How to use this resource

How to use this resource
Organizing your program
Week at a glance: Faith Alive
Making use of this curriculum
Nonviolence in the camp community
Back-home activities
Faith Life evaluation
Clip art
Faith Alive
Introduction to the theme
Biblical Interpretation
Large group worship
Small group devotions
Bible studies
Lower elementary/Day camp
Upper elementary
Junior high
Senior high
Theme-related activities
Challenge course activities
Environmental activities
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive
Outdoor Ministries Curriculum
Prepared by Lutheran Outdoor Ministries.
Contributing writers:
Mariel Spengler (“Back-Home Activities,” “Lower Elementary/Day Camp”)
Terry L. Bowes (“Nonviolence in the Camp Community”)
Rebecca Ninke (“Introduction to the Theme,” “Biblical Interpretation”)
Paul Frantsen (“Large Group Worship”)
Kathy Haueisen (“Upper Elementary”)
Kristin Rudd (“Junior High”)
Rod Boriack (“Senior High”)
Jeffrey Nelson (“Adult”)
David Box (“Challenge Course Activities”)
Ruth A.H. Thom, Paul Frantsen, Steve Jerbi (“Environmental Activities”)
Mark B. Gardner
Eileen Z. Engebretson
Cover design and art:
Brian Jensen
This CD-ROM contains:
•A complete camp curriculum, including Bible studies, environmental activities, worship experiences,
games, challenge course activities, and craft ideas, all of which may be reproduced for use by individual
•A PDF version ready to be printed and used.
•Word and RTF versions for easy adaptation in your camp setting.
•“Back-Home Activities” is included to aid in connecting camp and at-home experiences.
Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 Division of Christian
Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by
Materials identified as ELW are from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, copyright © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America.
Quotations from Luther’s Small Catechism are from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, copyright © 2006
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Copyright © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. All rights reserved.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
How to use this
•games for different age groups.
Welcome to the exciting world of Christian camping! As the director or program director of a summer camping program, you already are engaged in
ministry with children, youth, and adults. This
resource, Faith Alive, is intended to be comprehensive in content, yet flexible in format. The material
is adaptable to a variety of situations. As the person
responsible for programming at your camp or for
your day camp program, you will have the freedom
to decide which activities from this resource are
most appropriate and useful for your particular
camper population, site, and staff this summer.
Take time to read “Introduction to the Theme”
(pages 22-24) and review the other sections of this
resource. The resource has been designed to include:
•activities for these age-level groupings: day camp
(lower elementary), upper elementary, junior
high, senior high, adult, and intergenerational.
•initiative activities (including “Challenge Course
Activities”) related to the theme.
•common themes and Bible texts for each of five
If you think the CD-ROM you have purchased is
defective, please call Lutheran Outdoor Ministries
(LOM) at 614-315-2340.
•a week based on a total of five days of programming in a camp or congregation.
•separate large group and small group worship
experiences to assist staff and campers in planning
•craft activities for all age levels.
•“Back-Home Activities” section for ­parents or
caregivers of campers.
•clip art.
Faith Alive CD-ROM
This curriculum is in PDF format on the Faith Alive
CD-ROM. It has also been produced in Microsoft
Word and Rich Text Format, and works on both
Macintosh and Windows platforms.
Technical support
•one “Biblical Interpretation” section for the
•daily Bible studies for day camp (lower elementary),
upper elementary, junior high, senior high, and
adult campers.
•environmental education activities that relate to
the theme.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Organizing your program
Read through this resource in its entirety before
deciding which components and activities you will
use. Ask other members of your leadership team
and the program committee of your camp board to
assist you in this task. Keep in mind that this curriculum should be viewed as a basic framework or
foundation for your summer camp program. You
will, of course, want to supplement this material
with some ideas of your own to help you meet the
needs of your particular camper population.
After reviewing this curriculum resource, decide
which pages you will need to reproduce. Then print
from the CD-ROM the necessary pages, making
enough copies for each staff member. Additional
pages can always be added at a later date. Finally,
assemble the pages in a standard loose-leaf notebook for each member of your program staff.
Set aside ample time during your staff training
schedule to introduce the curriculum to staff, taking
special care to cover the biblical and theological
introduction to the theme. You might find it helpful
to use the adult Bible study to help with staff training. For help summarizing the daily themes and
Bible texts, see the “Week at a Glance” chart on page
6. Also refer to “Staff Training,” pages 10-11, for
more detailed suggestions about teaching the material to staff during staff training.
You also might find it helpful to use pages 7-10,
“Making Use of This Curriculum.” It is a summary
of suggestions to effectively use the curriculum.
Day camp
One of the major differences between resident camp
and day camp is the environment in which the program takes place. Resident camp is, in many ways, a
very controlled and unfamiliar environment for
campers. The day camp environment differs
because it occurs on the “home turf ” of the camper.
There tend to be, therefore, more distractions and
less control over the program environment. Day
camp staff members have to work especially hard at
keeping campers’ interest focused on program activities. The key to a successful day camp is careful
planning. Working with a local site committee will
help you and your staff to identify program goals,
safety and health concerns, and a plan for promoting the day camp in the community.
The Bible studies included for day campers (K-3)
are organized around the same five daily themes as
the rest of the curriculum. Additional ideas for day
campers are included in “Large Group Worship,”
“Small Group Devotions,” “Challenge Course Activities,” “Crafts,” “Environ­mental Activities,” and
Age-level considerations
During the course of your staff training week, help
staff members to understand the differences
between campers in various age levels and the different ways in which they learn and interact. There
are six areas of growth to consider: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, moral, and faith development. While developmental theories should not be
thought of as predictors of behavior, they are helpful
in sensitizing staff to the needs of individual campers. The introduction to each age level’s Bible study
includes helpful age-level information.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Age-level coding
An age-level designation appears with activities in
the following sections: “Small Group Devotions,”
“Crafts,” “Environ­mental Activities,” and “Games.”
To find out which activities are best suited to your
campers, use the following guide:
L = Lower elementary
U = Upper elementary
J = Junior high
S = Senior high
A = Adult
I = Intergenerational
Note that some activities are recommended for use
at more than one age level. Feel free to adapt any
activity for use with particular groups of campers.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Acts 4:32-35
John 21:15-19
John 13:1-17
Micah 6:8
Isaiah 58:10
Matthew 25:31-46
Luke 10:25-37 9th Commandment • We consider all people our neighbors.
(The good Samaritan) • We show our love for God by caring for others.
• We care for others by responding to real-life needs.
Matthew 6:5-13
Psalm 46:10
Romans 8:26
Mark 1:29-39
1 Peter 4:8–11
Colossians 3:12–17
Galatians 6:10
1 Corinthians 12:4-27
Hebrews 13:1-2
Matthew 5:9
• We are free to come to God in all things.
• Jesus taught his disciples how to pray.
• We pray as Jesus taught us to pray.
Luke 11:1-13 The Lord's
(The Lord’s Prayer) Prayer
Exodus 20:8
Psalm 51:10
Psalm 122
(Matthew 18:20)
Isaiah 58:13-14
Colossians 3:16
Deuteronomy 6:4–9
Luke 24:13-35
Luke 4:16-30
Additional Bible text references
Hospitality Luke 14:7-14 8th Commandment • We practice hospitality as Jesus taught.
(Jesus teaches • We welcome strangers. about hospitality)
• We are challenged by our faith to live peacefully with one another.
• We think about the world differently because of Jesus’ example.
• As human beings we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us.
• The Spirit’s work includes praying for those who cannot even find
words to pray for themselves.
• As we are forgiven through the Spirit, we are called to forgive
Focus points 2
Matthew 26:17-30 Communion
(The Last Supper)
Catechism connection
• We help each other understand the Bible. • Reading the Bible feeds our faith.
• I find myself in the stories in the Bible.
• The Bible is a source of God’s revelation, one place where we
meet God.
• We know that we are not alone when we struggle with doubt.
Bible basis
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Acts 8:26-40
(Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch)
Day Title
Week at a glance: Faith Alive
Making use of this curriculum
I’ve got this huge packet…now what?
Before summer begins
•Skim the curriculum, then read it thoroughly.
•Wrestle with the content and concepts. If you don't understand something, ask for help.
•Learn the flow of the theme and Bible studies.
•Print from the CD-ROM the program materials and mail them to the camp staff prior to staff
•Decide what will be necessary to copy for the summer camp staff and camp pastors.
•Brief other staff, program committee members, or volunteers on the theme and goals.
•Gather additional resources and ideas.
During staff training
•Present an overview of the curriculum theme and goals at the start of training.
•Work through one Bible study per day as a staff.
•Brainstorm additional program ideas and activities.
•Experience and do activities from each section of the curriculum (“Large Group Worship,”
“Small Group Devotions,” “Challenge Course Activities,” “Crafts,” “Environmental Activities,”
and “Games”).
During summer camp
•Work the theme into the camp day and week (meals, worship, games, challenge course
activities, songs, and crafts).
•Create banners and art to support the theme.
•Try to use a few new program activities each week.
After summer camp
•Send an evaluation form and a “great-to-see-you-at-camp” letter to each camper along with a
“Back-Home Activities” flyer to parents or caregivers.
•Evaluate the camp program and curriculum with the summer camp staff.
•Modify and use the curriculum for retreat and lock-in programs.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Adapting for
special needs
Many camping programs serve campers who are
challenged mentally or physically. In some programs, these campers are mainstreamed into regular
cabin groups. In other programs, opportunities are
provided for separate programs that take into
account the special needs and requirements of these
persons. In either case, with appropriate modifications, this basic curriculum resource can be used as
a guide for most daily activities. Here are some suggestions to choose from as you plan the day camp
and upper elementary activities.
•Establish and follow a daily routine.
•Provide opportunities for campers to use as many
of their senses as possible.
•Simplify the learning experience to avoid too
many facts or directions.
•Teach basic concepts of the faith through drama
and music.
•Give frequent and positive reinforcement; be liberal with praise.
•Base new learnings on familiar experiences.
•Give campers opportunities to verbalize their faith.
•Use several short learning periods rather than one
long one.
•Provide for repetition, but vary the manner in
which it occurs.
•Encourage appropriate socializing skills.
•Avoid making assumptions about campers’ abilities and limitations.
Any camping program that plans to serve campers who are challenged mentally or physically must
take time during staff training to sensitize the staff
to such special needs. Consider having one or more
persons on the camp staff who are trained or certified as special education teachers.
“Back-home activities”
The “Back-Home Activities” flyer is on pages 15-16.
It provides a way for parents and caregivers to reinforce the camp experience when campers return
home. Reproduce enough copies (photocopied back
to back) for distribution to parents and caregivers
following each camp week or to send with registration information.
Confirmation camping
Confirmation camping brings together the ministry
of camping and the educational ministry of a local
congregation. Many camps provide weeklong experiences for confirmation leaders and campers. Leaders will need to adapt and supplement these program materials for use with the particular ages of
confirmation campers.
Review this definition of confirmation: Confirmation is a pastoral (defined as “caring”) and educational ministry of the church that helps the baptized child through Word and Sacrament to identify
more deeply with the Christian community and
participate more fully in its mission.
The camp setting is an ideal place to provide
confirmation instruction that allows for unique
learning opportunities. The activities at camp are
designed to meet the needs and perceptions of confirmation youth and provide a powerful setting for
developing Christian identity and encouraging mission.
Though there are numerous models for confirmation camp, a few important distinctions differentiate confirmation camping from general youth
camping. Camps are wise to carefully define confirmation camping for those congregations that want
to participate.
Confirmation camping is done in cooperation
with the ministry of congregations. Although many
confirmation students attend youth camps, a church
is involved in the planning and implementation of
confirmation camps. It is a mutual ministry.
•Confirmation camping involves the leadership of
local congregations in active teaching and counseling roles at camp. Along with the camp counselors and other camp staff, local pastors, catechists, and lay leaders become an important part
of the camp community.
•Confirmation camping affirms the importance of
Word and Sacrament in the midst of those who
•Confirmation camping is a process that continues
throughout the year. Camp leaders become aware
of congregational programs and seek ways of augmenting and encouraging what takes place at
home. It involves joint planning by camp and
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Models for
confirmation camping
A number of models for confirmation camps have
developed over the years. By far the most common
model is the conference model. Church leaders
gather a group of confirmation youth from their
churches and attend camp together. At camp, counselors join church leaders to serve as Bible study
leaders, working in cooperation with church groups.
Although it is common that the actual Bible study
groups are formed by individual churches, campers
mix together in a wide variety of camp activities
throughout the day. Special events at camp may
include both staff and church leaders.
The resource model is a simple variation of the
conference model. Here church leaders and volunteers work together to provide a variety of workshops and learning opportunities at camp. Youth
may attend Bible study, discussion forums, and
small group activities with adult leaders and
resource persons from other churches. Together,
pastors, lay leaders, and camp staff provide a variety
of activities centering on the basic themes presented
for each day.
In both the conference and resource models,
pastors and catechists are actively engaged in teaching and learning with campers. They do not take
over the role of the counselor, but often make large
group presentations, answer questions, and engage
in dialogue with both campers and staff. The counselor’s role as small group leader is still preserved.
In fact, the counselor’s role is enhanced as youth
sense the cooperative spirit between leaders and
camp staff. Confirmation leaders also participate in
activities throughout the day.
Other models also exist. The small group decentralized model is often used by pastors and church
leaders who seek a high degree of community building and trust development among the campers.
Here a pastor, lay leader, or catechist might serve as
a resource person on a small group adventure-based
trip such as a canoe trip, bike trek, or backpack
journey. Using this model requires a defined role for
both the congregation (through its leaders) and the
camp staff (through its counselors). In this model,
contact with other church groups is minimal, and
the informality of the event itself lends to a sense of
community among participants.
The retreat model may also be used by church
groups. Here the materials in this resource can be
adapted for concentrated use during a weekend
retreat or a series of retreats at your camp. Effort
should be made to take seriously the role of camp
staff when using the retreat model. The retreat is
enhanced through active camp involvement,
enabling the confirmands to be engaged in activities
and learning events that may be limited in the congregational setting.
Organizing resources
Consider the following elements as you or­ganize
resources for confirmation camping.
Developing worship themes for each day and planning special worship events is important. Details
can be left to camp staff, but church leaders need to
know about the worship life of the camp community so they can plan learning activities that augment worship. Review the ideas in this curriculum
packet with church leaders. Ask for suggestions of
resources, including people and activities, that can
be included. The use of the Lord’s Supper should
carefully be considered by church leaders in
advance of camp.
Bible study
Gather confirmation planning groups and show
them the materials in this curriculum packet. Pastors and lay leaders will need to supplement this
curriculum with catechetical material. For some
help with this, point out “Catechism Connection,”
part of each day’s junior high Bible study.
Spiritual formation
Camp is a time when many young people learn the
joy of daily devotion and prayer life. Pastors and lay
leaders can play a significant role in the lives of
young people if they are in touch with this developmental theme. Personal visits can be planned with
each camper to discuss the implications of daily
prayer and devotion and to encourage its practice.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Environmental awareness
Camp is an important place in which youth can
consider their role as caretaker and creature of
God’s earth. Church leaders should participate
freely with campers and counselors in learning
more about the environment.
Community development
Camp and confirmation leaders will want to
develop numerous ways to encourage the development of Christian community together. This is done
not only in Bible study and worship, but in campfires, canoe or hiking trips, arts and crafts, discussion groups, ropes courses, and so on.
Skill enhancement
Confirmation leaders and camp staff can together
teach many skills and interests that enhance the
self-esteem of confirmation campers. Encourage
confirmation leaders to bring their hobbies and
interests to camp and serve as helpers while teaching
camp skills. This can result in a positive relationship
with lasting effect.
Vocational imagination
Camp is also a time to reflect upon one’s vision for
life. Create opportunities for campers to think about
the role of discipleship in society. Through discussion groups, guest speakers, and conversations,
explore ways in which faith makes a connection in
daily life.
Confirmation camping at its best provides both
youth and adults with an adventure in a ministry of
caring and education. Most of all, it provides the
opportunity for young people to identify with a
Christian community that appears to represent their
interests and hopes. It encourages them to return
home ready to participate more fully in the ministry
of the congregation.
Staff training
Ask young campers what they like best about your
outdoor ministries program and you will most
likely get a response that mentions making new
friends, swimming, or hiking. Ask parents or pastors
why they send children to camp or why they attend
your outdoor ministries program and you will probably hear that they value the opportunity for faith
development and Bible study. Can these two audiences agree on what is best? Will campers ever say
that they liked learning about the Bible and felt they
grew in understanding of God? They might! This is
the main reason why a major goal of staff training
should be to assist staff in being inspiring, creative
Bible study leaders.
Preparing Bible study leaders
As you design staff training, select a format that will
enable staff members to grow in their own faith
lives. Daily themes and the flow of the biblical
resources can be incorporated into staff training.
Provide ample time for the faith development of
staff, including Bible study and worship. The best
Bible study leaders are those with a strong personal
faith and commitment that allows them to be mentors or facilitators of others.
No matter what model you choose for incorporating Bible study material (see the following section, “Bible Study Models”), there are some givens
you should consider when planning:
• Teach the Bible study material as you want it to be
taught. If you provide only lectures on biblical
content, staff members may grow in biblical
knowledge, but they may also tend to lecture to
campers. Use an experiential, hands-on approach
that allows staff to use biblical themes and
resources in a variety of ways.
• Offer solid theological background and grounding. You will most likely have staff with a variety
of theological backgrounds and understanding.
Help them understand how to use the scriptures.
Provide a theological overview of each of the
daily themes. An adequate understanding of the
biblical passages used in the Bible study material
is extremely important to assist staff members in
leading Bible studies with confidence. Because
young adults are sometimes exposed to a variety
of new ways of thinking and are at a stage in their
own faith development where they are seeking a
personal understanding of theology, incorporate
into training an overview of basic theology. This
will strengthen their ability as staff to facilitate
Bible study and worship.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
• In your staff training design, provide opportunities for staff to be leaders so they gain a comfort
level in using Bible study materials. Learning to
teach is different from simply learning content.
Experience in conducting activities and discussions allows staff to grow in confidence. Feedback
from experienced leaders and theologians can
assist staff in successfully presenting materials.
• An important part of leading Bible studies is
understanding the participants. Offer staff members input and insight into the campers you serve.
This may include age-level differences, personal
and social differences, and levels of faith development. You may cover these areas in general, but
be sure to link them to suggestions for teaching.
A common saying in education is that we teach
people, not content, and this means taking into
account the variety of people we serve.
• Perhaps the most important aspect of helping
staff to be effective Bible study leaders is to help
them capture the positive nature of delving into
the Bible. If you suspect that they have a feeling of
“oh, no, it’s time for Bible study” during staff
training, you can bet that your outdoor ministries
program will be haunted by that feeling all summer! However, if Bible study is appealing, staff
will infuse their campers with a positive response
to Bible study. Leaders during staff training need
to be enthusiastic, and activities need to draw
people in with elements of excitement. The activities presented in this curriculum provide ample
resources for this, including opportunities for
personal reflection, sharing with others, creative
expression, and using the outdoor setting.
Bible study models
Several models for learning and teaching Bible
study materials are offered here. Mix and match
ideas that best suit your staff training schedule.
Consider all of the variables in your outdoor ministries program in adapting or modifying these models: the size of your staff, the age of campers you
work with, your program style, and your site.
Model 1
Use one Bible study each day during staff training.
Establish the pattern that Bible study is an element
during each day of camp. Use trained leaders to
facilitate it. Role-play how each study is to be led,
using the staff in the role of campers. At the end of
each study ask staff members to lead one activity
from the materials to give them experience in leadership. If you use this model, you may need to vary
the age levels of study each day of staff training,
depending on the age levels you serve.
Model 2
Form teams of three or four staff members and ask
each team to choose one study and lead it with the
rest of the staff. You might assign different age levels
to each team. This model will give all staff members
an opportunity to be in a leadership role and still
expose them to each of the daily studies. A key to
this model is to use a skilled theologian and a good
educator (these may or may not be the same person) to help in debriefing and reflecting on staff
Model 3
Use a mixed model where some of the training is
led by an experienced leader and some of it is led by
staff. A theologian may facilitate activities related to
biblical background. Staff members may facilitate
additional activities.
Model 4
Use staff as specialists. Help them gain confidence
in certain areas of the Bible study materials. This
will work best if your staff works in teams when
they are conducting activities with campers. For
example, staff teams may specialize in working with
specific age groups. Or they may specialize in certain aspects of the study, such as environmental
activities, games, Bible studies, or crafts. They can
prepare their area and then facilitate it with the rest
of the staff. This model may be most helpful if your
program is limited in staff training time. Use staff in
their area of strength, such as seminarians or pastors
leading the Bible studies and people with artistic
skills leading creative activities.
Model 5
An intensive method of training is to spend a solid
chunk of time—one or two complete days—
immersed in the Bible study. Facilitate themerelated biblical and theological reflection, activities,
and age-group variations. Do this early in staff
training so all other activities are grounded in the
biblical understandings that will permeate your program. This method establishes a tone that all of the
camp experiences flow from the biblical themes you
are using.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
As you adapt a model to your setting, remember
your goals for this portion of staff training. This will
help you to include adequate time for staff to gain
confidence as leaders, for their own faith development, and for solid theological and biblical grounding. Allow time for staff members to brainstorm
and develop additional ideas, especially ones that
make good use of your insight and their skills.
You might consider working with a local congregation to give staff experience in trying the Bible
study materials with campers. This may mean traveling to a congregation or inviting a group of children and/or adults to camp for a trial run.
If your outdoor ministries program lasts more
than a few weeks, revisit the Bible studies midway
through the camping season. Encourage creativity
and new ideas throughout the season. Fresh theological insights or more advanced training can help
staff mature in their leadership style. When the
midseason doldrums hit, it is refreshing to have
new activities and new ideas to spark up the Bible
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Nonviolence in the camp community
Theologian Rita Nakashimi Brock gives one definition of sin as “that damage done to us, from which
we have not healed, that we do to others.” Nowhere
is that self-perpetuating sinfulness more clear than
in situations of violence, abuse, and bullying.
Nowhere do we have a clearer call and greater
opportunity to address the sin of cruelty than in the
village that is the Christian camp community. As
Christians, we know that the sin that separates us
from one another also separates us from God.
In the wake of the tragedy at Columbine High
School and other school shootings, there is a new
awareness of the causes and effects of bullying. A
common thread in recent school violence is that the
shooter had been a victim of bullying and discrimination and shed the blood of others in a twisted
attempt to overcome that lack of acceptance. How
can the Christian camp community give everyone,
especially each individual child and young adult,
the tools to avoid becoming either a bully or a victim and become a constructive leader instead?
Jane Klatch, author of Under Deadman’s Skin:
Discovering the Meaning of Children’s Violent Play
(Beacon Press, 2001), says that children need to
develop three abilities to become nonviolent leaders:
empathy, the ability to control impulsive behavior,
and the ability to articulate their feelings.
Empathy, the compassion to understand someone
else’s situation and feelings, is central to Jesus’ ministry on earth. Encourage empathy during Bible
studies by asking questions about the characters in
the biblical accounts. Word the questions to fit the
situations you are studying.
•How do you suppose he/she/they felt about what
• What makes you think that?
• What did he/she/they do or say as a result of how
he/she/they were feeling?
• How would you feel if that happened to you?
• What would you do or say?
Controlling impulsive behavior
Controlling impulsive behavior is best encouraged
by the good examples found in camp counselors,
chaperones, and other camp leaders. Camp leaders
and campers together should establish group norms
of behavior at the beginning of the camp experience. Games and language should be nonviolent.
Cruelty in any form should not be allowed.
One way to help control impulsive behavior that
is hurtful to others is to picture Jesus standing
between me and the person I want to hurt physically or with my words. In order to follow up on my
impulses, I must first hurt Jesus.
Articulating feelings
This vital ability does not come naturally to everyone, especially very young or shy people or people
who experience language difficulties. Small children
may have no verbal definition of the words peace or
conflict resolution, but they know that violence hurts
and that anger can be destructive. Asking the
“empathy” questions (above) will help everyone
learn to articulate her or his own feelings. You may
also wish to encourage campers to create stick figure
drawings of situations and feelings or role-play situations. There are many ways to articulate feelings
besides verbal expressions. Watch campers for body
language that indicates hostility, withdrawal, or
Conflict resolution
Even in groups committed to nonviolence and
peace, disagreements will arise.
The following creation of a “Peace Table” is
adapted from the resource Peace in the Preschool: A
Resource Manual for Directors and Teachers, which
is available from the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association (1-800-500-7644). It is appropriate
for all ages, including adults.
Create a permanent “Peace Table” at camp. Anything can serve as a Peace Table. Designate a spot
such as a table, a rock, or a log to be the Peace Table.
Use the Peace Table as a place to resolve conflict
within the group. Establish guidelines for negotiations around the Peace Table, such as the following:
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
• Those involved in a conflict come to the Peace
Table and tell what happened from their points of
• To speak, each person, including camp leaders,
must touch the Peace Table.
• The camp leader acts as the clarifier.
• Anyone in the group may add to the presentation
of the problem.
• A
fter the problem has been stated from all points
of view, the group is asked to give alternatives on
how the problem could be solved.
• The leader/clarifier restates the various alternatives
but never dictates what to do or declares which
option to take.
• The leader/clarifier never directs anyone to say he
or she is sorry or forces adult ­solutions on him or
• When a decision has been reached, the group
should celebrate being peacemakers.
Create an environment for peace
Make use of all five senses to experience the camp
environment around you as an expression of God’s
will for peace in God’s creation. Become acutely
aware of sights, in­cluding other people; smells; the
sounds of birds, water, voices; the feel of the air,
dirt, the bark of trees; the taste of food and water.
Being nonviolent includes an awareness and concern for all of God’s creation. Recycle.
Make use of music that encourages peacemaking
and avoid songs with militaristic images. You may
wish to have available recordings such as Red
Grammar’s Teaching Peace to play in the background
during quiet activities.
Primarily, remember that you are the best role
model for peace for campers. Be loving, patient, and
cooperative with the campers and with other camp
leaders. Hang on to your sense of humor, especially
when you are tired and frustrated. Express your
own feelings appropriately: “I am so embarrassed
that I spilled that ketchup!”
Bear in mind and remind campers that the
world is a big and wonderful place full of diverse
people and ways of life. Pray that God will use us all
to bring peace to places in the world that we may
never see but whose people are just as important to
God as we are.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for
local use.
In this passage, we hear another one of the parables of Jesus. A parable is a
short story that is meant to teach us something. In the parable of the good
Samaritan we hear how someone who was not considered a believer helped
someone in need when two religious leaders did not.
Read Luke 10:25-37 together. What are your initial reactions to the
story? Why didn’t the first two men help? What do you think they were
afraid of? Was there anything unexpected in the way that the Samaritan
helped? What do you think you would have done in that situation? What
keeps us from helping others sometimes? Has there ever been a time when
you knew someone needed help but you didn’t know what to do?
Brainstorm ways that your family could help others together. Perhaps
you could collect food to donate to a food closet or volunteer together at a
soup kitchen. Ask at your local church or look online to find ways that your
family could help others and then do it together.
Luke 10:25-37 (The good Samaritan)
Day 5: Service
In today’s story, we hear about how Philip was given an unexpected opportunity to spread God’s word and how reading the Bible changed another
man’s life.
Too often, we think of the Bible as something that is serious and boring.
Here is a way to make reading the Bible fun! Read Acts 8:26-40 together
and talk about the story. What part of the story makes the most impact on
you? Do you think that Philip wanted to take the time to read with the
Ethiopian? How do you think Philip felt when the other man wanted to be
baptized? This story is a great example of how we can all learn from each
Acts 8:26-40 (Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch)
Day 1: Bible
Camp can be a life-changing experience. Being at
camp gives youth an opportunity to be themselves and
to nurture gifts that they may not have known that they had. Because a
week at camp is intense, the relationships formed there can be intense as
well. Camp friends have been allowed to see your camper as he or she really
is and to struggle with him or her as he or she talks about matters of faith.
Sharing worship and service experiences with these new friends can make it
difficult to for campers to go back home, but it may also give them the confidence to let others see the person that they really are. These activities are
meant to give you a glimpse of the kind of things that your child experienced at camp and to assist you in helping her or him connect those experiences to life at home.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
In this lesson, Jesus’ disciples ask him how they should pray and he tells
them. In this passage you will find the basis for the Lord’s Prayer, one of the
most well known prayers that has been used for ages.
Read Luke 11:1-13 together. What kinds of things do you notice Jesus
praying about in this prayer? How can this prayer be a reminder to us about
the things that we should be praying about? What else does Jesus say about
Luke 11:1-13 (The Lord’s Prayer)
Day 3: Prayer
In this passage we hear about Jesus’ last meal with his disciples, often called
the Last Supper. You may have heard some of these words before.
Read Matthew 26:17-30 together. How do you think Jesus was feeling,
since he knew this would be his last meal with his friends? Why does Jesus
say to drink the wine? Why do you think forgiveness is important?
Make flat bread together. Mix 1½ cups (.36l) white flour and ½ cup
(.12l) wheat flour together. Add 1 tsp. (5ml) salt, ¾ tsp. (.375ml) soda and
stir. Cut in 2 Tbs. (30ml) shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Add ½
cup (.12l) water and 1½ tsp. (7.5ml) honey. Stir the mixture until well
mixed and starts to form a ball. Divide into four parts and knead. Roll each
ball into a circle and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Poke small
holes into the top, being careful not to cut through the entire piece. Bake at
350° F (175° C) for 10 minutes. Poke any bubbles that form while baking
with a fork.
This passage from the Gospel of Luke really turns things upside down! In
this parable, Jesus tells us not to invite the people that we normally would
invite to a banquet, but to invite those who do not have those opportunities,
such as those who are poor, blind, or lame.
Read Luke 14:7-14 together. What do you think the people that Jesus
was talking to thought about this story? What does this story say to us
about hospitality? Talk about hospitality. Why is it important? How do we
make others feel welcome? Talk about this passage as if it were happening at
school or work. What would happen then? Acting this story out in a school
or work setting may help you all to see. What are ways that we can all make
others to feel welcome in our lives (at school, at work, and at home)? How
would things be different if everyone was concerned about hospitality?
Planning a meal for someone is a great way to think about hospitality. Put
this into practice, getting your whole family involved. Your kids may think
of ways to be hospitable that you didn’t!
Luke 14:7-14 (Jesus teaches about hospitality)
Day 4: Hospitality
Matthew 26: 17-30 (The Last Supper)
Day 2: Worship
prayer in the last part of this passage? Sometimes it can feel like we just
don’t have the words to pray to God. At other times, there is so much going
on in the world that it is difficult to know where to begin. Find a newspaper
or go to an internet news site together and look at the major news headlines. Begin a prayer together and take turns praying for the people mentioned in different headlines. “Praying the headlines” can be a great way to
connect our faith with what is happening in the world around us and can
be done wherever we are.
other by reading the Bible together. Make sure your kids understand that
you do not have all of the answers—we all have something to contribute
when talking about what we read in God’s word!
Pick a couple of well known Bible stories, write them on slips of paper,
and play Bible charades together. Just because we are reading the Bible
doesn’t mean we can’t be silly!
Faith Alive evaluation
To help in the development of new curriculum, please ­provide an
evaluation of your experience with this resource. Photocopy this
form for those in your setting who might provide helpful suggestions. Add additional comments and suggestions on a separate page.
Thank you!
Check all sections used in your setting:
Mail completed evaluation to:
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries
1218 W Addison Street
Chicago, IL 60613
What was most helpful about this curriculum?
___ Biblical interpretation/Introduction to the
___ Lower elementary/Day camp Bible studies
___ Upper elementary Bible studies
___ Junior high Bible studies
___ Junior high take-along
___ Senior high Bible studies
___ Senior high take-along
___ Adult Bible studies
___ Environmental activities
What would make this resource more ­effective for
use in your setting?
___ Games
___ Challenge course activities
___ Large group worship
___ Small group devotions
___ Crafts
___ Back-home activities flyer
___ Clip art
___ Please send me writer information. I am interested in participating as a contributing
writer for future curriculum.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Clip art
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.
Faith Alive Outdoor Ministries Curriculum, © 2012 Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. May be reproduced for local use.