COVID Will Change Christian Summer Camp Forever

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries. 2020 has been a year unlike any other for Christian summer camps. Here’s how CT captured the situation in a recent report: Like most businesses and ministries across the country, Christian camps felt the economic halt right away. Church retreats and events were called off in March, April, and May due to bans on mass gatherings across the states. Before long, camps were forced to grapple with the unimaginable: no summer camp.By May’s end, more than 100 Christian camps had announced cancellations. Most of the rest made dramatic changes to summer programming. Summer camp can represent half of a camp’s annual revenue or more, so skipping it for a year comes as a massive financial blow. Many Christian camps did cancel their summers. Some canceled and then reversed course. Some held programming all summer.  This has been a very difficult summer. We've got camps that have been open continuously, even through WWI and WWII, closed down for the first time this summer,” said Jacob Sorenson, the director of Sacred Playgrounds, a ministry offering research and training to camps and congregations. “It's been a very difficult time for the industry as a whole, including secular camps.” One added challenge for Christian summer camps has been politics.  “Christian camps are again caught in this political environment where the ones that have a constituency that tends to be conservative have been under a lot of pressure to open up,” said Sorenson, who researches camping ministry and who contributed to the previously mentioned CT article. “While the ones that have a constituency that tends to be more progressive or Democratic-leaning have been under pressure to close down. And it’s made it very difficult for camp directors to make a good decision for the health of their camp communities.” Sorenson joined global media manager Morgan Lee and editorial director Ted Olsen to discuss the financial footprint of summer camp, what to know about how long a “camp high” really lasts, how many camps are using technology in ways never seen before, and who summer camps serve well and who they leave out.  Take Quick to Listen’s survey! What is Quick to Listen? Read more Rate Quick to Listen on Apple Podcasts Follow the podcast on Twitter Follow our hosts on Twitter: Morgan Lee and Ted Olsen Music by Sweeps Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder The transcript is edited by Bunmi Ishola Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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