HELP, My Program is Buried Alive!

There is a television program titled “Buried Alive”. I had not watched it before, but one evening the description caught my attention. It was about helping people who are killing themselves with clutter up to the ceiling and flowing out the door. Amusing, but it is sadly true. I tend to collect things and every so often have to clear out my closets. As a camp director, I designated a day a year for each staff person to go to the dump with built up clutter from their area of work.

Clutter accumulates in our programs too. It’s not as noticeable as the corner pile, but it has the ability to bury a good camp alive. My graduate professor of camping called it growing by topsy. It’s accumulating a new program here, new idea there, along with the newest fad, and the greatest games ever. It’s all so good we just keep piling it up. Without a clear focus, what we end up with is a program so loaded down with clutter it is buried alive. Like the corner closet we need to clean out schedules so our programs can get fresh air and new life.

Start by simply not adding anything to your program. But I know how you think; you have to add something new. In that case, for every idea we add to our program, we should remove an old one. If it hasn’t been done for awhile you may need to remove two or more. New life will come. You won’t be overwhelmed trying to do everything. Campers and staff will enjoy what they have been missing most, time to relate, instead of pushing on through the piled high schedule of accumulated latest greatest things.

And while you are at it, consider the list of programs that you offer. It’s nothing to be proud of to have a cluttered calendar of programs. Clean out your program offerings to just those which have the greatest impact in your camp. You will find that the freshness which results will give a greater ministry return.


Keep your program alive. Clean out the clutter, open up your schedule, bring in new ideas, get rid of dead programs and rotate your best ideas to keep them fresh.


About the Ordinary Hiker

A Christian camp director for many years, I enjoy ministry and being outdoors. I refer to God's creative wonder as the testimony of creation, a special place where God brings His word to life. Its where I like to be and where God speaks in His gentle voice in the awe of His creative work.
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