Blog

STORIES FROM SACRED PLAYGROUNDS

Never alone

When I was a backpacking guide at Sky Ranch, I often read from Deuteronomy to help my campers prepare themselves physically and spiritually for life in the backcountry. You see, it is important for a Christian to understand when to read scripture literally and when to...

Searching for OUTCOMES at Christian Camps

“Camp changed my life.” I have heard this (or something similar) over and over again from staff members, campers, parents, and church workers. I have even spoken these words about my own camp experiences. Some camp professionals speak about camp as a “mountaintop...

Introducing Anna

It is early September. Most students are back in school. Most churches are easing into a program year, many restarting Christian education programming like confirmation and Sunday School. At camp, the summer staff have departed, the retreat season interns have...

From Ministry Bastions to Ports of Entry

Why is there a disconnect between ministries of the Church? It sometimes seems as if the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. Ministries that are natural partners do not support or mutually reinforce one another. I often cannot figure out if this is...

People and Place: Finding Christ at Camp Calumet

I arrived at Camp Calumet late Wednesday afternoon, leaving just enough time for a short walk through camp before dinner. Stretching my legs felt good after a day of travel. I strolled through the campground, past scores of campsites filled with tents, RVs, and...

The Education Crisis in America

We have an education crisis in this country. We live in the age of “alternative facts.” We can argue that something as preposterous as an alternative fact does not exist, but let’s be critical realists for a moment and accept that alternative facts exist because...

Start a Fire: From Tolerating to Place Sharing

It was a truly extraordinary group of boys. There were eight in the cabin group, and it was the third day of camp. They were all in high school, and they were physically fit, very successful athletes. They worked together and thrived on competitive activities. The...

Sacred Playgrounds

My youngest son Nathanael has a playground radar. Ever since he was old enough to walk and talk, he could seemingly sense them from miles away. We would be driving down the highway at 60 mph, and he could spot a rusty old slide in the middle of an overgrown field....

What Parents Want from Camp

There is nothing quite like picking up a child from summer camp. I watched thousands of parents do this over the years that I worked at various camps, and now I get the chance to do it myself when I pick up my own children. I am convinced that there is really only one...

What is the Goal of Camp?

It was halftime, and we were behind. It was my junior year on the high school football team, and we had to win in order to make the playoffs. We could not seem to get our offense going, and our team’s offensive coordinator stood before our sweaty, exhausted team. He...

Only 12 Campers??

He was not quite in a panic, but there was clear concern in his voice when my brother called on Sunday afternoon. He had just dropped off my niece for her first week ever of summer camp at Bethel Horizons near Madison, WI. He had met the director and had a nice...

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