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Camp vs Missions Trip vs Conference vs Retreat [podcast]

LIVE Youth Ministry TalkThis was one of those discussions that left me feeling frustrated by not having answers, but relieved that the issues aren’t quite as clear as they may seem at first. It definitely prompted a lot of good questions, value systems, and perspectives that I’ve been thinking through all week long.

This is definitely a must-hear discussion for all youth workers.

If you could only take your group on one trip this summer, would it be to camp with other youth groups, a missions trip, a big student conference, or a small retreat with only your group? And why would you do that? Is one have more value than another? Is one more biblical than another?

Panel members for this show:

Some of the things we talked about:

  • Does one event have more value than another?
  • Is missions more biblical than the others?
  • How do you decide which is right for your group?
  • Do all of these events feed consumerism?
  • Which leads to the most life-change?
  • And a lot more…

NOTE: The audio quality is poor at first, but it gets better after about 2 minutes.

You can listen to the whole conversation below or grab it in iTunes.

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Posted on June 19, 2010

  • I enjoyed this podcast Tim. Good thoughts all around. Things that my mind is still processing:
    * The comment of why would you send your kids to a camp where they are unable to built relationships with the leaders in the ministry
    * The thought of the broken and needy being here locally, as well as far away.

    The main thing that I gained (so far) from this conversation, is to be intentional about planning events, and that they need to have a purpose that is based on the needs of our youth. Rather than just sticking with "tradition", or what has been successful in the past.

    I'm working on a long-term plan, with big idea yearly focuses, but I had yet to think of the big summer events that we have as a part of this focus. This next school year our focus is evangelism… so some summer trip (that is communicated way in advance), that focuses on putting what we are learning into action (while not waiting for the trip to do begin practicing it).

  • Sounds like you're processing through some good thoughts, Luke. Love it!

    I'm still thinking through a lot of these things, too. There aren't really any easy answers.

  • Chad

    As a big picture idea and seeing the value and drawbacks of all those offerings, we have settled on a rotation for our summer trips. Students have loved and greatly benefited from Student Life Camp in the past, and we did DCLA two years ago, a smaller backtracking trip with our own group last summer and we are going with Center for Student Missions this year. On top of that, we do a weekend fall retreat for just our group every year.

    My personal take is to provide a well rounded experience for students over several years because we're all built differently and God uses different settings to reach different students.

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