RYM 021: Is Student Camp Worth It?

Have you ever crossed the finish line of a student camp or weekend retreat and thought, “Is this really worth it?” From coordinating logistics to writing messages to convincing leaders to take time off to attend, there’s so much time and effort that goes into pulling off a student camp. This week, join Sarah Anderson, Crystal Chiang, Tom Shefchunas, and Josh Lamm for a conversation about the lasting benefits of a camp experience for students in your ministry.

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Conversation Guides

Small Group Leader Salvation Conversation Guide & Parent Post-Camp Conversation Guide



Is it worth it to continue to have student camps when things don’t always go as planned? (5:00)

Is it just fun for students or is it really beneficial? (8:00)

Liability is a huge tension when it comes to student camps. (8:30)

Use multiple communicators for the talks at student camps. (16:00)

The best way a camp experience can impact a student is when the communicator communicates in a way that enhances the role of the small group leader. (17:00)

If your camp isn’t tackling issues that students are really wrestling with, then it might not be worth it. (20:00)

There is an expectation for valuable moments to happen during a student camp. (20:00)

What are ways you can make camp a huge win for leaders too? (28:00)

Three catalysts of faith that are hit at camp: practical teaching, providential relationships, and pivotal circumstances. (32:00)

If you are serious about helping a kid develop a faith of their own through the student years, I don’t think you can afford NOT to have some sort of camp experience. (33:30)




Sarah is a writer and communicator who has been involved in ministry since 2003. In 2007, she joined the XP3 high school team where she now works as a lead writer and content creator. She also a contributing writer to the Parent Cue blog. Sarah lives in Roswell, Georgia, and is a big fan of her husband, her two boys, Asher and Pace, and, in her weaker moments, McDonald’s french fries.



Tom Shefchunas is the Executive Director of Student Strategy at Orange. In this role, he leads the development and strategy for XP3 Middle School and High School curriculum. Previously, Tom was North Point Ministries’ Multi-Campus Director of Transit, their middle school ministry, for 12 years. And before that, he spent 10 years as a high school teacher, coach, and principal. Additionally, he is the co-author of Lead Small with Reggie Joiner. Tom and his wife, Julie, live in Cumming, Georgia, with their three children, Mac, Joey, and Cooper.



Crystal currently leads the XP3 High School initiative at Orange. Before that, she spent 10 years as a high school teacher and student ministry leader, doing everything from leading small groups to speaking to curriculum design. Crystal and her husband, Tom, live in Alpharetta, GA with an ill-tempered chihuahua named Javier.



Josh Lamm is the Director of High School Camp. From the lights on stage to the conversations in small group Josh creates and directs a student experience like no other in the country. Josh and his wife Kristen (who also works at Orange) live in Atlanta with their adorable little camper, Sully. They also serve on the leadership team of Parish Anglican Church. If you run into Josh this summer, ask for his thoughts on the Redskins, John Wilkes Boothe or Pajama jeans. Just trust us.

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Orange Conference 2018