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Faith Formation: Camps, Retreats, Summer, & VBS

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:

  • Local and Regional Camp and Retreat spaces
  • VBS and camps 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.

Virtual and At-Home VBS & Day Camps

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
  • 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.

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

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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

SUMMER YOUTH SUMMIT

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 â€‹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.

Standard VBS

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

Arts CampA Creative, Customizable Alternative to Vacation Bible School and Beyond

by Christina Clark

All Ages Summer Activities & Resources

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.../

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.

Camps & Retreat Centers

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