Although Summer Camp is often seen and spoken about as the pinnacle of the Young Life calendar, each area should be attending or running 3 – 4 local camps / year.

The camps could be run with other nearby areas, they could be run with multiple clubs from your town or city, or they could be aimed at a few key teens you’re working work.

Examples include running a Wyld Life Camp, or a Discipleship Camp, hiring a couple of cabins near a lake, taking tents and setting them up and going hiking for the weekend, doing a canoe trip … the list is endless! 

Why local camping?

  • Helps growth of relationships with the teens you’re working with
  • Novel environment and experiences strengthen relationships and understanding
  • Another avenue for discipleship without the many of the worlds distractions.
  • You can target a certain group of teens you’re working with.
  • You can target a certain need.
  • You can build closer community with teens / leaders in your club or area.
  • Costs can be greatly reduced

What are things you need to think about before you run a local camp?

Who?Who is your target group?
Why?What do you want to achieve with the group?
What?What kind of activity are you going to use?
Day trip? Camping? Activity based? Discipleship or Evangelistic?
When?When is it happening?
Where?Where is the best place to achieve your goals?
Transportation Needs?
Distance for time
How much?What are all the costs involved in doing the camp (accommodation, transport, food, activities, programme, equipment)?
What is my price range?
Other Factors to ConsiderHow are you going to publicise the camp?
Who is going to do program? No need to go big and flash (a simple programme doesn’t mean we skimp on doing everything we do with excellence), unless you want to, what type of program is going to meet your goals for the camp? The value is in spending time with the kids.
What equipment do you need and where are you going to get it? Plan your programme and go through it step by step so you know you have everything you need-don’t get yourself in the position of having to find things for a game after you are at camp
Who are the leaders who are committed to going? Give them jobs to do and they will be there. Delegate jobs in the planning and at camp so people are engaged in the process, more ownership of the camp if they have contributed and are contributing (they feel more needed because they are needed).
Transportation? What transport do you need? Whose cars are going? Who are the drivers? Do they know where they are going? Maps? Do they know what staying together means? Do they know what responsible driving means?
Have you done a risk assessment of the camp?
Are you equipped to do the type of camp you are planning? Don’t do something you are not equipped to do (difference between stepping out of your comfort zone and doing what you are not equipped to do) example: White water canoeing, canyoning, caving, etc… with no qualifications.
Who is going to do the catering? What is needed to make it happen? Who is cooking? Who is buying? etc…
Who is qualified to do first aid? Do you have an equipped first aid kit? Who is bringing it?
Do you need a Work Crew? Who is recruiting the Work Crew? Who will train them? Who will be the bosses?
Have you had everyone fill out a Young Life Indemnity form?

Downloads to help you plan:

Local Camp Planner

Download – Local Camp Checklist