The Inside Scoop on InsideOut
Guest Post by Crys Zinkiewicz
As a fellow United Methodist and the Editor and Project Manager for the ecumenical curriculum InsideOut: Christian Resources for Outdoor Ministries, I thought you might like the inside scoop on its development and scope.
Some of you will have been familiar with predecessor camping resources developed by the National Council of Churches. But a couple of years ago the time had come to make significant changes to our summer camp curriculum offerings. My former colleague from the Youth Resources Unit of The United Methodist Publishing House, Jenny Youngman, was tapped to lead the design team, which included United Methodists and representatives from several other mainline denominations, in creating a fresh approach. The result is the DVD-ROM- based InsideOut, published by Chalice Press.
The team planned a four-year sequence that ensures returning campers will explore the fullness of God, who they are created to be, and what they are called to do.
Youngman edited Year 1, All Things New: Look What God Is Doing, for the 2013 camping season. When she moved on to pursue other callings, I picked up the role of Editor and Project Manager. I had served in curriculum development at The United Methodist Publishing House for 31 years, so this assignment fit my skills and also reconnected me with my own church camp experiences, which were formative for my faith and life.
As I jumped into working on 2014’s Year 2, Get Real: Finding Your True Self in Jesus, I found myself working in a rich ecumenical environment. The writers and reviewers (including some of you) were from various faith traditions: United Methodist, Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Church of the Brethren. In 2014 we also introduced a way to use those great stories of Jesus in a day camp setting as well as residential camp.
Year 3 is based, logically, on the Holy Spirit. Tracey Brown, one of the returning writers from the previous year and a United Methodist Camp Director (Potosi Pines, in Nevada), confessed she was a bit intimidated with the theme. But the design team did an excellent job of choosing scriptures that put the focus on the action of the Holy Spirit in lives and how campers can live in God’s Spirit. Tracey later affirmed that, after working with the passages and activities, she is truly excited. Power Up! Living in the Spirit is ready now for you to look over as you plan for your 2015 camping season. We trust you too will see exciting possibilities.
When you explore the resource, which you can easily do with a free sampler from ChristianCampResources.com, you’ll see clearly Chalice Press’s commitment to serve the ministry of camping. The first year’s DVD-ROM provided 215 pages of material; Power Up! has over 350–including new sections, expanded training tools, and a more functional day camp resource! Chalice also helps to connect the camping community as additional resources to one another–even in the middle of camp–through social media.
Year 4, 2016, seems a long way off; but the new Editor, Rev. Erin Reed Cooper, has been at work with the new season’s writers, building on the planning of the design team around the theme of the church and its mission in the world. Fearless Faith promises to be yet another great resource for a camp experience that changes campers from the inside out.
Here are a few things you can do to get ready for 2015:
Get your free Power Up! sampler.
Order the Power Up! DVD-ROM for your camp.
Learn more at ChristianCampResources.com.
Crys Zinkiewicz is a Christian educator with a long and varied career in the ministry of curriculum development. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she finds balance in continued editorial work and more opportunities to be outdoors enjoying God’s great creation.