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American Camping Association
Bradford Woods, Martinsville, IN 46151
- The ACA is a private, non-profit, educational organization of camp owners and directors, staff members, and volunteers. Their purpose is to ensure the highest professional practices for administration and extension of the unique experiences of organized camping. The ACA is the accrediting body for camping in the United States. A catalog is available calling, toll-free, 1-800-428-CAMP.

Adventure Education Program
YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, 84 Blue Ridge Circle, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Tel: (828) 669-8422; fax: (828) 669-8497; e-mail:

 - The purposes of the Assembly are to provide for conferences of workers under religious, educational, social and industrial organizations, to provide training for workers engaged in physical, mental, and spiritual improvement of men and women, with special emphasis upon work with young people...Blue Ridge hosts...the Blue Ridge High School Values Conference with 500 participants and the Blue Ridge Leaders' School, oldest and largest YMCA Leaders' School in the world with 600 in attendance...Blue Ridge is involved in programs dealing with America's most pressing problems-addiction and heart diseases...They are involved with juvenile justice, being the host site for the oldest juvenile and domestic relations court judges conference in the country. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes brings more than 1,500 youth and adults to three conferences each summer...The Assembly has a long and rich history of service to college-age young adults and maintains a collegiate work-study program with more than 100 participants. Currently, they have seven active partnerships reaching into the Jerusalem International YMCA as well as YMCAs in Belize, Central America; Stockholm, Sweden; Columbo, Sri Lanka; Romford, England; Nigeria, Africa, and Tokyo, Japan. Carefully screened and selected members of the collegiate staff work in these settings during the month of July each summer.

Adventures Unlimited Outdoor Center
Route 6, Box 283, Milton, FL 32570
Tel: (850) 623-6197 or (800) 239-6864
High adventure in secluded forest in Northwest Florida to build self-confidence, trust, and communication in wilderness setting with rope challenge course, nature walk, spider webs, games, and other challenges. Canoeing and tubing.

Confrontation Point Ministries
P.O. Box 572, Crossville, TN 38557
Tel: (800) 884-8483; Fax: (931) 484-7819; Outdoor adventure and mission experience. Challenges highly motivated Christians to grow in relationship to themselves, others, nature, and God. Offers leadership development, worship planned by youth, work teams, service projects, adventure projects, and debriefings. Call for free video.

Christian Camping International
Box 646, Wheaton, IL 60189 - CCI is a volunteer organization of camp and program directors, volunteers, and others concerned with maintaining excellence in Christian camping. The members meet together at a national convention and regional gatherings to share ideas and suggestions to help improve the institution of Christian camping as well as individual camps. CCI has a catalog that can be received by written request.

Crossroads (Youth Ministry) Ski Ministry
10440 Central Expressway, Suite 122, Dallas, TX 75231
Tel: (800) 683-3335;
Programs for youth groups include speakers such as Wayne Rice, Jim Graham, dramatists Paul and Nicole Johnson, and musicians Satellite Soul and Greg Shaw. Package includes lodging, ski rentals, lift tickets, and program content. Exciting four-day program with lots of options.

Edge Ministries
P.O. Box 850, Antioch, TN 37013
Tel: (615) 731-3343; Uses outdoor outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, rope courses, rock climbing, back packing, caving for spiritual inspiration.

The Great Outdoors
P.O. Box 98, Coker Creek, TN 37314
Tel: (423) 261-2310 -
Village set in 200 acres pristine forest. Climbing tower, horse back riding, mountain biking, rappelling, gold panning, and recreational activities and relaxed reflection. Program designed to meet special needs.

New Frontiers
3939 Snow Hill Road, Dowelltown, TN 37059
Tel: (615) 536-5623; 
Christ-centered adventure programming. Offers rope course, back-packing, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, canoeing, caving, and more. Using adventure programing to promote the Gospel and teach the cost of discipleship. Meeting self in view of one's Creator.

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center
10281 Highway 50, Howard, CO 81233
Tel: (800) 255-5784;
Challenges with river, rock, and rope. Catalyst program to create strong faith, bold practices, new thoughts, and winning beliefs. Multi-day programs of outdoor adventure designed for mind, body, and spirit.

Travel Insurance
5529 Barnsley Terrace, Glen Allen, VA 23059
Tel: (877) 593-5403;
Individual & Group Travel Insurance for camping enthusiasts. Plans cover trip costs in the event of a cancellation, medical expenses, medical evacuation, travel delay, accidental death & dismemberment.


Many denominations have resources and information on Christian camping that can be very helpful. Contact your national Christian education department or youth director for information.


It is likely that there is a Christian camp located near you. Give them a call; they will be delighted to answer your questions about their camp and about general Christian camping.


Journal of Christian Camping
Christian Camping International, Box 646, Wheaton, IL 60189 -
This quarterly journal published by Christian Camping International contains excellent articles on all aspects of Christian camping, from "Hiring and Securing Quality Help" to "How to Organize the Kitchen" to "What to Look for in Insurance?"

Camping Magazine
American Camping Association, Bradford Woods, Martinsville, IN 46151 - This monthly magazine published by The American Camping Association publishes articles addressing a host of camping issues including, "Youth Development through Outdoor Adventure Programs" and "Thinking About Safety: Let the 'Accident Dynamic' Help You Take a Look at Safety Awareness."


Ashmen, J. (1986). Five good reasons to work a summer at a christian camp. Christian Camping International: Focus Series 14. Wheaton, IL: Christian Camping International.

Cagle, B. (1989). Youth ministry camping: A start-to-finish guide for helping teenagers experience the greatness of god's creation. Loveland, CO: Group Books - This is an excellent resource for the youth leader who wants to organize a camping program for his or her own youth group (or for a regional denominational camp program). This comprehensive book offers training ideas for leaders, programming suggestions (with a focus on group-building), and back country living skills.  The book encourages experiential learning. To make the point, Cagle suggests that the camp director model this approach to the camp counselors in the pre-camp training so that they will do the same with their own campers. The author maintains a nice balance between the learning of camp skills and the integration of faith learning in the outdoor environment. One such example is the "worship walk." Campers are led to different parts of the camp that illustrate the different parts of a worship service. At the pond, campers are encouraged to pickup a rock, symbolizing their sins. They are to throw the rock into the pond and watch it disappear. Or they may be led to a hill overlooking a beautiful view of the surrounding area and encouraged to praise God for who He is and for His creation.

Cohen, D. (1990, August). For happy campers beats the old rights of passage. Smithsonian, 21, 86.

Eells, E. (1986). History of organized camping: The first 100 years. Martinsville, IN: American Camping Association, Inc. - Eells outlines the development of the American Camping Association and the many individuals and groups throughout the United States who have promoted camping. The book also contains many photographs reflecting the period and discusses the successes and failures throughout the history of camping. One can surely benefit and learn from others' experiences and mistakes.

Goodrich, L. (1982). Decentralized camping. Martinsville, IN.: American Camping Association, Inc. This is a great book for the program director who design programs that seek to meet the needs of individual campers. The chapter on counselor training and supervision are valuable. The work also contains information on nutrition and health for the camper.

Hayes, E.L. (1986). The value of the camping experience. Journal of Christian Camping 1985-1986 Guidebook. (pp. 8-9).

Mattson, L. (ed.). (1985). God's good earth: Christian values in outdoor education. Duluth, MN: Camping Guideposts - The central purpose of the book is to heighten one's awareness to the natural environment of the camp and to promote broader programming in outdoor education. A goal of outdoor education from a Christian perspective is to learn about the Creator through the study of His creation. Camp can be a vital extension of the school in its study of nature and the physical sciences. In the book, a biblical foundation is established for outdoor education, focusing on earth care and nature-related programming. Additionally, a framework for a resident outdoor camp is outlined. Readings for reflection are found as well. Concluding the book are resources to guide the novice and professional and a directory of camps and conferences involved in outdoor education.

Pearson, J. (1991). How to select the best christian camp or conference center for your family. Official Guide to Christian Camps and Conference Centers, 1990-91.

Rodney, L.S. & Ford, P.M. (1971). Camp administration. Malabar, FL: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co. - The authors of this book assert that "Camp is a microcosm of the community in which a camper can learn the meaning of democracy, leadership and wholesome group life." The book offers an extensive analysis of the basic administration process. A list of included topics indicates the book's value: board and committee relations, property development, staff training, health and safety, food service, finance and budgeting, insurance, and specialty camps. The appendices provide helpful forms necessary for running a camp program.

Short, A. (1981). 5 values of Christian camping. Christian Camping International: Focus Series 6. Wheaton, IL: Christian Camping International.

Slater, T. (1984). The temporary community: Organized camping for urban society. Sutherland, Australia: An Albatros Book - This is a thoughtful book about camping: its philosophy, organization, and essential elements. It deals with planning a camp, programming, leadership, authority, discipline, leadership styles, the values of a temporary community, camping and education, and family camping. Fascinating is the history and model of a "farm camp." This book concludes with a theory of Christian camping. Do not be deterred by the date of this book, the fact it may be written for another country, or that it concludes with religious section, or that it may be extremely hard to get. The concepts found here should be studied by all those interested in camping or farm activities for teenagers in general or youth at risk in particular.

Standards for day and resident camps: The accreditation programs of the american camping association. (1988). Bradford Woods, Martinsville, IN: American Camping Association, Inc. - The book contains the precise list of the standards required for accredited camps. The purpose of the ACA Camp Standards Program is to assist administrators in the provision of a quality camp experience for the participants. The standards represent desirable practices basic to quality programs.

Wright, A.N. (1983, September/October). Youth development through outdoor adventure programs. Camping Magazine, pp. 24-30.

Wright, N.J. (1986). Help, I'm a camp counselor. Ventura, CA: Regal Books - This is an essential book for every counselor to read before arriving at camp. Each counselor is part of a team, and he or she can make the camp experience positive or negative for a camper. A chapter on case studies allows the counselor to begin answering the "what ifs" before the real situation unexpectedly surprises the counselor. The book also has a section on graded-level devotions to help the new counselor or to inspire the veteran counselor.

John L. Vershon III, Laurie Tuck, and Dean Borgman cCYS