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Faith Formation: Camps, Retreats, Summer, & VBC

Resources including: Children & Family Curricula & Storytime; Confirmation/Affirmation of Baptism; Denominational Resources; Tween & Teen Mental and Spiritual Health; Sexuality & Identity; and Online/At-Home Tech

Welcome

Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of Camps, Retreat Centers, and VBS. Here you'll find:

  • All-Ages Summer Activity Suggestions & Resources (scroll down)
  • Camps for Tweens & Teens
  • Local and Regional Camp and Retreat spaces
  • VBC (Vacation Bible Camp) and VBS for children

If you don't find a resource to fit your need, don't hesitate to consult with The Ministry Lab's director, Emily Meyer, who is happy to assist you.

All Ages Summer Activities & Resources

Summertime Faith Practices Calendar and Certificate for Churches image 1 Traci Smith's Summertime Family Faith Calendar is available on Etsy!

Help your families practice faith at home through summer calendars! 
This download is for up to 500 copies for all of your church members and more for the community.

Gather Together: 8 Intergenerational Events to Explore All Creation SingsGather Together brings your entire congregation together to learn about All Creation Sings, worship, and spend time in community with this intergenerational guide. This will be a great addition to the worship life of your church. Participants will grow in faith, build relationships and have fun together. This resource includes eight different intergenerational events for your congregation to explore:   

  • Earth is Full of Wit and Wisdom
    • A Kickoff Event to Introduce All Creation Sings  
  • The Work of the People
    • An Event about Worship  
  • Image-ine the Possibilities 
    • An Event about Images for God 
  • All Around the World
    • ​​​​​​​An Event about Our Global Lutheran Community 
  • Life Transitions
    • ​​​​​​​An Event for All Stages of Life 
  • God is Here
    • ​​​​​​​An Event When Traumatic Things Happen  
  • Creation Care
    • ​​​​​​​An Event for All of Earth’s Stewards 
  • Climate Justice
    • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​An Event to Call All Generations to Action 

Paraphrase Theatre Paraphrase Theatre, aka, Jonathan Swenson

As a former parish pastor of over 25 years, Jonathan knows the rewards and the challenges of being a ministry leader. As a keynote speaker and actor, his aim is to help weary and worn out ministers using a unique combination of drama, creative communication and transformational teaching. HIs keynotes and workshops affirm and celebrate audience members and equip them with fresh and relevant insights.

All God's Children: The Church Family Gathers for Retreat

All God's Children: The Church Family Gathers for Retreat is designed for generations to learn and grow in faith together. Participants will study God's Word, participate in new ways to pray, sing and worship, eat and enjoy fellowship together. The retreat theme is Every Day with God's Word in My Heart, with the following 5 sessions: 

  • Session 1: When I Am Afraid, Psalm 56:3
  • Session 2: When I Need Courage, Joshua 1:9
  • Session 3: When I Compare Myself to Others, Psalm 139:14
  • Session 4: When I Face a Difficult Decision, Philippians 4:13
  • Session 5: When I Don't Know What to Do or Say, Proverbs 3:5-6

Find John Roberto, et.al.'s all-ages/intergenerational and family-friendly program and curricula - with new sessions released for free throughout the summer (2022) on the Intergenerational Faith website. 

The Jesus and Discipleship six-session program is now online with completely designed sessions, essays, and additional activities to extend the learning. Go to www.intergenerationalfaith.com/jesus.

Learn more about intergenerational learning, ask questions and find assistance at jroberto@lifelongfaith.com.

Decorative ImageShare Faith Stories This Summer

Summer is a great time to incorporate storytelling into gatherings, whether they happen in church or around a campfire. The Faith Storytelling toolkit offers ideas to get you started.

next to a picture of colorful kids' socks on a clothesline read the words "Family Faith Formation Toolkit"

Family Faith Formation Resources | Summer

This article is part of the Family Faith Formation Toolkit - a collection of resources for equipping ministry leaders, parents, and caregivers with family faith practices and resources, brought to you by Faith Formation Ministries.

Camps. Events. Gear. Support.

Youth Ministry Land: Helping Twin Cities Youth Workers crush ministry! 

Families Celebrate Summer

Families Celebrate Summer is a colorful deck of 56 cards full of faith-based activities, rituals, reflections, and other ideas for families to try at home and on the go. Perfect for families with kids ages 3-12.

BB_Summer_Reading_Bingo     Screen Shot 2021-06-08 at 11.53.05 AM     BB_LetsEatRecipeGuide

Looking for shorter-term curriculum for summer?

T.B.D.: Think. Believe. Do. helps teens explore what they believe and why they believe it, enabling them to build a robust theological toolkit. Each topic stands alone and comes with four sessions' worth of material, making it easy to use on a retreat, at camp, or on weekday evenings during the summer. The facilitator guides help leaders create space for youth to build faith, learn, and grow together. 

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness have a new website where you can find:

Young adults interested in working at a faith-based summer camp can use this app - available on Apple and Google Play app stores. Scroll for camp profiles to find a best fit; share info and resume to enter an application/hiring process.
Check out KTTC News' feature: https://kttc.com/.../new-app-aims-to-connect-potential.../

Judicatory Resources

Building Faith offers VBS Reviews: About the Publishers and their VBS Top Picks to help leaders discern which VBS is best for their context.

Brightly colored ballons

Building Faith compiled their Vacation Bible School Top Picks 2022

Plan Middle School & High School retreats and Family Canoe Trips with the MN Conference UCC's Outdoor Ministry.

MN Annual Conference's Camp Minnesota offers lots of opportunities for ages 6-18 and include an option for kids and grandparents.

Serve MSP: Aug. 2-5, day camp for youth, locations in the Twin Cities.

ECMN Youth

The Episcopal Church in MN has 6 Summer Camps for young people.

Tips & How-To's

Decorative ImageEverything You Need for An Interactive Series on the Faith Practices

Sermon. Intergenerational group activity. Midweek gathering. VBS alternative. We think these resources for exploring faith practices as a church community might work for any context.