THE PUZZLE OF TRENDS DECIPHERING THE INTERSECTION OF CULTURE AND CAMP. INSIDE KID CULTURE 18 l MAXIMIZING STRENGTHSFINDER 34 l WHAT YOUR FENCE SAYS 46

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1 INSIDE KID CULTURE 18 l MAXIMIZING STRENGTHSFINDER 34 l WHAT YOUR FENCE SAYS 46 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014 l A PUBLICATION OF CHRISTIAN CAMP AND CONFERENCE ASSOCIATION THE PUZZLE OF TRENDS DECIPHERING THE INTERSECTION OF CULTURE AND CAMP

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3 February/March 2014 Volume 18 Number 1 FOR THE CHRISTIAN CAMP AND CONFERENCE PROFESSIONAL THIS ISSUE KEEPING COURSE + CAMP TRENDS: FIVE FOR FIVE WHILE RESPONDING TO CULTURAL TRENDS 14 WHAT S INFLUENCING TODAY S KIDS AND HOW YOU CAN RESPOND 18 by Wayne Stender and John Brandon WHY CAMPS AND CONFERENCE CENTERS SHOULDN T IGNORE BABY BOOMERS 30 by John Pearson ANCHORED BUT AGILE KID CULTURE AND CAMP by James C. Galvin, Ed.D. FIND YOUR STRENGTHS by Trevor Williams by Jennifer Hooks SHAPING THE TEEN GENERATION WHERE YOUTH CULTURE AND CAMP INTERSECT 22 FIVE TECH TRENDS TO WATCH GADGETS AND SYSTEMS FOR FUTURE CAMP MINISTRY 26 THE POWER OF STRENGTHSFINDER TO IMPROVE YOUR TEAM AND MINISTRY 34 + STRENGTHSFINDER TOOLS AND ASSESSMENTS + MORE STRENGTHS RESOURCES by Mark Matlock BUSINESS IS BOOMING COVER PHOTOS: Courtesy of CRISTA Camps, Inspiration Point Christian Camp and Conference Center and Frontier Camp. Also: Digital Vision, Getty Images News, istock, istock Editorial, Pixland and Stockbyte. EVERY ISSUE From the Editor FORECASTING TRENDS 4 Jeremy V. Jones FEATURED MEMBER BENEFIT 5 New Compass Research INSIDE CCCA 6 Association News and Highlights CCCA MEMBER RECOGNITION 8 FEEDBACK 8 TIDBITS AND TRENDS 10 Done in Good TASTE THE CASE FOR EXCELLENCE 38 Joe K. Wilson Your Greatest RESOURCE PLANNING A HIRING HARVEST 40 Dan Steele Connecting with GOD TREND WINDS 41 Bob Tissot Plug and Play MARKETING GETTING SOCIAL 42 Penny Hunter In the Name of the LAW LEGAL TRENDS Jon Ruybalid Something to BUILD On DON T FENCE ME IN 46 Troy Griepentrog with Jim Fletemeyer INNOVATION INFRASTRUCTURE INGENUITY 48 Ann-Margret Hovsepian Final THOUGHTS THE POWER IS BACK 50 Gregg Hunter A THOUSAND WORDS 51 Advertisers Index 49

4 {E} * from the EDITOR* FORECASTING TRENDS JEREMY V. JONES Wisdom is a necessity when it comes to examining the past, discerning the present and shaping a strategic vision for the future. it be nice if there were WOULDN T an app for the cultural forecast? A day-by-day prediction of what fads would develop into Category 5 trends and which would dissipate into meaninglessness? Recognizing and responding to trends is much like weather forecasting. There are patterns to examine, data to sift and crosscurrents to track. And there are always fluctuating variables. Knowledge and research are important. Experience comes in handy for interpreting the nuances of different regions. And wisdom is a necessity when it comes to examining the past, discerning the present and shaping a strategic vision for the future. Gaining and applying the wisdom is ultimately up to you. But we think we can help. We have filled this issue with valuable insights and knowledgeable perspectives on trends that will most likely intersect your camp and conference ministry if they haven t already. Our crystal ball was on the fritz, so we turned to several seasoned camping veterans to examine how they have and ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS continue to read, react and plan for relevant ministry in an ever-changing culture. While they admit they don t have all the answers, we think you ll come away from Anchored But Agile (page 14) with more of the right questions to be addressing. In the connected series of articles, you ll find relevant insights on rising trends in each of the following areas: kid culture (page 18), teen culture (page 22), technology (page 26) and HERE AND NEXT the business of ministry (page 30). And attorney Jon Ruybalid s column reveals legal trends that could carry big repercussions for your nonprofit ministry (page 44). Of course, we ve got more great content. John Pearson s Find Your Strengths highlights camp-specific application of StrengthsFinder (page 34). And Infrastructure Ingenuity is the most innovative INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS and interesting article you ll read all year on waste treatment (page 48). Don t Fence Me In provides a rundown of the best fencing materials with landscape architect Jim Fletemeyer s input on the aesthetic qualities of each (page 46). And Getting Social delivers timely tips for a social media tuneup (page 42). As you continue to assess the culture and impact lives in real time, we hope this issue of InSite will provide you with practical tools and informative insights. You re welcome to re-examine these pages again next year to see how our trend-spotting measured up to reality. In the meantime, may God fill us all with wisdom and faith to follow Him through each unfolding day. l COMING IN THE APRIL/MAY 2014 INSITE: RELATIONAL SAFETY CREATING EMOTIONALLY, RELATIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY SAFE ENVIRONMENTS AT CAMP 4 February/March 2014

5 FEATURED MEMBER BENEFIT NEW CCCA MEMBER RESEARCH We asked. You answered. And with the help of Outsight Network, CCCA s 2014 member survey will be tailored to be even more applicable to members needs. Since 1990, CCCA has conducted industry surveys for the benefit of members. The survey instrument and questions had remained relatively unchanged in order to provide comparable data from one BE TAILORED TO BE EVEN MORE survey to the next. CCCA S 2014 MEMBER SURVEY WILL APPLICABLE TO MEMBERS NEEDS. But in an effort to better serve members, CCCA engaged the research experts at Outsight Network to poll members about their use of the information in managing their camps. The results provided greater understanding of the role the survey plays for members, and the new survey, called Compass, will focus on the needs that were identified. Over the years, CCCA has learned that camp directors are most interested in comparing their ministry with other camps based on spiritual goals and mission, ministry philosophy and similar denominational affiliations. They also want information on the types of campers or groups served, along with data on program types and effectiveness at other camps. Some members indicate that being financially responsible is also an effective way of measuring their mission, though not as important as the impact or increase in spiritual growth. Most want compensation comparisons broken down by regional cost of living and view this type of detailed breakdown as more meaningful than a broad comparison among all camps. Boards are interested in the spiritual impact on campers, stories about changed lives and the long-term effects on campers and groups. They also want to know about the well-being of staff. Donors ask most for stories about changed lives and the spiritual impact a camp has on campers and groups. Respondents say they would use additional information to improve, develop, change or remove programs at their camp, as well as to develop a better marketing strategy. They could use the information to communicate, promote and target marketing approaches to current campers and various demographics that may be underserved. WATCH FOR THE NEW COMPASS SURVEY IN FEBRUARY. THEN TRACK THE RESULTS IN THE CCCA MEMBER PORTAL (MY.CCCA.ORG), CROSS-TABBED BY THE INFORMATION TYPES THAT MEMBERS IDENTIFIED AS MOST NEEDED. February/March 2014 Volume 18 Number 1 Publisher: Gregg Hunter Editor: Jeremy V. Jones Managing Editor: Janna L. Jones Advertising Manager: Bob Baylor Designer: Mike Hames InSite, a bimonthly publication of Christian Camp and Conference Association, seeks to inform and inspire professionals serving in the Christian camp and conference community. InSite (USPS ) (ISSN ) is published bimonthly by Christian Camp and Conference Association. Editorial, advertising and circulation offices: 405 West Rockrimmon Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The NIV and New International Version are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc. Periodicals Postage Paid at Colorado Springs, CO and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster Send address changes to: InSite, Christian Camp and Conference Association, P.O. Box 62189, Colorado Springs, CO Phone: (719) Fax: (719) Web: Copyright 2014 by CCCA Award Winner $29.95 a year ($39.95 a year outside the United States) $4.99 per copy Printed in USA February/March

6 inside CCCA DECEMBER 1 3, 2014 ORLANDO LIFT NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2014 Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31). CCCA and CCI/Canada are pleased to join together again for the LIFT National Conference We re already planning an unforgettable experience for you in one of America s most popular destination cities, Orlando, Fla. the perfect place for a winter getaway. The conference will bring opportunities for excellent training, spiritual encouragement and fellowship with colleagues in Christian camping. Melissa Tenpas Internationally-recognized presenters will address topics of special interest and concern to Christian camp and conference professionals. And daily Bible teaching and interactive fellowship with like-minded peers will prepare you to soar to new heights in your ministry. The stress of running a camp or conference center, or doing any full-time ministry for that matter, can often weigh us down and cause us to drag through our week or month or year. But we are created to soar to run and not grow weary, says CCCA president and CEO Gregg Hunter. I believe God wants to lift us above the things that preoccupy us, and also lift our heads (Psalm 3:3) so that we get a new perspective, catch His vision and become fully equipped and energized for our mission in Christian camping. FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT PRICING AND HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS, VISIT OUR CONFERENCE WEBSITE AT AND SEE THIS ISSUE S INSERT. 6 February/March 2014

7 CHANGE LIVES THIS SUMMER THROUGH CORNERS OF THE FIELD Join us in impacting the lives of kids who couldn t otherwise afford camp. The Corners of the Field initiative provides grants to member camps and conference centers, allowing them to offer camperships to underprivileged children. The 2014 application process runs from Jan. 30 to Feb. 28, Watch your inbox for an announcing the opening of the application process along with links to the necessary forms. JOB SEEKERS AND FINDERS Seeking a new place to minister? Looking for staff? CCCA has online tools to help people and jobs connect. Camps can post open positions and job descriptions for all to see and review resumes posted by individuals seeking camp ministry employment. For one modest fee, a ministry may post as many jobs as they wish for the duration of the subscription from two months to a year long. Use CCCA s online job board to find one key leader or many summer staffers. GO TO Courtesy of Camp Zakila Summit 2014 SECTIONALS This January through April, Christian camping people across the United States will be gathering for sectional conferences with others from nearby camps for a time of encouragement, training and spiritual enrichment. Don t miss the sectional nearest you! Minn-E-Dakotas Sectional Feb. 2 5, 2014 Deep South Sectional Feb. 3 5, 2014 Florida Sectional Sectional Feb. 4 5, 2014 Ozark Sectional Feb. 4 6, 2014 Northwest/Northern Rockies Super Sectional Feb , 2014 Allegheny Sectional Feb , 2014 Tennessee/Kentucky Sectional Feb , 2014 Texas Sectional Feb , 2014 Rocky Mountain Sectional Feb , 2014 Carolinas/Virginias Sectional March 3 5, 2014 Michigan Sectional March 3 5, 2014 Sierra Pacific Sectional March 3 6, 2014 Wisconsin/Iowa/Nebraska/Illinois Super Sectional March 10 13, 2014 Pacific Southwest Sectional March 17 19, 2014 Alaska Sectional March 31 April 2, 2014 Northeast Sectional April 14 16, 2014 CONNECT WITH CCCA ONLINE: Facebook: Twitter: Website Member Portal: my.ccca.org

8 HAVE YOU HAD A WAKE-UP CALL? You know, an aha moment that reawakened your passion for camp ministry? Or an event or experience that refocused your purpose in ministry? Tell us about it. You may see your story in a future issue of InSite as an encouragement to fellow camp professionals to 250 words to with Wake-Up Call as the subject. By contacting CCCA, you grant permission for CCCA to use your comment in any medium. The content may be edited for length or clarity. FEEDBACK Scratch Is Stupid Sometimes, our Done in Good Taste column from the October/ November issue, drew some insightful criticism. Here are excerpts. CCCA MEMBER RECOGNITION CAMP ANNIVERSARIES Throughout the year, we will list CCCA member properties with significant founding anniversaries in Happy anniversary to these CCCA member camps and conference centers! 10 Years Alta Sierra Adventures, Emigrant Gap, Calif. Camp Victory, Cartwright, Okla. Inn at the Lake, Lake City, Colo. Shiloh Adventure Camp, Melbourne Beach, Fla. 20 Years Camp Hope, Litchfield, Conn. Upon The Rock, La Veta, Colo. Whispering Winds Bible Camp, Cook Station, Mo. 30 Years Camp Bond, Tishomingo, Okla. Camp Buckeye Retreat Center, Beach City, Ohio Camp Sonshine, Silver Spring, Md. Cedarbrook Camp in Pennsylvania, Denver, Pa. Philip Bongiorno Conference Center, Carlisle, Pa. Poplar Point Camp, Rockford, Ala. Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center, Toano, Va. NEXT ISSUE WE WILL RECOGNIZE 40-YEAR ANNIVERSARIES LET S RAISE THE SKILL SET Your observation that scratch cooking also requires skill sets is totally correct. But I say let s raise the skill set. Out here in the Northwest, I have taught many three-day baking sessions for camp food service people. I am a CEPC [Certified Executive Pastry Chef] and CCE [Certified Culinary Educator], having taught at Western Culinary Institute for 12 years. These sessions are a $300 investment that precipitates immediate results in the thousands of dollars as people go back and make their own breads. There is also the Christian Culinary Academy that holds classes at Cannon Beach Conference Center. When we invest in our food service people, they take more pride in their craft. It seems that we train our counselors and lifeguards but leave food service scraping the bottom of the barrel, equipped with only scissors and boiling water. Jim Krieg, executive director, Canyonview Ministries (Silverton, Ore.) CALL TO EXCELLENCE The comments about skill sets presume that we are not in a constant state of teaching and discipleship. I believe that your article may convince food service directors at other camps to choose the shortest and easiest route. This feels uncomfortable in light of the call to do all things as if doing them for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). Wouldn t this include teaching our staff to do the same? As managers, whether working with teens or with unpaid volunteers, isn t it appropriate as Christian brethren and co-workers in the kingdom to expect that they would aspire to Colossians 3:23 s call to excellence? I teach the younger kids knife skills, time management and cooking skills, and I incorporate the time into daily routines. Also, gluten-free and other special diets now take up nearly 15 percent of the guests who come through camp doors. But Christian camping has been excruciatingly slow to respond to gluten-free diets. The primary reason for balking has been inconvenience because most prepared food has some food allergen or gluten in it. I can make a delicious gluten-free meal, including sauces, for everyone and not have to make alternatives. Scratch cooking allows the chef or food service director opportunities to give those guests the same meal and the same high quality. Jerry Huls, food service director, Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds (Occidental, Calif.) EDITOR S NOTE: For more on the partnership between Cannon Beach and the Christian Culinary Academy, see Innovation: Recipe for Success in the December 2013/January 2014 issue. READ COLUMNIST JOE WILSON S RESPONSE IN THIS MONTH S COLUMN ON PAGE February/March 2014

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10 TIDBITS & TRENDS AROUND THE WORLD CULTURE THAT S WHAT WE RE TALKING ABOUT What are your campers and guests talking about? How about your staff and families? When it comes to Facebook, Pope Francis was the most mentioned person or event in the world during But football ruled in the United States. Here s the rundown of most talked about Facebook topics. READING YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS We recently asked CCCA members, What is the best book you ve read in the past year, professionally or personally? Here are a few of your answers. 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess Jen Hatmaker B&H Books In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives Steven Levy Simon & Schuster IN THE UNITED STATES Source: Robert D Onofrio, 2013 Year in Review, Dec. 9, 2013, Facebook Newsroom, Courageous Leadership: Field-Tested Strategy for the 360 Leader Bill Hybels Zondervan 10 February/March 2014

11 THOUGHT Motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis. Zig Ziglar, Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World (Thomas Nelson, 2002) FACTS & STATS YOU SAID WE RECENTLY ASKED CCCA MEMBERS: WHAT NEW PROGRAMS OR ACTIVITIES IS YOUR CAMP PLANNING TO IMPLEMENT IN THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO? HERE ARE SOME OF YOUR ANSWERS. Whiffle ball stadium Sling shot range High ropes adventure course Archery TECHNOLOGY YOUR NEW WEBSITE Considering a website redesign this year? Mobile is changing the way the Internet looks and works. Here are some of the biggest trends in Web design, according to Forbes contributor and entrepreneur Steve Cooper. Continuous Scrolling: Move from story to story or page to page, but don t forget to change your navigation to adapt with it. Larger Fonts: Resolution keeps improving, and screen sizes keep getting larger. Motorcycle, basketball, soccer or family camps College rafting and adventure trips Waterslide Outdoor education Discipleship school Flat Design: A direct influence of mobile, especially Apple s move to flat with ios 7, the flat appearance improves Web performance too. Source: Steve Cooper, Designing a Website for 2014, Forbes, Nov. 11, 2013, /#! Partnership for abused children in foster care istock February/March

12 What s going on in social media? Fast Company recently highlighted 10 surprising trends that could prove valuable to camps and conference centers. Here are highlights: 1 Twitter s fastest growing demographic is 55 to 64 baby boomers. Don t forget your donors. 2To reach people, 93 percent of marketers use social media for business which means there are plenty of people available to help your camp sharpen its efforts. 3 Smartphones TREND SHAPING SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY are ever present. Only 25 percent of smartphone owners ages 18 to 44 can remember the last time their phone wasn t close by. Schedule your social media to reach your usually available audience. Source: Belle Beth Cooper, 10 Surprising Social Media Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Social Media Strategy, Fast Company, Nov. 18, 2013, work-smart/10-surprising-social-media-statistics-that-willmake-you-rethink-your-social-stra#! TREND EVANGELISM OUT OF STYLE? Do Christians still care about sharing their faith? Are they actually doing it? The answers look different by demographics, according to two decades of research recently released by the Barna Group. The entire report is worth a read, but here s a summary to get you started: The Overall: 73 percent of born-again Christians said they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others 52 percent did so in the past year. The Encouraging: Though often criticized for forsaking faith or championing social justice at the expense of spiritual needs, millennials are the most evangelistic generation and the only generation showing an increase over the past several years. About 65 percent have shared the gospel with someone else in the past year. The Doldrums: Middle-age and middleincome Christians are least likely to share their faith. Both groups have showed the sharpest declines. For 30- and 40-year-olds sharing their faith, the percentage has dropped to 48 percent. Only 37 percent of middleincome earners ($40,000 to $60,000 annually per household) have done so in the last year. Source: Is Evangelism Going Out of Style? Barna Group, Dec. 18, 2013, istock 12 February/March 2014

13 THOUGHT Be sure to notice ideas when you have them. Stop. Take the time to consider them seriously. And if your gut tells you they re compelling, be fearless in their pursuit. Tim Westergren, founder Pandora Grace Nasri, 8 Successful Entrepreneurs Give Their Younger Selves Lessons They Wish They d Known Then, Fast Company, May 9, 2013, /dialed/8-successful-entrepreneurs-give-theiryounger-selves-lessons-they-wish-theyd-known-th#1 istock BOOK REVIEW THE MINDSET LISTS OF AMERICAN HISTORY: FROM TYPEWRITERS TO TEXT MESSAGES, WHAT TEN GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS THINK IS NORMAL by Tom McBride and Ron Nief John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011 For students who graduated from high school last year, Having a chat has seldom involved talking, and Washington, D.C., tour buses have never been able to drive in front of the White House. In addition, They are the sharing generation, having shown tendencies to share everything, including possessions, no matter how personal. These are just three of 60 items from this year s Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2017 an annual list created to remind the faculty at Beloit College, Beloit, Wis. and now the world about the mindset of freshmen who arrived at college last fall. (You can find the most current list at mindset/2017.) But perhaps even better than the lists is this book that grew out of them. In it, authors Tom McBride and Ron Nief provide additional color commentary on generational thinking but it s not professorially dry or dusty; it s fun and quotable. The book delivers a unique tool for camps interested in discovering or reminding themselves of the generational attributes of their campers. And it helps look at the common cultural trends that continue to shape the people they work with and minister to. I won t spoil the journey for you with too much information, but I highly recommend the book for your strategic planning process. The really fun part is that the authors forecast the mindset of the class of It s a The book delivers a unique tool for camps interested in discovering or reminding themselves of the generational attributes of their campers. fascinating way to look ahead at the trends you may see coming your way. In the forecast? These students will never have seen a folded paper road map, a paper medical record, a printed phone book or a check. And declaring it safer than aspirin, doctors have always prescribed marijuana for the slightest pain. by John Pearson, president of John Pearson Associates, Inc., a board governance and management consulting firm in San Clemente, Calif. February/March TIDBITS & TRENDS

14 TRENDS: Camp Strategy KEEPING COURSE WHILE RESPONDING TO CULTURAL TRENDS ANCHORED BUT 14 February/March 2014

15 by Trevor Williams Imagine your ship is caught in a storm, but a bright spot is on the horizon. Do you hoist your sails and make a break for it or do you drop anchor and wait for the worst to pass? That decision could mean the difference between staying afloat or gargling salt water. Camps and conference centers similarly want to stay afloat, and they have faced comparable questions as they ve been blown and tossed by the winds of culture over the decades. But how can camp leaders read the forecast and discern fleeting fads from hurricane-force changes? How can camps stay agile enough to respond to societal changes? And how can camp leaders discern fads from seismic game-changers and discern what warrants a programmatic tweak or a mission overhaul? AGILE For camp ministry veterans, maintaining relevance is an exercise in constant observation and balance. Steve Prudhomme, president of Grace Adventures (Silver Lake, Mich.), points to a pair of glaring game-changing trends during his 32-year career: the decline of the traditional family and the church s loss of cultural influence. Prudhomme and his leadership team witnessed the arrival of a post- Christian America. They confirmed the trend by reading researchers such as Walt Mueller, Barna Group and Tim Elmore. And they recognized the results as a call to become fishers of men beyond the traditional waters of the church. We said, We re not going to keep fighting to have people come to Grace; we re going to go to them, Prudhomme says. We took our biggest problem facilities and we flipped it. What started as a Christian youth camp nearly 50 years ago has become a Christian training center that conducts leadership programs in schools and churches, even partnering with non- Christian organizations on certain projects. Grace Adventures now serves 11,000 people a year on its 400-acre campus and 3,000 off. It hopes to serve 20,000 on-site and another 20,000 off-site by Camps still offer an unparalleled setting for spiritual transformation, but Prudhomme says they can t continue to rely solely on place and expect people to come. All of us have to move beyond programs, products and services, Prudhomme says. We need to make sure that the main thing s the main thing: changing lives and introducing them to Christ. istock / Lars Zahner Photography February/March

16 Other Approaches Grace Adventures has responded to large-scale cultural change with a largescale renaissance. But other camps are reading and responding effectively to cultural trends in other ways. Lana Jernigan, director of ministry at Camp Dixie (Fayetteville, N.C.), points to some of the same overarching trends as Prudhomme. Increasingly, kids moms and dads have different last names, she says. Biblical education has become more vital as fewer families study Scripture at home or attend church together. And camp ministries have the opportunity to play a key role in the spiritual formation of campers who are outside of the church. As culture has become less centered around the church, Camp Dixie has tried to respond. Brochures in churches used to be sufficient for marketing; now they re passed out to families at shopping malls. Materials no longer quote popular Christian slogans or song lyrics on their covers; they promote fun curricula centered around themes inspired by popular culture, such as superheroes. The gospel hasn t changed, but the methods need to in order to reach a new generation, Jernigan says. Camps have always been a place for experiential learning. I think that happened in every area except when we were teaching the Bible. Instead of listening to a sermon, kids at Camp Dixie now sit on the floor and work in interactive groups. They might Trevor Williams is the editor of Making Men, a book by Chuck Holton outlining five facets of manhood, and Global Atlanta.com, an international business news service. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Katy, and dachshund, Walter. him at Follow him on dig in a pan of dirt as they consider the meaning of the parable of the sower. And while Jernigan says they always want to give campers a chance to respond to God, even the idea of the traditional altar call has been rethought. What s an altar? In this culture they wouldn t necessarily connect with the term if they come from an unchurched background, Jernigan says. Nothing Is Permanent Wisdom is required to sort out fads and lasting changes. Once a trend is identified, how do camps know if they should jump on the bandwagon? Camp Berea (Hebron, N.H.) has learned the hard way. It pumped three years of research and effort into what it saw as an underserved market in the Christian camping world: college students and recent graduates entering the job market. The result? Complete, utter failure, says Nate Parks, Berea s executive director. The problem was that college kids wait until the last minute for nearly everything and often eschewed camp for other weekend activities. But the failure spawned a valuable lesson: Camps can t be all things to all people; they must pinpoint their unique advantages and use them to build a coherent strategy. At the same time, the idea that a camp can make a 20-year plan in such a volatile time is an illusion, Parks says. Everything s an experiment. Nothing s permanent, he says. We are back to the entrepreneurial startup mode in camping. If you think you have something stabilized, you re out of your mind. Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center (Stanwood, Wash.) has completely embraced the specialization trend, but its leaders run pilot projects to test the waters before making big changes. In its quest to meet a need in the community, the camp must ensure it has the right heart, and more importantly, the right personnel, says Ed McDowell, executive director. He cites Warm Beach s work with special-needs adults. What started with an idea from a concerned parent was first run as a day camp with 15 participants. The program grew as its weaknesses were exposed and mended with training from like-minded camps and outside organizations, including the Special Olympics. Overnight stays were introduced, revealing more challenges along the way. But the incremental approach has paid off. In its fifth summer last year, the program hosted 250 people, and it has unlocked a new dimension: Kids who previously came for a classic, fun camp experience are returning as counselors and volunteers to help special-needs campers. They originally came to be poured into. Now they are pouring into others through service. Now you re going to have the screaming fun at camp with your buddy. You re going up the climbing wall with someone who has cerebral palsy. You re going on the zip line with someone who has Down syndrome. Now, there s a purpose, McDowell says. Soon Warm Beach will introduce a camp for families of adopted children. The ministry s experience shows that serving local communities can help camps get out of ruts and back to relevance. A decade ago, more than 80 percent of Warm Beach campers came from church-based homes. That number has been slashed in half. What are the needs of our culture, what are the assets we have and how can we deploy to meet those needs? McDowell says. I think that s a question 16 February/March 2014

17 EXTRA INFO CAMP TRENDS: FIVE FOR FIVE Five trends camps will see in five years if they haven t already Privacy and Protection Camp Dixie used to notify local pastors when a camper accepted Christ, providing contact information so the church could follow up. Parents now see this as an invasion of privacy. They re also concerned about the safety of their children in the wake of church scandals and child sexual abuse. Camp Dixie is responding by training staff and working with a nonprofit that focuses on eliminating child sexual abuse around the world. Shorter Attention Spans Camps are not only competing with other activities, they re up against campers tighter schedules and shorter attention spans in the digital age. Campers are now willing to pay a higher price per day if the overall sticker price is lower and the timing works better. They want to come for an experience that fits into their life, Nate Parks says. For Camp Berea, that means more weekend offerings and fewer multiweek and summerlong camps. Beating Disney As camps look for new revenue streams, many have turned to renting out their facilities to groups that handle their own programming. Parks says that puts camps in direct competition with the Marriotts and other resorts of the world. And he sees this as a shortsighted game, as programming is a key way for camps to set themselves apart. Property is another distinguishing factor. When a camper s family sent a letter saying the kids chose Warm Beach Camp over Disneyland every year, Ed McDowell thought, What do we have that the Magic Kingdom doesn t? Camps can t compete on capital with amusement parks, but they can use this question to guide what investments they do make. Uncle Sam Wants You to Pay Taxes? Governments around the country are cash-strapped. Nonprofits may come under increased scrutiny and even be asked to pay taxes. Parks sees that as a potential death blow to many struggling camps. People better be following their charters because if they ever end up in court, they re going to be wishing they did. For more on this topic, see In the Name of the Law on page 44. Staying Grounded While on the Move More camps will likely take the experience of camp on the road. Instead of place, place, place, they should focus on people, Steve Prudhomme says. The consumers needs and wants are changing. Grace Adventures scrapped plans to build a 33-room hotel and has instead focused on taking its leadership training to families, schools and churches. The result is that on-campus programs have been made more lively by off-campus training. Trevor Williams that will push the parameters of traditional mission statements. Unifiers Christian camps retain immense potential as agents of unity in the body of Christ. After all, camps, ministries and churches are trying to adapt to the same trends. Prudhomme says camps must learn to partner humbly and constructively with the local church, creating a symbiosis that will help both make better disciples. McDowell credits camp leaders for a track record of cutting through divisions. The unity that is experienced among people in Christian camping is beautiful because they know how to resist dividing over the nonessentials, McDowell says. And it produces powerful fruit. Of course, unity might be forced upon some, as larger camps acquire smaller ones that have not been willing or able to change their models. As Parks reads changing trends, he foresees a great consolidation taking place as denominational camps continue to go private and other camps run low on cash. Some may linger by slowly selling off some of their land assets to survive for a time. Eventually camps will come together, driven by either the needs of the kingdom or the conditions of the market, Parks says. The question is how long and whether their impact is optimized. All speculation aside, one thing is clear: Camps continue to change lives despite all the challenges of the past, present and future. How to reach campers and minister to them relevantly will always be the ongoing question. Parks says only the camps that focus on the quality of their programs and the needs of their communities will answer it successfully, especially as the cultural climate remains in constant flux. Camps cannot be everything to everybody, he says. They have to be highly specific and focused. The key is that you have to know who you are, Prudhomme says. And you have to find ways to be relevant in the mission that is presented for you. l February/March

18 TRENDS: Kids KID CULTURE AND CAMP by Jennifer Hooks Reaching kids today is more complex than it used to be. And as culture shifts by baby steps, those steps seem to take place more rapidly WHAT S INFLUENCING TODAY S KIDS AND HOW YOU CAN RESPOND than ever before, impacting young people directly. If your camp or conference center serves kids, these are shifts you need to be aware of and responsive to. Here s a primer on what you need to know and ideas on how your leaders and staff can adapt February/March 2014

19 Pressures Press Down Kids Age Up A 9-year-old recently told me, I m a mini-parent. Unfortunately it s true. Many children today face adult-like issues. They re experienced beyond their years. They find themselves in situations where they must deal with harsh realities earlier, and they are forced to mature more quickly. Consider this glimpse of childhood in America. Violence is real. School shootings continue to darken our headlines. Schools everywhere have a heightened focus on security, and to children, the quarterly lockdown drill is unsettling yet somehow old hat. Kids grapple daily with bullying online and in person and they face rising rates of childon-child violence. Steady and rising poverty rates cripple families. As of 2010, 22 percent of American children under age 18 that s 16.4 million kids fall within the parameters of poverty, according to the National Poverty Center. Hunger is a real experience for millions of these children each day. And many families, still limping from the economic downturn, struggle financially. Loss of innocence is happening at home, in front of a computer screen. Here s a staggering reality: Children begin consuming hardcore pornography at an average age of 11 in the U.S., according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. By the time kids reach 16, four out of five Image Source February/March

20 A 9-YEAR-OLD RECENTLY TOLD ME, I M A MINI-PARENT. Jennifer Hooks is the managing editor for Children s Ministry Magazine ( and children s ministry resources at Group. She writes and contributes to numerous articles, books and resources, including the upcoming Sunday School That Works (Group). her at regularly access pornography online, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Buying influence means kids are easily manipulated power brokers. Children under age 11 collectively spend about $18 billion per year. Preteens, or tweens as they re often called, have heavy influence on more than $30 billion of parents spending, according to GlobalIssues.org. There are entire markets and marketing strategies built around preteen and elementary-age demographics. And many pop culture heavyweights like Miley Cyrus aren t selling their wares and values to adults they re cashing in on impressionable tweens and teens. The Real World Matters Kids today have a consumer mentality, and that goes for their faith as well. They re skeptical. They re used to being sold to. They re articulate and ask tough questions. They re unsatisfied with pat answers. Kids have a voice. And they re used to being heard. Kids have issues, and they re increasingly willing to talk about them and deal with them openly, says Toby Rowe, mission program manager for Group Mission Trips and Simply Youth Ministry. Ten years ago, if you had a discussion about abuse, stress, bullying, inappropriate behavior, or any other number of more mature topics, you d have had little interaction from kids. Today though, they re open to discussing those topics. Rowe advises that leaders should be prepared to discuss these types of topics with kids without lecturing them. If you don t, or won t, they ll assume that Christianity isn t very helpful in their very real world, he says. Staff must also keep age-appropriateness in mind when it comes to programming and counseling. This is true especially for preteens, who are aging up and ready for more mature, in-depth experiences. Kids aren t locked in a safe bubble, shielded nicely from culture and the real world, Rowe says. This is especially true of third- through sixth-graders. They know more, think more and can engage with more than you realize. Is that a little scary? Sure. Is it also a great opportunity to help them clarify their faith and perspective? Absolutely. Digital Is a State of Mind Kids typically view social media and digital communication as an extension of themselves, not as code cleverly manipulated to garner our clicks and dollars. They are tech savvy, especially with social media. Often today s kids are more comfortable communicating in this impersonal method than they are talking face to face, says Karl Bastian, founder of Kidology, a nonprofit that equips people who minister to children. The danger is that text-only communication strips away facial expressions and nonverbal cues. Not only is misunderstanding more likely, but it becomes easier to be cruel when you don t have to see the visual response to your words on the face of the one you delivered them to. This means kids have a means to hurt more without feeling the impact of their actions and to be hurt more by others. Kids also process their feelings and experiences via digital means, often exposing their innermost thoughts for public consumption by a sometimes brutal audience. Digital communication is a means to connect with peers. But how do we marry this digital universe with the natural one for kids? Camp is a great opportunity for 20 February/March 2014

21 young people to spend an extended amount of time free of nonverbal, text-only communication and to gain skills in face-to-face communication, Bastian says. Camp leaders can seize this opportunity to train kids in better communication, to guide them through face-to-face conflict resolution and to encourage the benefits of communication that is more than a short text message. Camps must also be willing to venture into a more digital existence to effectively connect with today s kids. We hear the words, I m bored more often than we used to in children s ministry, says Rhonda Haslett, founder of WeGrowMinistries.com. Generating moments of self-discovery and opportunities to create something in a group environment for kids is important for camp organizers. We have to be more open in our services to provide additional learning and life-changing presentation styles. The Norm Is No More Kids are increasingly living in nontraditional homes. This can mean anything, including divorce, cohabitation, grandparents raising kids, foster families or same-sex households. Currently, one in four children in the U.S. is being raised by a single parent, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Divorce is the most prevalent reason for kids nontraditional homes, with cohabitation rapidly closing that gap. What does this mean for kids whose families don t fit the mold? Summer camps can become sticky and messy, says Linda Jacobs, founder of DivorceCare4Kids. While almost every child of divorce will want to go to camp, many will have conflicting emotions while at camp. One on hand, the child may be relieved to get away from the chaos between two warring adults. Camp leaders need to be attuned to the fact that children of divorce live in two homes. Each home is important to the child. While talking about home life, remember children and all their different situations. For so many kids in our sometimescruel world, camp is a welcome, safe retreat. It s one of the few remnants of a more innocent era. Yet to effectively reach kids, it s important to understand their circumstances and to be willing to reach across cultural obstacles to welcome them into your world. Kids are kids, and they love to have fun, Rowe says. With all the pressures of life that kids feel, camp experiences can be an oasis. So it s a tricky balance of treating them with adult-like respect and conversation, but planning your events to allow the kid to come out in everyone. l Image Source FOR SO MANY KIDS IN OUR SOMETIMES-CRUEL WORLD, CAMP IS A WELCOME, SAFE RETREAT. February/March

22 TRENDS: Youth Culture SHAPING THE by Mark Matlock TEEN GENERATION WHERE YOUTH CULTURE AND CAMP INTERSECT 22 February/March 2014

23 This year brought us one of the most symbolic changes to everyday life: the ban of incandescent light bulbs. For more than 100 years, the incandescent light bulb has provided light to homes, schools, churches and places of business. Now these inefficient light sources provide another example of how deeply our lives are impacted by change. I imagine people felt similarly when candlelight gave way to electrically lit incandescent bulbs. Change is not easily embraced. Courtesy of Inspiration Point Christian Camp and Conference Center There are important shifts happening in youth culture and youth ministry as well. It s no secret that teens are early adopters of change or that teens and youth groups make up a large percentage of camp and conference centers ministry demographics. A new poll conducted by Barna Research for YouthSpecialties/ RealResources shows that 55 percent of senior pastors consider weeklong camps to be a very important element of youth ministry, and an additional 36 percent view it as somewhat important. With that in mind, youth ministries camps included should consider changes facing this generation that impact how we program our ministries. Plugged In Social media and technology are among the greatest challenges to the camp experience. Today s high school seniors have never been alive when there wasn t home access to the Internet. Most high school students have grown up with social media being an integral part of their lives. As adults who may be able to remember a time without such connectivity, we have an opportunity to offer a new kind of retreat that goes beyond geographic location. In previous decades the location of a camp guaranteed an escape from everyday life, and the setting was critical for the spiritual impact of the program. Now many camps offer Wi-Fi, and teens view their devices as permanent augmentations to their February/March

24 anatomy. Many parents do too. I recently spoke with a youth pastor who planned a no-cellphone policy during the camp week and found that parents were upset by the inability to connect with their teens. Some demanded that their children be allowed to keep their phones. TEENS NEED TIME TO DECOMPRESS, UNPLUG AND REFOCUS. YET MANY OF THEM PLACE LITTLE OR NO VALUE ON ACTUALLY DOING SO. Technology isn t inherently bad, but we have to be mindful of how these tools impact retreat and sanctuary and how they impact our teens. Going without digital devices may be a completely new concept to students, and camps may need to explain the value and discipline of unplugging. But unplugging may be a valuable opportunity to invite teens into a new experience. Transformation Economy The mid-1990s began a transition into the experience economy. Incredible, unforgettable experiences have been how we create Mark Matlock experienced his call to ministry during summer camp at Thousand Pines Christian Camp and Conference Center and has been working with youth pastors, students and parents for more than two decades. He is executive director of Youth Specialties and has written multiple books for teens and parents. Follow him on value for students. But every venue from schools and churches to malls, video games and amusement parks has exploited this experience economy. As a result, today s teens are unimpressed by the novelty of experience alone. Today we are moving into a transformation economy. People don t want an experience; they want transformation. They want more than a memory; they want to be forever changed. In the transformation economy, outcomes are important. What are the outcomes of attending camp? Are we communicating and delivering them? Are they the best outcomes possible? An encounter with Jesus offers transformation. Perhaps there is a real opportunity for camps to work together to invest time, energy and ideas in learning labs to test new programs that morph the deep structures of camp ministry programs. No single camp or conference center can do this as well as many that collaborate. Quantum leaps are possible through cooperative and collaborative efforts. Timenomics Time has always equaled money in American culture. Teens have been labeled as overscheduled since the late 1950s, but there has never been a point in history when time and attention have been such precious commodities. When publishers, record labels and movie theaters blamed piracy for decreasing sales, I offered another explanation to some industry leaders: the shortage of time. There are only so many hours to read a book, listen to music, watch a movie or play a video game. How we spend each block of 24 hours has become divided, and each hour has become precious. Taking a weekend or a week to attend camp has become increasingly expensive not in dollars, but in hours. Teens need time to decompress, unplug and refocus. Yet many of them place little or no value on actually doing so. This is a challenge in communicating the value of camp. We must become increasingly intentional about how we use time and space. In fact, it could be said that the essence of camp is creating time and space to personally encounter Jesus and one another. Camp offers so much that cannot be experienced in any other context, including the abilities to free teens from their routines, focus their attention and introduce new ideas. I know it s a whole week, but you won t regret it! is what we want to hear teens say to their friends. Let s be sure we guarantee that happens. l 24 February/March 2014

25 campaign kicks off Watch your and the CCCA social media pages for information about how you can take part in the campaign as we help fuel the movement of Christian camping. This year: more customizable tools for local camp use greater media outreach concentrated social media tools and posts to grow exposure online ad buys to drive people to find your camp and to help raise scholarship funds. Join us on Facebook! Courtesy of Inspiration Point Christian Camp and Conference Center

26 TRENDS: Tech Courtesy of Suitable Technologies Courtesy of VIZIO Courtesy of LG Courtesy of Courtesy of Alcatel-Lucent 26 February/March 2014

27 REGISTER BY MARCH 31 AND SAVE! ORLANDO ROSEN CENTRE HOTEL l DECEMBER 1 4, 2014

28 THE STRESS of running a camp or conference center, or doing any full time ministry for that matter, can often weigh us down and cause us to drag through our week or month or year. But we are created to soar to run and not grow weary. I believe God wants to lift us above the things that preoccupy us, and also lift our heads (Psalm 3:3) so that we get a new perspective, catch His vision, and become fully equipped and energized for our mission in Christian camping. Gregg Hunter Christian Camp & Conference Association President/CEO those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31). THANKS TO OUR PROMOTIONAL SPONSOR FOR THEIR CONTINUED SUPPORT GREAT leadership is the product of ongoing learning, careful application and godly wisdom. Conference is a time for quality training as we LIFT one another up in prayer, encouragement and fellowship. Together we maximize ministry and further the kingdom of God. Sharon Fraess CCI/Canada National Director CCCA and CCI/Canada are pleased to join together again for the 2014 Conference: LIFT. We ve already begun planning an unforgettable experience for you in one of America s most popular destination cities, Orlando, Florida the perfect place for a winter getaway. The 2014 conference, LIFT, will bring together opportunities for excellent training, spiritual encouragement and fellowship with colleagues in Christian camping. Internationally-recognized presenters will address topics of special interest and concern to Christian camp and conference professionals, while daily Bible teaching and interactive fellowship with like-minded peers will help prepare you to soar to new heights in your ministry. For more information about pricing, see the attached registration form.

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