, directions

Many youth groups come to EC by bus – for a few $ each way, it’s the cheapest and most efficient way of getting to camp. In 2015 campers who bus will receive a pre-check in option too! Check with your Youth Leader to see if they’ve got a bus organised. If they don’t, find some friends and car pool together, it’s way more fun and you’ll be helping us out with reduced traffic congestion too. Thanks!

Coming from the south or west: Take the Johns Rd bypass north (SH1). Left at the end into Main North Rd and immediate right into Belfast Rd. Right at the end into Marshland Rd, then first left into Lower Styx Rd. Right at Spencerville into Heyders Rd.

Coming from north of Christchurch: Take the Kainga/Marshland exit off the northern motorway (SH1) and turn right into Main North Rd. Take first left into Spencerville Rd, right at the end into Lower Styx Rd, and first left into Heyders Rd.

Coming from Christchurch city: Take Marshland Rd north and turn right into Lower Styx Rd, then right into Heyders Rd.

Check out the Google map for more detailed directions.


I’m a youth leader who hasn’t been to Eastercamp before. How can I get in the loop?
Leader, key leader, youth group leader, first, new, information, sign up

Contact us to introduce yourself and give us your details. We will send you a leader’s info pack and answer your questions. If you’re not the Key Leader – talk to your groups Key Leader, they’ll be able to give you everything you need.

How much do leaders pay? Do they have to pay by cut-off?
cost, leaders, pay, price

Leaders have to pay the applicable fee – there are no discounts for leaders. And yes, the deadlines apply for you too. Growing up = more responsibility, it’s a hard life.

What am I supposed to do as a leader at Eastercamp?
Leader, responsibility, required, job, youth leader

You’ll be hanging out with your young people! Making sure they’re getting the most out of camp, that they’re safe, well and also to journey alongside them as they hear the Easter Story.

Your Key Leader will have more info on what your role will be.

I’m a leader and I need to leave during camp, what do I do?
Leader, leave, leave pass, form

First, the general rule is if you’re at camp you are there for the duration. Only if you really have to leave, can you leave maybe… it is all up to your Key Leader.

Talk to your Key Leader, they have a leaders leave pass form they send into us, don’t use the general leave pass form. The reason you need to see your Key Leader is we need to know they are ok for you to leave, as it affects leader ratio.


I’m a parent with young people who want to go to camp and I’d like more details. Who should I contact?
parent, more, information, contact, questions, details, CYS

Ask your young person which youth group they plan to attend with, and then contact the Youth Leader from that group, or the church. They have a letter to parents with more information on it to give you. Or download it on this website under the Parents section.

If you can’t get hold of any youth groups or don’t know where to start, contact us at CYS.

If I want to watch TV while my kids are at camp, how do I turn it on?
TV, television, help, remote

This is a tricky one.

Pray that your kid’s cellphones are in range and text them.

If you can’t get hold of them, then you’ve got a problem.

There is nothing on this earth that could make you understand how to use a fancy remote control and nothing in the next that could convey to you the complexities of using the buttons on the TV itself.

I’ve been asked to come to Eastercamp as a Youth Group Parent. What will this involve?
Volunteer, volunteering, youth group parent, involvement, involve

First of all, clap clap… we applaud you for spending your Easter holiday helping out with your youth community!

You provide an adult presence based in your youth group’s area as well as helping out with the general running of camp for a short period of time. Your Youth Leader has more information for you in the Leaders’ Guide.

Once you have registered for camp, we can send you a copy of the Leaders’ Guide on request. You should familiarize yourself with the information on the Leaders page on this website. If you have questions in the meantime, please ask your Youth leader. They will have more details about this.

I want to come and visit my child at Eastercamp. How do I arrange this?
visit, visitor, see, child, day

Sorry, but we don’t allow day visitors.

Visitors often unknowingly disrupt the programme of the event and cause havoc for our already overworked cooks. If you want to see what’s going on then sign up as a Youth Group Parent through your child’s youth group or a come as Camp Volunteer.