That Thing

Missional High School Event

That Thing is a summer conference for high school students to come together in pursuit of Christ overwhelming themselves and their communities. This is not spring break with a little bit of Christ sprinkled in but it’s not bible boot camp either.

That Thing finds the place in the middle. It engages students into a deep pursuit of the heartbeat of our Creator as they pursue reconciliation, justice, and discipleship through small groups, corporate worship, and personal devotion encounters. Fun activities like camp wide games, the waterfront, and crate climbing, help to foster community and play. Through activities like paintball and the giant swing, students engage character discussions on honesty, integrity, and encouragement. Through it all though, is a central focus on the message and hope of Christ being lived out through each person at camp, so that they can learn how to live it out beyond camp.

This year at That Thing, we are focusing our message in on the foundation of following Christ. Through worship and unpacking times, we’ll be focusing on the core value of discipleship and the anchor points that will help us to be a light in the darkness, to fight for justice, and to stand firm through the storms of life. We hope that every student brings their doubts, their frustrations, their joys, and their victories to the cross this summer and finds their anchor in covenant with Christ.

That Thing 2017 Dates

• Session 1: June 18-23
• Session 2: June 25-30
• Session 3: July 2-7
• Session 4: July 9-14

Sunday Schedule

• 5-6p - Group Lodge Check In
• 6-7p - Individual Ticket Check In
• 6:30p - Group Lodge Leader Meeting
• 8:00p - Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
• 8:15p - Doors Open
• 8:30p - Evening Session
• 10:30p - Curfew

Daily Schedule

•  7:00a - Experiential Morning Worship Encounter
•  8:00a - Breakfast
•  9:00a - Worship
•  10:45a - Small Groups or Team Building
•  12:00p - Lunch
•  1:00p - Learning Labs
•  2:00p - Cabin Challenges
•  2:30p - Free Block
•  5:30p - Dinner
•  6:30p - Learning Lab
•  7:30p - Mixers/Late Night
•  8:30p - Worship
•  10:30p - Curfew/Small Group Evening Devotions

New for 2017

Schedule Adjustments

You'll see a few changes in our schedule as we add value to the time you have with your students' undivided attention. Our main goal is to provide opportunities for your students to encounter Christ and to grow in their relationship with Him so they can live more fully like Him in the every day. These changes will help focus times, limit brain drain, and maximize the experience and interactions. (And don't forget, this is conference style and you can customize the schedule and your experience to fit the goals of your group...)

First you'll see a return of an Experiential Morning Worship Encounter time at 7am, Monday through Thursday. This will be an intentional start to the day for students to encounter Christ and God's Word in tangible and creative ways.

Additionally, we're setting aside specific time for small groups and team building activities after morning worship. This space can be used to debrief from session, do devotions as a group, break into small groups, and participate in group-bonding activities. Leaders, you can decide whether you'd like to do this as a lodge or if you'd prefer to have your students mixed in with other students from other lodges.

We'll have two different times for Learning Labs this year, one right after lunch and one after dinner. Whether it's about dating, how to study the Bible, friends who are self-harming, evangelism, or honoring non-believing parents...these discussion times will help students wrestle with scripture in a safe space while learning how to apply it to their daily lives.

After many requests from students and leaders, we'll have MIXERS each night before evening worship in 2017! This space will provide more opportunities for students to meet people outside their lodge.

New Auditorium

We are excited that construction is happening. Our previous auditorium has been removed from the grounds and construction is underway for our new Discipleship Center which will add tremendous value to the experience and help to remove many physical distractions that have been a struggle in previous years.

Waterfront Lodge 3

Fundraising has been completed on Buck Lodge and it will soon become a reality. Construction is set to begin sometime in 2017 but it will not be available for use at summer camp until the summer of 2018. This new Waterfront Lodge is similar to Duecker and Fenstermacher lodges in style but will sleep 60 people!

Two Story Lodges Offline

As we transition many facilities around site, the old two story lodges, which set at the edge of the property near the neighborhood, have been taken offline and are not available to rent this year. This does impact the number of beds we will have on site this year. We appologize for any inconvenience this causes but it is definitely a good thing to retire these facilities which were past their prime and our standards.

Lodge Sharing

Many leaders want to know how they can share a lodge with another church but don't have the connections or network in place to make that happen for the dates they desire to be at camp. We can help you out with that. Let us know today that you are interested so we can help groups find each other and coordinate all the necessary details (this isn't a commitment and you don't have to wait until registration opens).

Group Tickets

Bring all the students from your local faith community and share a lodge with just the individuals you want to be in it. As their leader, you can completely customize the experience to exactly what your students and leaders need. [group ticket info]

Individual Tickets

For students who are coming from churches that aren't booking an entire lodge or who want a camp experience where everyone is new to each other, individual tickets are available. [individual ticket info]

Interested in volunteering as a counselor? [volunteer info]

You Might Need...

About the Program - [here]

Payment Information - [here]

That Thing FAQ's - [here]

Leader Event Book - [here]

2017 Speakers

Week 1 - Porcia Baxter

Porcia grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and at the age of 12 began experimenting with drugs and alcohol to fit in. She quickly found herself overwhelmed in a life of darkness, addiction, shame, and emptiness. On a path to death, at her lowest point, Jesus radically interrupted her darkness and gave her back her life. Now she lives to make the most of every moment and to share the story of redemption available to everyone because of the Gospel. Porcia is especially passionate about seeing students choose to live fully for Jesus, rather than chasing popularity, the things of this world, and trying to fit in. She loves to share her story, but loves to share His story even more. She loves to inspire students to a deep and authentic passion for Jesus.


Week 2 - Ashlee Eiland

Ashlee Eiland has been on staff with Willow Creek Community Church since 2011, and currently serves as a Youth Pastor with Student Impact, Willow’s high school ministry. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2009, she began her professional career with Nestlé USA before feeling called to vocational ministry – while volunteering at a high school camp! In her current role, Ashlee loves inviting people closer to the truth of the Gospel, wherever they may be on their journey with Jesus Christ. She also loves getting to equip and develop students and leaders as they lean into and activate their God–given gifts – so much so that she decided to go back to school to get her Masters in Organizational Leadership from Judson University. In her spare time, Ashlee loves reading, writing, yoga, and trying out new restaurants. She and her husband, Delwin, are crazy about their Yorkie-poo (Jasper) their two kids (Brooklyn & Myles), and consider family time the best part of any day.


Week 3 - Scott Woods

Scott Woods has been serving as the Community Life Director for Student Impact since February of 2016. But has worked at Willow Creek for 10 years. He was born and raised just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. But he still bleeds Cubby Blue. Scott has one wife and one child.


Week 4 - Matt Boyle

Matt was born and raised in Chicago. After earning a Business Management degree from Hope College in Holland, MI, Matt attended Grand Rapids Theological Seminary where he earned his Masters of Divinity. Before coming to Ecclesia Clear Lake in January of 2011, Matt spent three years as the Middle School Teaching Pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. Matt married his beautiful bride, Corrie, in 2007. Corrie is the best! Their daughter, Nyleigha, was born in Grand Rapids. Their son, Parker, was born right here in Houston. Some of Matt’s favorite things are playing with his family, Houston “winters”, reading, exercising, and cheering on Chicago sports teams. Among Matt’s favorite books are The Divine Conspiracy, Yes Man, and any well-written biography about an interesting person. Also, Matt thinks earning a Masters of Divinity degree is ridiculous. Who’s mastered divinity? Let’s keep learning together.


Band Weeks 1-3

Mass Anthem -

Mass Anthem is a Christian pop band originally from the Chicagoland area now located in Nashville, TN. The trio is comprised of brothers, Chad and Tyler Sowards, as well as Joey Atansio. Mass Anthem began in the summer of 2014 when the members met during their time as students at Judson University, located in Elgin, IL. From the recording studios at Judson, they recorded their first album entitled ‘ALIVE’ and have toured across the country playing festivals, youth camps, and concerts. Mass Anthem has a passion for youth and a calling not only lead them in worship, but to also show students that worship isn't just music, but a lifestyle. “We hope that our music will inspire students to live a life for Someone greater than themselves.” - Chad

The band cites Citizen Way, for KING and COUNTRY, Newsboys, Hawk Nelson, The Afters, and Hillsong Y&F as inspiration.

Band Week 4


Event Location

Located at Epworth Forest Conference Center in North Webster, Indiana along the shore of Lake Webster.

How Far Is It?:

  • Indianapolis, IN– 160 miles, 2 hours, 45 minutes
  • South Bend, IN– 55 miles, 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Ft. Wayne, IN– 45 miles, 55 minutes
  • Lafayette, IN– 115 miles, 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • Muncie, IN– 120 miles, 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Chicago, IL– 135 miles, 2 hours, 40 minutes
  • Cincinnati, OH– 225 miles, 4 hours
  • Lansing, MI– 145 miles, 2 hours, 30 minutes

That Thing Leaders:

Customizable promo mailing and info packs will be available early this winter here. You can request copies to be mailed to you that will run through your printer and files that you can download to customize and print/email. Additionally, photos, videos, and social media graphics will be available soon.

Registration Opens Tues. 11/8 @ 9a:

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at 9:00am (eastern time) registration will open for lodge reservations at Be online and ready to go as there is a brief form that you complete with your name and contact info which forms the line for reserving the lodge you hope to have in the summer of 2017.