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Blog

STORIES FROM SACRED PLAYGROUNDS

Footprints in the Snow

Morning at the Sorenson household. Pandemonium. It is a school day. And it is the middle of winter. Dry skin, tired eyes, and noise – lots of noise. Where’s the coffee? Watch out for running children as you move about the house, trying desperately to reach the sounds...

Give the Gift of Camp

“It's that time of year when we need Christmas wish lists from the kids.” The email arrived from my children’s grandmother in early October. It is indeed that time of the year when we often buy gifts for people we love.  You have children in your life that you love....

The Ride Home

The windows are down. The country air mercifully streams in the vehicle as you drive away from the camp property. There is nothing quite like the smell of a child after a week or more at summer camp. There is something wild about that smell. There is B.O., to be sure,...

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....