January 6, 2012

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Is it a conference for middle school youth workers?

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Is it a retreat for middle school youth workers?

Somewhat, but more like a conference

We have a hard time describing the Middle School Ministry Campference, because any short description doesn’t completely capture the vibe that is so amazing about this event. Really, it’s a Tribal Gathering for middle school and junior high youth workers.

Sure, we’ll have seminars and focused conversations lead by some of the leading practitioners in our field. But the primary value of the weekend is that we’re all together, playing, talking, eating, dreaming, worshipping. You won’t just sit in a seminar with an expert: you’ll have a meal with her or go zip-lining with him. And you’ll find plenty of “experts” who, just like you, are the other attendees. Because everyone has a voice at the Campference.

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Here’s what some of last year’s attendees said:

I have gone to the Campference 2 years now, and each year has gotten better. The “campers” are more diverse (different denominations, roles in their church, and ministry types) but, our main goals are the same. We all strive to give our time, resources, energy, and hearts to showing middle schoolers Christ’s love. Being able to spend time and learn from people with the same goals is uplifting and transforming. It helps take away the ministry blues I think we all need to shake off from time to time. Can’t wait for next year!

The Campference was a wonderful collection of the odd folks to minister to middle schoolers. And this was its beauty: you felt like you were among your kind. Such a refreshing time to be with people who speak your language and so rejuvenating to have sessions and material aimed specifically at that awesomely awkward stage of life.

My tribe, my people. I got the benefits of a camp experience without 15 Middle School students hanging on me! Beautiful location with a tribe unlike any other.

The Campference had a huge impact on me – I loved meeting others in my tribe, who understood my calling and why I do the ministry that I do. The weekend was full of worship, deep conversations, and laughter – it was one of those weekends where we came as strangers and left as family.

Don’t be fooled by the laid back atmosphere and the self-proclaimed craziness of the ‘faculty’ – they – and the middle school leaders that attend are very savvy and discriminating. Top-drawer content and venue for middle school specific ministry learning.

kurt-johnston-image-1000This year, we’re keeping the best of what we’ve learned from the past two events, and making a handful of tweaks to continue improving. We’ll spend three days together at a gorgeous camp setting. All the speakers will be with us for the whole event. The price is all-inclusive (which makes it a crazy value, thanks to the partnership of SpringHill Camps). But we’re also adding new and more seminars and conversations. So even those who return will find something of great value.

If you bring a team, you’ll have the best experience of your ministry year. And if you come alone, you won’t be alone for long (we promise).

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