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Camp Sunday Worship Resources

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Camp Sunday is a special day set apart for your congregation to celebrate the ministry of camping together. Camp Sundays typically include camp style/themed worship and music and testimonials on the personal impact of camp. In-person worship can include decorating the church in a camp theme, special snacks or meals, time to share information on registrations and local financial support, and focused time during Sunday school and youth group to talk about age specific offerings…all wrapped in an informal, fun, and campy feeling day!

Camp Sunday Worship Material

Camp Sunday Worship Program
The worship program includes call to worship, hymn suggestions, children's message, scripture, sermon ideas, prayers, invitation to communion, Invitation to offering, and a benediction. Use this program or change it to make your own!

This Camp Sunday Worship Program is based on Luke 15: 11-32, The Prodigal Son and the 2024 Camp Curriculum, Linked by Love. The curriculum focuses on God’s love being manifest in relationships of all kinds that weave in and out of our lives. Each camp day focuses on a different Old Testament or New Testament story of a person who encounters God through a different type of relationship. For this year’s worship, we have drawn heavily from curriculum Day 4 “Linked by Grace.”

Decoration Ideas

Promotional Materials and Social Media images​
Click on the image title to open. Once opened, to save PDF's, simply click on the download icon in the upper right-hand corner. For JPEG images, right click on the image and choose "save image as."

Music
Song Ideas

Spotify Playlist - for Linked by Love. This playlist includes contemporary Christian and secular music to play before, during, or after worship. These songs tie in with the worship program above.

Dakotas United Methodist Camps Promotional VIDEO!
Play this during announcement times at worship, on Camp Sunday, and/or during Sunday School classes!

Preparing for Camp Sunday

Set a Date

Work with your pastor(s) and education staff to find a date that works best for you. Get it on your church calendar and start promoting! Some churches make the whole service (scripture, children’s message, message, hymns) about changed lives and opportunities at camp. That is ideal, but your church may choose instead to simply make announcements, pass out information, and extend invitations.

Whatever the case, be sure to choose a Sunday when you anticipate a strong turnout.

Plan a Budget & Arrange Fundraisers

Find out how much money is set aside or available to support campers from your church. Talk to your church leaders about whether your church can contribute a portion of the cost for each child who signs up for camp. Many churches contribute 50-100% of the total cost, while others contribute a set amount per camper. Consider helping your church arrange a fundraiser to support your campers. Camp Sunday may be a great day for it! Fundraisers could involve: a dinner prepared by youth, car washes, bake sales, and any other fun opportunities you can think of.

There are also conference camp scholarships (camperships) available; to learn more about them, click here.

Request a Camp Representative

If scheduling permits, a camp representative would be happy to visit your church to assist with your Camp Sunday celebration. Please contact your closest campsite or the central camping office.

Camp representatives can provide the message/sermon, lead a time of children’s worship, share camp opportunities during a fellowship hour, provide a display in a common area, bring handouts and giveaways, or simply be present to cheer you and your church leaders on!

More posters and flyers are available upon request.

A box of brochures and promotional posters will be sent to each church in January.  For your Camp Sunday, plan to have enough brochures available for each child in your church community to receive one (plus have extras to keep on hand to pass out throughout the spring). Contact the central camping office (855) 622-1973 (toll-free) to request more brochures.

Enlist helpers.

Find a few “camp friends” within your church who might be willing to help with tasks, speak about their camping experiences, and answer questions.

Start getting the word out!

Contact (via e-mail, social media, or postal mail) every family in your congregation to let them know the dates for Camp Sunday and related fundraisers. (Check with the camping office if you would like a contact list for former campers from your church.)

Create a display in a common area where families come and go. The display should include a poster and brochures.

Promote Camp Sunday in these ways:

  • Make announcements about Camp Sunday during worship.
  • Create an article for church newsletter that talks about Camp Sunday
  • Put information about Camp Sunday in the church bulletin and/or on screens during worship.
  • Share fun camp tidbits and photos through your church’s social media platforms.

Here’s the information to share in your Camp Sunday promotions:

  • Camp Sunday date.
  • Need for prayers for families to become involved.
  • Need for financial support for campers from your church.
  • The opportunity to wear comfortable “camp” clothes to worship on Camp Sunday: jeans or shorts, camp T-shirt or sweatshirts from a previous summer, hats, etc.

Continue sharing with the congregation (through announcements, newsletter, social media, bulletin, or on screens) that Camp Sunday is coming! Remind people to wear camp clothes.

PREPARING YOURSELF

Look through a copy of the camp brochure to see a list of all events offered this summer.

Feel free to contact Dakotas-Minnesota Area United Methodist Camps staff or staff at a specific campsite to ask questions or learn more about camp opportunities.

Many churches choose to target 3-4 events they feel would be a good fit for their congregations; events that they know would be of interest, are held at a close campsite, or perhaps an event where someone from their congregation is helping to lead. Targeting a handful of events can allow for churches to arrange transportation more easily and ensures that kids will be going with at least a few friends.

PREPARING FOR THE BIG DAY

Work with your pastor(s) and other worship leaders. Share with them ideas for how to incorporate Dakotas-Minnesota Area United Methodist Camps into worship on Camp Sunday through related scriptures, readings, children’s message, prayers, hymns, and songs. 

Enlist youth to read scripture or lead worship in other ways on Camp Sunday. Recruit past campers to share their experiences with the congregation (highlights, what they learned, how they grew in their faith, and what they’re looking forward to this summer.)

Decorate the church in a camping/outdoor theme. A few ideas: set up a tent in the fellowship hall, create a mock fire with a ring of rocks by the main door into the sanctuary, place a crude wooden cross on the altar, or place camp-themed centerpieces in the fellowship hall. The possibilities are endless! Look at the “Decoration Ideas” page in the Camp Sunday Worship Resources on the website for some great ideas!

Plan a camp related snack or activity.  S’more fixings, granola, trail mix, gummy worms for fishing, etc.

Consider holding a fundraiser of some type to raise money to help support campers from your church.

Most importantly, have fun!!

UMC

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