A Focused Camp Ministry

Last November I visited a well focused and defined camp. Spring Hill Camps in Evart Michigan hosted a tour for few camp people like me and immediately got my attention with a statement something like this, “Spring Hill is primarily a youth ministry, we do very little other programming.”

Spring Hill is known as a large, innovative and successful program. Part of that success must come from centering on its focused ministry, staying on target in its mission and with its resources.

In an attempt to create cash flow year round, years ago many camp ministries started grasping for any and all ministry or cash opportunities. This created demand for improved facilities to meet the request of a wider spectrum of constituents. This created more overhead. In order to reach diverse markets, operations expanded demanding more personnel. This of course created still more overhead.

Camps needed to change their vision to accommodate a broad based marketing ministry to meet their operational needs. The original vision or mission became overshadowed by new demands and lost focus.

I liked what I heard and saw at Spring Hill. I’m not a big camp minded director, but I do appreciate intentionally focused ministry of any size. It did have a diversified program but it was clearly focused on youth. A change of seasons did not bring a change of focus. Instead, their youth ministry became seasonally focused.

Ministry focus clarifies your thinking and planning. Facility planning, menu design and program direction all become simplified. I identified for one camp that the reality of their ministry was that they were a guest group facility and not a summer camp. This change of focus meant doing what they did best and stopped their flow of red ink.

Strive to create ministry efficiency and clarity with a defined ministry focus.


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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