Sacred Playgrounds Podcast

Sacred Playgrounds Podcast

We're turning insights to impact as we talk camp and why it matters based on the latest research. Each episode we'll focus on one thing that's making a difference right now in outdoor ministry.


September 20, 2023 44 mins

Have you heard that phrase? "Ok, boomer..." Or how about the not-insignificant number of millennial-bashing parody songs across YouTube?

What leads us to slap these "Gen ___" labels on people? Where did they come from? In this episode, we're unpacking generational theory, exploring what may be helpful and not helpful in this way of sociological thinking, and wondering how we approach this for our m...

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Welcome to Season 3!

We're kicking off this season with a what-to-expect and introducing two new segments we're including in each episode this season. Read more about them and download your free graphic below!  We'll be behind the mic every other week bringing you fresh insights from the latest data, all on a mission to help camping ministry thrive.

Ever seen an amazing panoramic photo, or used the ...

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May 16, 2023 35 mins

Eat. Let go. Grateful. Jesus. Giggle.

No, it's not a silly camp word game. Ok, maybe a little. The season 2 finale is here! We'll look back at some of the numbers and share our favorite episodes of this season. Hear our longest, shortest, and most listened-to episodes. Any guesses?

Then, we beseech leaders to remember some things for the summer ahead as we launch, encourage, and bless you into this seaso...

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May 11, 2023 37 mins

Special guest day! We've got two special guests with direct, experiential perspective on the seasonal migration that is about to or recently has happened for thousands of college students (and many high school too) on their way in to serving as summer camp staff. 

We'll hear from Jenna, one of those students in the midst of such a transition, and from Pastor Dominique Bucholz who serves as a Campus Pastor at the Minnesota ...

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April 19, 2023 60 mins

Staff training is identified by many leaders and summer staff members alike as their favorite part of the summer. There must be something going on here.

There is. Something that matters. Your camp culture starts here. The creativity, clarity, and community that is gained in these training and orientation experiences set the tone for the summer, impacting campers and families every week.

So how do we do this really...

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April 4, 2023 46 mins

These are some of the most impactful findings on the pulse of outdoor ministry today, draped in a really hopeful outlook. We unpack things like the biggest threat to outdoor ministry this year, what we're learning about director demographics, the four types of faith-focused camps, and more.

We just finalized the report on the 5th OMC Director's Survey, a biennial study of camp leaders and the ministries they ser...

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March 23, 2023 25 mins

To know and listen - these is the best gifts we can give our camp community. This applies throughout our ministries, from the connection between a counselor and camper, to how we engage our trusted supporters, and everything in between.

Life is loud, input is constant, and expectations of production are high. It's part of why set-apart experiences like camp are so vital right now. Sometimes it feels like no one listen...

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March 9, 2023 36 mins

In 2018, after hearing about some of the data from the first Power of Camp Study with Christian Camp and Conference Association ministries, Camp Judson and Executive Director Kevin Saxton decided to join the project.

After their first year of data, they were struck with what they learned about where their campers were coming from, and made intentional program choices to meet them where they were at. What they did and what ...

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February 22, 2023 37 mins

Walking in the steps of Jesus is no small thing. True pilgrimage spans the preparation and prayer before, wide-eyed wondering during, and intentional processing and application after these holy experiences in these holy places.

We'll hear from Jake and Anna from our Sacred Playgrounds team who recently got to do just that, embark on a long-awaited pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They'll walk us through some of the m...

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February 8, 2023 46 mins

We're in it. Recruiting season.

When we know the systems, life stages, situations, and motivations of the emerging adults that will soon become this summer's incredible staff, we can recruit in a way that sets both the staff member and the ministry up for the best summer ever.

In this episode, we'll break down some research and resources that give us all insight into these emerging adults. Plus, we&...

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January 25, 2023 37 mins

It's here! Holy Ground 2023 is available for pre-order, and we couldn't be more excited. We know these staff are the heart of your summer ministry, and we've learned and learned again that supporting them is absolutely vital. That's why we created Holy Ground.

This year's edition comes complete with 12 weeks of brand new for 2023 devotions, updated training and resource content, and a pretty new co...

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January 10, 2023 38 mins

Happy New Year camp friends! It's here - one of our favorite and most downloaded episodes of season 1 gets a 2023 reboot. These 5 New Year's resolutions were built directly from what we heard over the last year and see unfolding in the year to come.

Here are your resolution key words to listen for in this episode: identity, hire, mom, agency, & insights. Happy listening, and happy new year. It's going to...

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Join Rev. Anna Sorenson, our Director of Operations and Associate Pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in La Crescent, WI for a Christmas week reflection on John 1. Merry Christmas!

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Parents spend so much energy giving to and for their kids, let's give them a few gifts from the camp community. We've packaged up our ideas in 3 "L's" that are the impactful, keep-on-giving kind.

Plus, we'll hear a chat Pastor Anna Sorenson, Sacred Playgrounds Director of Operations had with Margie Fiedler, Executive Director at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp about how setting up a multi-year, i...

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Happy Thanksgiving! There are many studies that connect happiness and even productivity with an attitude of gratitude. We have a lot to be thankful for in our own lives and in our ministries. Can I get an, "Amen?"

Starting within ourselves and moving concentrically outward there are circles of impact and influence that should hear words and feel actions of gratitude. We'll call out the ones in these circles ...

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November 8, 2022 44 mins

Say it louder for the people in the back - parents are your primary constituents. Camp is one of the spaces where the final decision makers are not necessarily the ones having the experience, yet their perspective on how things go at camp is so, so vital.

We're deep in summer 2022 parent data right now and have compiled and analyzed data from 37+ camps and over 2500 parent responses to important questions about your m...

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We hear it and see it from parents, youth, and society - plugged in to some kind of technology is our near-constant state of being. There are precious few places and it takes more intentionality than ever to get ourselves outside - yet it matters as much as ever for our mental, physical, and societal health.

Enter outdoor ministry, people and places with opportunity to move the world from a little less plugged in to a litt...

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The relationship between your Executive Director and your Board of Directors is a vitally important - maybe the most important - relationship in the infrastructure of your ministry.  There are ways to keep it healthy and thriving, giving foundation from underneath, support from all sides, vision from above, and spirit from within.

On this episode, we'll talk about a few keys to executive and board connections, borrowi...

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September 21, 2022 37 mins

Pick your analogy, a seamless pass of the baton in the zone while speeding around the track, a quarterback placing the ball squarely in the gut of a tailback headed for the endzone, an instrumental duet with a melody passed perfectly from one first chair to another - when handoffs are done well, it's beautiful and successful and everyone is the better for it.

That's the season we're in, right now. Summer cam...

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September 6, 2022 34 mins

Season 2 begins now! How was your summer? Did you encounter challenges? Did you experience things worth celebrating? Either way, you're not alone.

As we kick off this new season of the podcast, Jake and Jared  take an episode to review the summer and name 3 things worth celebrating in the outdoor ministry community and 3 challenges many of us faced during the summer of 2022.

We'll also share a bit of wha...

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