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sacred playgrounds services

how we help camp thrive

Insight-driven choices. Well-trained leaders. Increased capacity. Measureable impact.

EXPLORE servicescontact us

Research & Insights

Generate insights that tell stories that inform choices that maximize camp’s impact and increase capacity.

Staff & Leader Support

From summer staff to executive and board members, keeping leaders aligned and equipped makes all the difference.

Speaking & Workshops

Live or video-based speaking, workshops, training, and breakout sessions on topics that matter to ministry.

Resources & Camp Content

We’re generating conversations in a variety of spaces about the current and future pulse of outdoor ministry.

Research & Insights

Effective Camp Research

Effective Camp projects offer actionable research into your individual or group of camps based on the methods of the Effective Camp Research Project. The insights generated in these projects have proven to help outdoor ministry leaders make well-informed choices, increase staff capacity, and maximize impact. 

Research Services

Gain useful insights into the vital groups that make up your camp community, like guests and donors, summer staff, year-round guests, and more. Or, let creativity and curiosity meet when we work together to design a project to generate information that leads to wise choices about the people and programs that matter most.

Staff & Leader Support


A spiral-bound guide and devotional written by camp enthusiasts and designed specifically for summer camp staff with refreshed content each summer. This handbook includes a section with training support, daily devotional covering 12 weeks of the summer, and appendix with additional resources.

Director & Board Evaluations

Leadership is vital in organizations like yours. Keeping your influential leaders on the same page makes all the difference. We’ve built three packages of support in annual executive and board evaluations to help get your key leaders aligned, informed, and effective.

Staff Training & Coaching

Engaging, interactive sessions in support of your staff training experiences delivered in one of three ways: in-person onsite, virtually, or via pre-made video modules on a creative, relevant variety of topics to help summer staff be well-equipped for what’s ahead. We’ve building a fresh set of staff training sessions for 2023. We also have limited availability for individualized, professional coaching for outdoor ministry leaders. Contact the team for details.

Speaking & Workshops

Live or video-based speaking, workshops, training, and breakout sessions on topics that matter to camps and their leaders.

  • The 5 Fundamentals of Effective Camp
  • Summer Camp Outcomes
  • Day Camp / Traveling Day Camp
  • Research-based Program Design
  • Research & Evaluation Methodology
  • Camp in Theological Perspective
Camp Programming
  • Experiential Christian Education
  • Day Camp Programs
  • Traveling Day Camp
  • Program Design
  • Camp as a Sacred Playground
  • Effective Staff Training
  • Staff Mental Health
Ministry & Leadership
  • Confirmation Ministry
  • Campus & Young Adult Ministry
  • Experiential Christian Education
  • 1st Third of Life Faith Formation
  • Camp and Church Leadership
  • Big 4 Influences on Call

Resources & Camp Content

Behind the mic, behind the research. Founder and Lead Researcher for Sacred Playgrounds, Dr. Jake Sorenson, is joined by host and camp enthusiast Jared Rendell for bi- monthly 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. Find and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Sacred Playgrounds explores the wisdom of camping ministry for Christian education and faith formation, examining its rich history and fundamental characteristics with compelling stories, groundbreaking research, and theological grounding. The insight and evidence presented in this book demonstrate that the contributions of camping ministry must be taken seriously among scholars, Christian educators, and ministry professionals.

Each week, we’ll share the latest from Sacred Playgrounds like yours. You can expect our latest article or podcast episode, something interesting from camps and connected ministries, and an opportunity to dive deeper.
Subscribe to get insights straight to your inbox. We’ll keep your information safe and to ourselves.

This course, delivered by email, will walk you and your team through the 5 fundamental characteristics of effective Christian summer camp. There are 6 weekly learning modules, plus one immediately-available introductory session. Each module consists of an interactive video, handout, discussion questions, ways to apply research findings in your context, and a next-level tip to go even deeper.

Contact the Team

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Effective Camp

Our research on camp effectiveness

Holy Ground

Summer staff guide and devotion

Rhythms of Faith

Camp as catalyst for family faith

Camp Builds

The lasting impact of working at camp

Camp & Church Leadership

Camp staff and church leader research

Camp 2 Congregation

Impactful travelling day camp research

How We Help Camp Thrive

Research & Insights

Turning numbers into stories

Staff & Leader Support

Aligned, equipped, energized leaders


Camp Store

Resources, downloads, and camp swag

The Podcast

Behind the mic, behind the research

Articles & Resources

The latest from sacred playgrounds like yours

Follow Along


Meet the Team

Buy the Book

Research Hub

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Free Effective Camp Kit + Course Discount

Sign up, get an occasional email, and download a kit full of effective camp resources. Plus, grab a code for a discount on the foundation-building, self-paced Effective Camp eCourse.

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