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Our Story

Every fire starts small.

There are a lot of ways to start a fire, but any camp professional knows that when you’re starting a fire from scratch you start your fuel small and grow it as the fire grows. (Actually, most camp professionals just use a torch, but stick with the metaphor.) A fire and its kindling start small, and so did we.

 

Founders Dan and Jamie were in the local church doing student ministries when they realized something cool: God uses camp in the lives of teens (and families, and youth leaders), not just to change lives, but to continuously ignite the wonder of God in their lives. They felt the desire of God to start a new camp for teens and their influencers with the express purpose…

 

to ignite the wonder of God in teens through Compelling Truth, Captured Hope, and Courageous Living.

 

In 2008, they started designing that vision, and it felt at that moment that they had entered into an adventure with no map. They stepped into the unknown, where only a loving God could catch their fall, and as often happens when you go against the grain of conventional wisdom, they began to experience the criticism and fear one will often get when living in faith.

 

2014 saw them enter camp ministry, heavy with training and rich experiences. Every day saw new confirmations that God was with them, He still uses Christian camping to encourage the Church, and teens are desperate for truth that is compelling.

 

Maybe the most exciting realization they came to regarding this purpose was how much it’s needed everywhere, not only in teens. The wonder of God needs to be re-ignited Church-wide: in teens, their families, youth leaders, church pastors, volunteers, vocational leaders - in everyone. That realization, while affirming, also created a problem of scale for Dan and Jamie: what are the few things our small ministry can do well, and could that small fire create a wildfire in time across other ministries?

 

That’s how CAMP 41 was born.

 

CAMP 41 isn’t a camp for teens. It isn’t a coffee roaster. It isn’t a service to youth leaders and volunteers or parents. CAMP 41 is a box that holds any number of things that get us to the purpose of igniting the wonder of God in the lives of teens.

 

Yes, we do ministry for teens in a camp environment. Yes, we seek to train and encourage youth leaders, pastors, volunteers, and parents. Yes, we even roast some of the tastiest coffee around, but CAMP 41 is more than any of those things.

 

CAMP 41 is a promise.

 

In Isaiah 41:17-20, God made a promise to “show up and show off”* when people, having lost wonder, came to Him for a drink. He promises to provide as only He can, and He promises to do it in a way that’s undeniably Him.

 

We’re starting a fire. You may be the next part of this story. Grab a match!

*Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion

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