Going to camp as a part of confirmation is most common in the ELCA, however, our researcher and camp expert, Jacob Sorenson, found that four out of five denominations in our study are sending kids to camp for all or part of their confirmation experience. Unlike traditional classroom settings, camp provides liminal space where experiential learning can happen in powerful ways.
At Camp All Saints, an Episcopal camp in Pottsboro, Texas, youth are encouraged to take both spiritual and physical risks in a safe and loving environment.
In Oregon, Illinois, Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center uses its castle and historical setting to provide weekend confirmation retreats for youth in the PC(USA).
Camp All Saints, Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center, and Lutherlyn (another camp portrait you can find in our portrait gallery) expose the symbiotic relationship that is possible between congregations and camps. For some congregations, camps or retreats offer youth in small congregations the chance to meet a group of Christian peers wrestling with similar questions. For some congregations, camp provides the time and space needed to deepen relationships with people from their home congregations as they delve into their own questions of faith.
I hope these camp portraits will inspire you to consider how a camp or retreat experience might encourage discipleship for your youth!