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 arrived, and the year-round staff is either on vacation or just returned from some well-deserved rest after a busy summer. Program staff are assessing the summer programming and preparing for next summer. Pastors and parents, this is a great time to drop an e-mail or give a phone call to your camp and give them kudos for a job well done this summer and feedback for improvement for next year.

This seems like a good time to invite you behind the scenes at Sacred Playgrounds. We are a camp guy/former church worker and a pastor/former camp staff who want to strengthen camps and congregations. We’re also co-owners of Sacred Playgrounds, co-parents, and marriage partners.

If you’ve poked around the blog here at all, you’ve met Jake. I thought I’d introduce myself as the other member of Sacred Playgrounds — I’m Anna. I do communications, bookkeeping, and work alongside Jacob to provide resources to camps and congregations. I have been a ‘camp person’ most of my life, first as a camper (at Camp Vermilion, a girl scout camp, and Concordia Language Village Lac du Bois). I served six summers in outdoor ministry at two camps as staff-in-training, cabin counselor, kitchen staff, back-country guide and retreat site director. These staff experiences at Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry (MN) and Sky Ranch Lutheran Camp (CO) profoundly shaped my sense that being part of a faith community is an essential part of Christian life and broadened my understanding of what it means to be the church. These insights led me to seek ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and to Princeton Theological Seminary and the Lutheran School of Theology at Philadelphia for my education.

I am currently a camper parent of two and a pastor who attends confirmation camp with my 8th grade students. I am a champion of immersive faith experiences, like camp, for Christians of all ages. My passions in ministry are helping people hear the call of the Holy Spirit in their lives, teaching, leadership development, and equipping people for ministry in every day situations. Let’s start a conversation about how we can support you in your ministry. You can reach me at anna@sacredplaygrounds.com.