Skip to Main Content

Christian Retreats Network

BlogBlog Post

Picking the Theme

By Kayla

We have just decided that we are hosting a youth camp for next summer.  The estimate is roughly 100 campers at Lake Williamson.  Which means it is time for step 2 of planning, picking the theme.  It may seem a little early 9-12 months out, but since the rest of the planning will be based on this decision, it definitely has to be made first. 

Sometimes a theme will jump right out at you.  Sometimes nothing seems like quite the right fit.  Either way, once the decision is made, there is a tiny window of time to change it, otherwise too much is already planned and it’s going to be impossible to backtrack.  One place to start in the brainstorming session is with the message.  What is it that guests should learn and walk away with?  This could be a specific passage in the Bible, a lesson on how to follow Christ, etc.  Give it a purpose (which you should already have for hosting an event in the first place).  We want to strengthen the faith and grow the spiritual relationships of guests. 

Building on that, it is important to remember the guest demographics that will be receiving this content.  We are hosting a youth camp, so we need to pick something relevant to kids.  We want it to be something they can learn from and mirror in their everyday lives.  Ergo, a lesson on marriage may not be pertinent.  These days, it can be hard for youth to maintain a continual godly walk.  There are so many things in society and online that can cause straying from the one true path.  The hope of this summer camp is to remind youth that they are strong in Christ and that He is the one that guides us in our actions, not other people. 

Our theme will be “Anchored” based on Hebrews 6:19

We have this hope as an ANCHOR for the soul, firm and secure.

Now that the theme is decided, it is design time.  This means colors, text and logo imagery.  No matter what, the word “Anchored” must be featured.  That is the name, and everyone needs to know it. 

We also have our Bible passage, which can work as a tagline on our materials.  Keep in mind, that taglines are generally stronger when shorter.  Using a verse is great, but keep it limited to one sentence or less, even just a snippet from within the verse that really makes your point.  Again, the purpose of a theme is to drive home a lesson, so a good idea for a tagline is to explain it to someone else, using minimal words.  If you’ve made your point, then that can be your tagline.

So, we’ve got the name and the tagline, now it’s time to design. Heads up: this step may take a while. Here’s what we did:

  1. Draw an anchor in InDesign using the pen tool
  2. Draw rope that twists around the anchor using the pen tool in InDesign
  3. Place both images in a Photoshop document and align them
  4. Give anchor a drop shadow
  5. Type “ANCHORED” at the top of the image in Brushed Traveler font
  6. Align the rope to look like it is going through the “O” in “ANCHORED”
  7. Type “Hebrews 6:19” under anchor in Rage Italic font
  8. Wrap that text to follow the anchor curvature in
  9. Using an ocean color palette, draw a blue/green rectangle as the background

Final result:

It is best to make a couple of variations; title only, title and image, image only, and title, image and tagline.  Every place the logo will appear will not have the same space and requirements.  Just remember that these are VARIATIONS of the same thing, so they should all look related.

Now, we know not everyone has a graphic designer on staff.  And that’s okay.  There are multiple websites and apps that can help.  Below is a video of making a logo in less than 5 minutes on

Next, we will be moving on to all the places your theme (and logo) will be appearing in the pre-event planning.

Christian Retreats Network /

Based at Lake Williamson / PO Box 620 / Carlinville, IL 62626