The education committee has developed a curriculum that assists camp professionals in developing leadership skills in Outdoor Ministries. In addition to an enriching curriculum, you will expand your network of trusted colleagues and be taking home great resources you can use for years to come. While the specific topics and faculty vary between the Administrative and Program tracks of these training events, there are a few key elements that remain the same.
- Philosophy of Outdoor Ministries: By the end of the Training Event each participant has the opportunity to reflect on and write his or her own personal philosophy statement of outdoor ministries.
- Small Groups: Each day you meet in a small group to process the information you are learning, discuss topics like self-care, and share the joys and struggles of being an outdoor ministry professional.
- Table Talks: During the lunch and dinner meals each day, participants are able to sit with the faculty and further discuss the various topics taught in sessions for that day. This is a great opportunity for additional learning.
- Community Life: One of the most highly valued aspects of past LOM Training Events is the sense of community and collegiality that develops between participants. We ask all students and faculty to participate fully in the entire Training Event. This includes classes, worship, meals and fellowship time. The community life and schedule of these events are not conducive for taking time away from the program to see other people or places. We ask that you use this time to get to know outdoor ministry colleagues, build friendships and network with others.
Program Track Curriculum
(The number in parentheses is class length.)
- Lutheran Theology (1.5): What makes us Lutheran? We will discuss Lutheran beliefs and doctrinal cornerstones. This will be a time to explore your own theological understandings. You will also learn effective ways to teach seasonal staff Lutheran theology.
- Outdoor Ministry Philosophy (3 sessions, 2.75): What is your personal philosophy of outdoor ministries? We will explore why having a personal philosophy of outdoor ministry is important. Take time to develop or refine your personal philosophy and understand how it shapes your ministry. You will have time to share philosophy statements in a small group.
- Ministry of Hospitality (1.5): You will learn why hospitality is important to outdoor ministry. Discover the key needs of guests and take home a practical tool to assess your organization’s hospitality.
- Program Planning (1.5): Good program planning assesses and meets the needs of participants and congregations. Learn how to develop a program from an idea to implementation to evaluation. Learn that program planning is for all seasons and all ages.
- Risk Management (1.5): Are you prepared to properly respond to a crisis situation in your programs and answer the questions that arise? During this session you will be introduced to the concepts necessary to manage risk in your camp setting. Don't risk missing this session! Learn ways to teach seasonal staff about risk identification and reduction of risk. Identify ACA as the industry standard for safety and good practices.
- Creation Stewardship (1.5): Learn how to incorporate creation stewardship into your year-round program through theology, creation stewardship assessment of the site, program planning, and experiential activities.
- Valuing Diversity (1.5): You will be challenged to confront your personal biases and to understand our call to be inclusive in outdoor ministry. Gain an understanding of the theological basis of diversity and inclusion.
- Bible Study Development and Teaching (1.5): Discover how to plan Bible studies that engage and challenge. You will leave with skills and techniques to design Bible studies that meet the needs of diverse learners of all ages.
- Program Staffing (2.0): Journey through the program staffing cycle and its many destinations throughout the year. The cycle begins with recruiting and interviewing, followed by orientation and training. We will also examine staff supervision, evaluation, and ensuring quality and safety. You will leave with many take home resources to assist you with your program staffing. Time will also be provided to share staff training ideas.
- Using Social Media (1.0): If you don’t create an online social media presence for your organization, someone else will. Looking at current social media outlets and trends, we will explore how your organization currently interacts with a Web 2.0 society. Discussions about the benefits and challenges of social media will help you draft organizational policies that will shape how you use social media as well as protect yourself from its inherent liabilities.
- Worship & Music (1.5): Discover the importance of planning and executing worship with intentionality and well-grounded theology. Learn guidelines for choosing music and other liturgical components that are appropriate to the worship context. Leave with a template for Lutheran worship after helping to design a worship service.
- Outdoor Ministry Partnerships (.75): Outdoor ministry organizations cannot exist in a vacuum. Understand the relationship of outdoor ministries to the ELCA and learn how to partner with other organizations. Learn about resources that will help you continue to grow as an outdoor ministry professional.