Every one of us is keenly aware of the good impact of outdoor ministry. And now we are getting better at having the benefit of legitimate and academically sound research to affirm what we all know in our hearts to be true. The data from the research project recently completed by Jake Sorenson, PhD, suggest that the positive impacts of summer camp result from a dynamic interplay of five characteristics that can be considered fundamental to the Christian camp model. This summer camp model may look and feel very different from camp to camp, from week to week at the same camp, and even from person to person within a single camp group. This reveals that the camp model is highly adaptive and contextual. These five characteristics are:


This research project also demonstrates that the camp experience has lasting impacts on campers and their families. 11 of our LOM camps have now participated in this project, including more than 2000 campers and 600 parents. To learn more, visit

Jake did a presentation at the 2017 LOM Conference and shared data from the survey that was done in 2016. Thanks to the 74 LOM sites that participated in this survey! We now have great data comparing our sites and ministry philosophy to those of 8 other denominations connected to Outdoor Ministry Connection! Check out the report here: OMC Survey 2016 LOM Report, May 2017

Jake was one of the featured presenters at our LOM Annual Conference at Carol Joy Holling Camp in Nebraska in 2016.  Here are some resources from his presentation.

Read more about research on camping ministry at Jake’s website: Sacred Playgrounds