Helping Young Adults Find Their Place

Our friends and partners from the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Network have developed an amazing new online tool, a mobile app, to help our young adults locate an outdoor ministry site where they might want to serve in the summers.

The impact of outdoor ministry on the lives of our young people is powerful. A week at an ELCA camp or retreat center breathes an energy into a young person’s faith that is hard to duplicate elsewhere. Dr. Jacob Sorenson has been working to quantify the effect of a camp experience on the formation of faith. You can see some of his research here.

Multiply that by a factor of 1000 for our young adults who spend a summer serving at one of our outdoor ministry sites. A young adult from my congregation recently talked about how during the school year, members of the camp staff she served on would continue to gather on Zoom on Sunday nights to worship together, even though they were spread across the country. It is hard to find places where faith-based relationships develop in ways they do at one of our camps.

On the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Network’s new mobile app, called Camp MatchUp, outdoor ministry sites have created profiles including the state they are based in, the size of the camp staff, the type of ministry setting (mountains, lakes, etc…) that they are in, their open positions and the activities they have. Young adults who are exploring working at a camp can create their own profile (and even upload a resume if they choose). The app points them toward camps that match their profile, and they can “swipe left” if they are not interested, and “swipe right” if it is a camp that might be a match. That camp then receives the young adults information. <Yes…insert goofy dating app jokes here.>

But it is a quick and easy way for our young people to see what is available and to explore where God may be calling them to serve. It’s also a simple way for them to send their information to the camp and initiate a conversation.

I highly encourage you to promote this new mobile app within your congregation. You can learn more about it here. Tell your young people to search for it wherever they get their mobile apps.

Networked in Christ,

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