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

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

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.

In-Person Day Camps

Picture of Delicious Bible Stories     9781791020255: Milk and Honey Cooking School

Lynn Barbeau's Multigenerational One-Day Bible Camp offers a swift mix of prayer, song, Bible, and indoor and outdoor activities and games. Super accessible for planners, engaging for grandparents, parents, youth, and children, and centered on Psalm 8 and creation care.


We see God’s love in close friends and family. We know that such love links our lives, teaching us about commitment, intimacy, grace, and faith. As we seek to create and strengthen life giving relationships, we remember that such love flows from God, links us all together, and we give thanks. 
Sample Pages from Linked by Love 


Linked by Love all-inclusive summer camp curriculum includes materials for a full week's worth of activities for different age levels. You'll find:

  • Bible study and community building activities for five age groups
  • Separate worship resources designed specifically for children and youth
  • Activity sheets to send home with campers for engaging families
  • “Letters from Camp” – templates you can adapt and send out to campers and families all year long
  • Crafts, games, science and nature, multi-day projects, challenges and group building, and much more!

Planning camp, training staff, and creating life-long memories has never been easier! 
Linked by Love Daily Overview

Arts CampA 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.

Sample Pages from FruitFULL Faith 

Changemakers Lab Starter KitWelcome 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 | Augsburg FortressOperation 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.

  • restoration theme that inspires everyone to be menders of God’s world
  • Daily themes kids understand: feed, heal, forgive, pray, and rest
  • Multisensory activity centers: art, music, science and nature, service learning, and storytelling
  • Resources include: Director Guide; Art Guide; Music Guide; Service Learning Guide; Science & Nature Guide; Storytelling Guide; Interactive Book for Kids
  • Captivating visuals created and inspired by Pastor Daniel Erlander
  • Flexible content for many contexts—including yours!

Creation Speaks Summer Camp Curriculum
  • daily Bible study
  • focus activities
  • projects, crafts, and other extras
  • daily worship
  • connecting camp to home and church

God's World in Community: Creation Care

From GenOn Ministries: God's World in Community: Creation Care:

  • Intergenerational
  • Based on Psalms and Genesis 1
  • 7 sessions
  • Small or large group
  • in person, online, or at home
  • downloadable

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.

Many peace symbols of different color in spray paint on concrete wall.MennoMedia's 2022 VBS Passport to Peace focuses on

  • Relationship building
  • Gathered Worship
  • Spiritual Practices
  • Centrality of the Bible story
  • Wondering Questions
  • Discovery-based learning
  • Child-centered approach
  • Invitations to respond

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

Prayers for Compassion Coloring Pages: Volume 2 includes five beautifully illustrated prayers from Compassion Camp. You can also pick up Volume 1 here.



Creative Arts Camp, Journey Together, Good Stewards Together, and ReNew

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.


VBS 2013 Everywhere Fun Fair: Where God's World Comes Together - Starter Kit

Cokesbury's 2013 Everywhere Fun Fair is touted as "very adaptable" by UMC leaders.

Clergy Stuff

Clergy Stuff offers resources for Narrative and Revised Common Lectionaries, including confirmation, worship, preaching, children's stories, and VBS.

Site Logo

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.

Series includes:

Virtual, In-Person, and At-Home Camps for Tweens & Teens

GenOn Ministries


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.


Luther Crest

Bold Transformational Faith

A partnership to bring faith formation tools and resources ​from CAMP to your CONGREGATION

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.

All Ages Summer Activities & Resources

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,'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

Learn more about intergenerational learning, ask questions and find assistance at

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:

Camps & Retreat Centers

PictureGreen Lake Lutheran Ministries exists as a partnership of camps, communities, and congregations sharing the ​life-changing love of Jesus in vibrant settings in community and creation.

Since 1993, One Heartland has been creating life-changing camp experiences for youth facing social isolation, intolerance or serious health challenges. Our camps provide a welcoming, bully-free environment where children, youth and young adults can feel completely accepted for who they are—often for the first time in their lives.

The Naming Project

The Naming Project creates places of safety for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities where faith is shared and healthy life-giving community is modeled.

The Naming Project camps provide a safe and sacred space where youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities are named and claimed by a loving God; can explore and share faith; experience healthy and life-giving community; reach out to others; and advocate for systemic change in church and society.

Themes and dates vary each year. Camps are provided in summer and are specific to adults or youth.

ARC Retreat Community - Connecting retreat to daily life while fulfilling  inner spirit with community.

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