Summer camp is awesome!! I remember every year that's what my youth group friends and I looked forward to... it was a big deal! You got to meet new people, play wacky games, hoot and holler with no parental correction, and engage in a level of worship like no other. To remember my experiences and memories now... well they all sort of blend together into one big camp experience but there is one way I can recall each year individually... the theme.
Camp themes are a big deal and can potentially be a big turn off for potential attendees. Make sure you put some thought into this area of your event... although you may feel that it lacks importance. For me, I can look at pictures and recall specifics by relating what the camp theme was for that particular year... both good and bad ones stuck with me.
After attending camp growing up and now planning several events of my own here's what I can share with you about a theme:
- Make it your 'brand' for that week. Base everything around it from speaker's messages, games and competitions, apparel. Even develop a cool logo or image as well as some of the terms/lingo around the theme to use throughout the event.
- Stay away from fads. Unless you know 100% of the attendees like Hunger Games then I would stay away from it. Using a fad theme could actually turn off potential attendees that despise that specific fad or feel it is childish.
- Back your theme with scripture. It doesn't have to be an entire chapter or psalm, just something simple and meaningful to the purpose of your event. If done right, the camp theme should stick with the students well after camp, so wouldn't it be cool to have a theme and scripture stuck in their heads especially if you have several non-church students attending. I'm not the only one that thinks this... check out this other blog supporting scripture in your church camp theme.
- Don't be afraid to steal. No God won't care about this one, I promise. If you're stuck and can't think of a good idea then hop on Google. Use blogs, camp/ministry sites, or other events to get ideas. They've done the creative thinking for you.
Click here to see themes from Christian Camp Pro or here for some General (non-religious) Themes.