Dear Ministry Leader,

You live and work at a sacred playground. Now, you have access to research and resources to maximize your ministry's impact.

"The most helpful tool in my years here with developing summer staff"

TOM POWELL   Caroline Furnace Camp & Retreat

holy ground 2024

Summer staff are the heart of outdoor ministry. Guide them.


1: Training & outdoor ministry foundations

The front section of the guide is filled with resources that support training and onboarding, as well as familiarize staff with the foundations of effective outdoor ministry. It includes the 5 fundamentals of effective camp, mental health support, conflict resolution, and more.

2: A 12-Week Devotional

Designed for your incredible summer staff and written by current and former summer camp staff members, this 12-week devotional serves as a centering and resting place for their spirit each day. It is built to walk with them through their summer staff journey with 2 weeks of staff training focused devotions, 8 regular summer week, and 2 weeks of post-camp devotions after summer.

3: support resources

The back section is filled with helpful resources for your summer staff to use personally and in their roles. It includes things like a Bible reading plan, prayer support, devotion how to, and more.

We generate insights, equip leaders, and connect partners to help camp ministries thrive.

How could the ministry you care about benefit from actionable research, next-level training, insightful strategy, and increased capacity? Let’s find out.


The Rhythms of Faith Project seeks to empower parents and caregivers in family faith formation by leveraging the power of camp experiences to establish rhythms of faith through regular Christian practices.

This project is a 5-year, nationwide, cross-denominational initiative coordinated by Wheaton College’s Center for Leadership Development (HoneyRock), in partnership with Sacred Playgrounds, and generously funded by Lilly Endowment Inc.

The project seeks faith formation through partnership: partnership among parents/caregivers; partnership among camps, congregations, and the home; partnership among practitioners and the academy; partnership among different Christian traditions. We bring together scholars and practitioners from Lutheran, United Methodist, and Evangelical traditions, drawing experience from camp, clergy, and academy.

Since 2015, the Effective Camp Project has been gathering data on the key characteristics and impacts of the Christian summer camp experience. We have gathered data from more than 7,000 campers and more than 2,000 parents at dozens of camps across the USA and in Canada.

Power of Camp participants measure camper growth in faith outcomes, gain valuable parent perspectives, and learn how their camp compares to other CCCA camps, and utilize the results to create impactful improvements. The Power of Camp Study is a deep dive into the effectiveness of outdoor ministries in the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) and includes camps from across the country with diverse programs and perspectives.

CampWell is a multi-tiered training course that guides participants to identify, understand, cultivate, and create a community of wellbeing at camp.

Created in collaboration with the American Camp Association and supported by the H.E. Butt Foundation, the program aims to help all be well at camp and seeks to create consistent care across the spectrum of all summer learning spaces. As a partner in this project, Sacred Playgrounds is helping expand an understanding of spiritual wellbeing at camp.

CampWell is a six-hour skills-based, in-person, multi-tiered, training course that guides participants to identify, understand, cultivate, and create a community of well-being. Created in collaboration with the American Camp Association and supported by the H.E. Butt Foundation the training program aims to help all be well at camp and seeks to create consistent care across the spectrum of all summer learning spaces. As an immersive learning program CampWell is uniquely designed to help leaders shape programs that incorporate the tools, self-awareness, and understanding needed to enhance the experience and safety for all.


The Sacred Playgrounds Podcast

Behind the mic. Behind the research. For the future of ministry.

Founder and Lead Researcher for Sacred Playgrounds, Dr. Jake Sorenson, is joined by host and camp enthusiast Jared Rendell for some intriguing conversations about camp and why it matters based on the latest research. Each episode we’ll focus on one thing that’s making a difference right now in outdoor ministry.

Listen & SubscribeSupport the Podcast

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