STRONG & COURAGEOUS: Day One

Our National Conference, STRONG & COURAGEOUS is officially underway!

As I type this, I’m sitting behind the Registration & Information Desk in the Atlas Foyer of the beautiful Town and Country Resort Hotel in San Diego, California. The conference is a joint effort between CCI/Canada and our U.S. counterparts, the Christian Camp & Conference Association. It has been a pleasure to meet our Canadian members as they begin to register today. What a wonderful community we have!

This year’s conference theme comes from the first chapter of Joshua. Here’s verse nine:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The command to “be strong and courageous” appears four times in this chapter. God truly desired to equip Joshua with the tools and courage necessary to accomplish great things — just as He wants to encourage you to face challenges within your camp ministry with the strength and courage of Joshua.

Just as God provided Joshua with what he needed to be a strong leader to bring God’s people into the promised land, He will give you what you need to lead your ministry. That’s why this conference is so jam-packed with educational opportunities. We’ve got conference-long workshops, two- to four-hour intensives, and traditional seminars with dozens of topics to choose from. There is so much to learn from some really excellent, well-informed instructors and speakers.

Today is just a registration day, but I will keep you all posted on the goings-on of the conference each day! Watch for more posts, and hopefully some photos!

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“8 Small Busines Social Media Tips from the Pros” – a great resource for camps, too!

This morning, I took a break from sifting through the MANY emails about our new website (glad you’re all logging on and checking things out, by the way… I hope you like what you see!) to read this great little article from the Social Media Examiner on how to create an engaging social media page (be it Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube) for your small business — or in most of your cases, for your camp.

You know I’ve been harping on all of you to get into social networking more. Summer camp is built on young people. They’re your campers and they’re your staff. Chances are, they want to stay connected with you, and newsletters through the mail might not be the best way to reach this audience.

Social media can be a powerful tool to generate support for your camp. And it can be really easy. Feel free to contact me if you need any help!

End of the week camp resource round-up!

It’s the weekend! For some of you that means time off, but many of you are probably out serving rental groups at your camps. But before you head into next week, I thought I’d provide a few links you might find helpful. They deal with three very different topics, and at the very least, they’ll be something to think about!

Five Online Learning Resources to Help You Run a Better Business

I think the information in this article is useful for nonprofits and camps as well, depending on how far your particular camp takes its marketing, fund development, and public relations efforts. The resources suggested in the article can help you with things as complex as coding or simple as starting on Facebook. I think they’re worth taking a look at, if you want to try new things to grow your camp!

Team Building Activities, Initiative Games, and Problem Solving Exercises

This is a fun little list of engaging team-building games that you can use in a variety of settings. You might want to try some of them with your staff to break the ice, develop communication, and get them to interact with one another positively and purposefully. This would be especially helpful if you’ve hired some new staff at the beginning of this fall season.

You might also want to develop a program to offer team-building workshops to corporate or school groups. These types of services are sought-after, and might attract clients to consider a retreat at your camp.

Four Great Arena Games for Horseback Riding Programs

For those of you with horse programs, games on horseback can be a fun alternative to trail rides or regular lessons. Maybe some windy weather has rendered your trails impassable, or maybe the group just seems more suited to arena riding — either way, playing some games in the arena is a great idea. Without even realizing it, the riders will be developing skill at controlling their horse, and they will be more engaged with you, their horse, and the other participants. Having some solid arena game ideas can really add to your horse program!