Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of Camps, Retreat Centers, and VBS. Here you'll find:
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.
Arts Camp: A Creative, Customizable Alternative to Vacation Bible School and Beyond
by Christina Clark
FruitFULL Faith: A Spirit-Filled Life
Have you ever seen God at work and wondered why the moment was so clear? Have you wondered what you could do to try and connect with those moments and feelings? Paul’s letter to the Church in Galatia will come alive this week as we explore the “Fruits of the Spirit.” Seeing this fruit all around assures us we have encountered God. We will see how these same fruits flow freely from us when we walk in the Spirit. Scripture is honest about how complicated life can be. The “Fruits of the Spirit” show us we are on the right track as we observe, receive, and embody these virtues.
Welcome to Changemakers Lab, an interactive Vacation Bible School curriculum where children learn that everyone can make a difference in the world! The five Bible stories in this curriculum explore examples of people who experienced and brought about change in the world around them. These people provide a model for asking hard questions, working together to solve problems, reaching across differences, caring for all people, and imagining a new world. Kit includes two copies of each Leader Guide, one of each student booklet, Poster Pack, Music & Resource USB, two Invitation Posters, and samples of the Invitation Postcards and Student Certificates.
Operation Restoration VBS invites kids to be menders in God’s world. As they make connections between Bible stories and mending actions, they’ll discover simple ways to live out faith in daily life. Everyone at Operation Restoration explores language and practices to mend God’s world.
From GenOn Ministries: God's World in Community: Creation Care:
The VBS Book includes short morning and evening prayer services for families, five scripture stories and five corresponding activities.
The VBS Journal includes 2-3 open-ended questions for each scripture story AND each activity.
The VBS Psalm Coloring Book includes verses of Psalm 148 with blank spaces for illustrations or journaling.
Orange's Make Waves VBS Kit provides tools for a hands-on, memorable week that encourages kids to grow in faith and share God’s love with the people around them.
MennoMedia's 2022 VBS Passport to Peace focuses on
Compassion Camp: What Every Living Thing Needs
Compassion Camp: Be Loved. Be Kind. Be You.
Compassion Camp: Changing the World with Lovingkindness
Illustrated Ministry; get the pdf here; join the Facebook group here; listen to original sing-along songs here or watch here.
Prayers for Compassion Coloring Pages: Volume 2 includes five beautifully illustrated prayers from Compassion Camp. You can also pick up Volume 1 here.
Sparkhouse offers multiple summer programming resources:
ReNew and Creative Arts Camp are both for children and are structured in the traditional five-day VBS style.
Journey Together and Good Stewards Together are both intergenerational and have a default structure of one event per week throughout the summer, though they can be adapted for other time frames.
ELCA World Hunger offers numerous VBS approaches - including many with adaptations for at-home engagement:
Who Is My Neighbor? - MennoMedia’s 2019 VBS curriculum
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church offers their Summer 2021 VBS: God's Backyard Bible Camp for others to use. Thanks, Marion Hunner!
Growing Green Hearts offers multiple curricula combining faith & science to encourage creation care and youth leadership.
Cokesbury's 2013 Everywhere Fun Fair is touted as "very adaptable" by UMC leaders.
Clergy Stuff offers resources for Narrative and Revised Common Lectionaries, including confirmation, worship, preaching, children's stories, and VBS.
Faith Alive 5-session Summer Units series (for kindergarten through grade 6) contain everything needed: song lyrics and music, reproducible pages, complete session plans, and more.
GenOn's youth Summit provides a place for high school youth, young adults, and adult leaders time to grow in their faith, in their commitment to Christ, and in community with each other.
For a week during the summer, teens have the chance to get away from real life, hang out with people from all across the Midwest, deepen friendships, and talk about God. From the music, the movies, the games, the speakers, and club – all with laughter to tears – Summer Festival Camp really has something for everybody.
The Augsburg Youth Theology Institute (AYTI) is an annual summer program for high school students (9th-12th grades) focused on theological reflection and place-based vocational discernment. Curiosity is engaged in the public square through daily reflection with a theologian, community-based learning, small group relationships building, and worship.
A partnership to bring faith formation tools and resources from CAMP to your CONGREGATION
Building Faith offers VBS Reviews: About the Publishers and their VBS Top Picks to help leaders discern which VBS is best for their context.
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.
The Episcopal Church in MN has 6 Summer Camps for young people.
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 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:
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.
Learn more about intergenerational learning, ask questions and find assistance at email@example.com.
Share 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.
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.
Youth Ministry Land: Helping Twin Cities Youth Workers crush ministry!
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.
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-
Everything 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.
Themes and dates vary each year. Camps are provided in summer and are specific to adults or youth.
ARC Retreat Community offers a wide range of in-person and online individual, family-friendly, and group retreat opportunities. Find their full summer schedule here.
At Clearwater Forest each session of camp for children, youth, adults and families is rich in a variety of activities, fresh air, engaging worship, and connection-building. Leadership opportunities abound for all ages – from choosing daily activities, participating in planning and leading worship, to leading a cabin or quest group through the various daily activities. Register here.
Lake Koronis Conference & Retreat Center offers a beautiful lakeside setting for group retreats of up to 200 guests in Oct.-April and 300+ guests in May-September.
For information on packages, click here.
For availability and additional facility information, submit your inquiry by clicking here.
Lakeshore Center at Okoboji is located in a secluded setting of 55 acres on the west shore of West Lake Okoboji, with 600 feet of sand beach, complete with a canopy of large oak trees. It is an ideal location for family reunions, church retreats, youth group events, choir retreats, church leadership retreats, quilting retreats, summer camp, business meetings, and much more!
Call 712-337-3313 or email here.
Northern Pines Camp offers a unique environment for meetings, conferences, retreats or special events.
Several packages are designed to meet the needs of specific interests and events. For information on our packages, click here.
For availability and additional facility information, submit your inquiry by clicking here. If you prefer, you may call us at 218-732-4713 or email us.