Episode 156 – Unlocking the Power of Camp Ministry: Breaking Down Walls and Opening Hearts

This episode is all about camp. We’ll uncover the secrets behind breaking down walls and opening hearts, discuss strategies for recruiting dedicated volunteers and leaders, and give tips for addressing parents’ concerns about camp.


  • There’s something about camp ministry that breaks down walls so quickly and opens people up to what God wants to do in their life. It gets people out of their norms, out of their normal locations, out of their normal activities.
  • Camp ministry can help fight depression and anxiety. It helps break us out of routines and reconnect with God, with others, and with nature.


  • Recruit all year long. Keep the conversation going. Don’t wait until camp is a few months or weeks away.
  • Don’t overlook or compromise training! When people aren’t trained to do ministry well, they are going to feel like they’re failing and do not want to come back. You get what you inspect not what you expect.
  • You may need to recruit from outside of your group. At the same time, make sure you have a very thorough vetting and training process for those people.
  • Build a team that’s big enough to accomplish your win. How many leaders do you want per camper?
  • It’s OK that you’re not the one running everything. Train people and then hand them the ministry. Often church leaders feel like they have to build and execute everything on their own.
  • Questions that parents may have about camp that we can help address for them:
    • What will my camper learn?
    • Who will my camper be housed with? (What about being housed with unsaved people?)
    • What about safety?
    • Will it be fun?
  • Camp directors and youth pastors need to clearly communicate with speakers or do research to know what kind of topics and content will be covered. Will there be scripture shared or just funny stories? Will the topics be age appropriate? These are questions that must be explored.
  • Camping idea to steal: create a side program for the kids of leaders and staff so they can fully engage with the camp programs as well.
  • Encourage leaders and volunteers to engage with the content and program along with the campers. We as leaders need to be encouraged spiritually too!
  • Lesson content and video about suicide:
  • As someone who leads in a camping ministry, your primary job and responsibility to care for and value people. Giving people truth that they can understand and apply. Value and train your counselors and volunteers, and pour into their lives as well!
  • Camp directors and leaders should be sitting in the meetings listening and taking notes along with the campers! That communicates that the meeting is important.
  • Recruit for scholarships all year long as well! There are people who have been impacted by camp and they would love to help fund someone else’s time at camp so they can have the same life-changing experience.
  • Connect with Kyle: kylegray@wol.orgKyle’s Youth Ministry Podcast: Stacking Chairs
  • Connect with Renee: renee.wilson@ministryarchitects.com
  • Connect with Brandon: brandoncollins.orgbrandon.collins@ministryarchitects.com