Sacred Playgrounds (Paperback)
Sacred Playgrounds explores the wisdom of camping ministry for Christian education and faith formation, examining its rich history and fundamental characteristics with compelling stories, groundbreaking research, and theological grounding. Christian summer camp is an integral part of the ecology of faith formation in North America, though it has received surprisingly little attention in the scholarly community until now. Camping ministry is often dismissed as simple fun and games or a brief spiritual high that does not last. However, camp experiences often serve as deeply relational and immersive faith experiences that have lasting impacts on participants. Five fundamental characteristics combine dynamically in the effective camp experience: participatory, faith-centered, safe space, relational, and unplugged from home. Together, they open the space for participants to consider new understandings of God, to have time for deep self-reflection, and to build intentional Christian community. These camp experiences are essential components in a larger ecology of faith formation, including the home and congregation. The insight and evidence presented in this book demonstrate that the contributions of camping ministry must be taken seriously among scholars, Christian educators, and ministry professionals.