The Spiritual Program, Activities, & Community
This high school Camp/Conference is designed to reach people for Jesus Christ but, we get there in a much different way than most camps. Our goal is to reach the churched. That’s right, the “churched”, no “un” attached to it. Our ministry focus is on the people who are already in the church. Focusing on helping them discover a passion and purpose for their faith beyond listening and into living in a way that impacts their families, friends, communities and the world.
That Thing will challenge your students, create a tangible processing of the way of Christ and empower them to go into the world for the lost. This is a sending camp.
This curriculum/program is designed to cycle around a four year teaching rotation. No matter where a student enters into the cycle during their freshman year, these are the 4 critical things we want them to focus on before they leave. While each of these values is a part of every year's teaching, the theme is built around each component once every four years.
Discovering how uniquely special each of us is to be loved by God
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10
Sharing God’s hope and love to restore a spirit of faith in this world
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” 1 John 4:20
Responding to physical and spiritual need locally and globally
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11-12
Discerning Truth and nurturing disciplines to encourage and challenge us beginning to end
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 John 4:16-17
Local Church Focused
One way to attend That Thing is for students to have a shared experience coming from a local faith community (your church). Building upon current relationships and returning home within that existing faith community is a great benefit.Strengthening the body of a student ministry, this experience will help them all grow, learn, be challenged and transformed together. When the week begins, they already have a good sense of where their friends are spiritually. There is a comfort level in sharing. Your church’s ciritcal agenda and direction can be incorproated into the experience. And, when they go home, they’ve shared a life-changing experience together; accountability is built in and the charge and enthusiasm is shared, brighter, stronger and more resilient.
You know your students better than anyone else. As their pastor you understand exactly what is essential for that next big step in a student’s spiritual life and you can direct that here. As such, we’ve built That Thing to be a customizable conference. We provide the major programming: overall spiritual context, worship bands, creative tangible encounters, fun activities, curriculum options, and such so that the leaders can tailor it all to develop the most relevant moments, events, discussions and activities for their group.
We call this a conference event instead of a camp because of the added freedom to group leaders. If a group plans to leave site for a service project or wants an opportunity to go out to eat…there’s no need to ask permission. The leaders in charge of each group are truly in charge.
For a group experience: Group Tickets allow you full ownership of the experience in a lodge, you can even sell your extra spots to other churches.
For students who come from churches where leaders aren’t able to attend or there aren’t enough students to get group lodging, we’ve created intentional spaces and opportunities for students to come and experience That Thing. These experiences are for students (roommate request’s available) who enjoy meeting lots of new people. Everyone in the cabin will probably only know 1-3 other people. There are no concerns, everything is taken care of from the fun to worship.
That Thing’s Campus House Counselors plan development time for students to connect, get to know one another and open up throughout the week. The experience is about connecting them with each other so that as a created community they can support, encourage and challenge one another in Christ.
Students in the Campus Houses get to experience everything That Thing has to offer. They still get the individual freedoms in what activites they plunge into and where they spend their time as they can pick and choose activities and experiences perfect for their likes and styles.
The Campus House is the best option for students coming to camp individually; church leaders are invited and encouraged to come be counselors, contact us for counseling info.
At That Thing there are two corporate worship sessions each day. These large worship sessions provide participants a space to encounter God and His Word. The experiences present challenges for growth that define a Christ-follower’s outward and inward life.
Teachings: We don’t expect everyone to learn symmetrically. As well, we believe that God’s Truth is revealed, absorbed and challenges people through more than just a sermon: spoken word, scripture, music, videos, drama, dance, quiet, technology and all of our senses are all used to engage worshippers.
Our Keynoters come from a variety of backgrounds and traditions but focus on the common vital threads that all believers can agree upon; the power and authority of, and our commission by Jesus Christ. That Thing’s host and spiritual director Nate Haywood, coordinates all of the teaching styles, encounters and themes to guide worshippers through an overall spiritual journey to the week.
We like our worship music intense and powerful. That doesn’t just mean loud…it is, but it’s
about helping everyone to find a way to connect God. It’s always passionate, purposeful and part of the truth being shared.
The songs come from writers like Steve Fee, David Crowder, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Christian Stanfill and others. The music can be new to some students, so the songs are taught and used a couple times throughout the week to help create familiarity.
Answers: Sometimes during the teachings in a session, we’ll offer major questions without just putting out an answer. It’s intentional and essential. If we, as a body of Christ, aren’t learning to face questions and challenges head on, we’ll never learn how to properly discover answers; we will only learn how to wait. We learn how to discover truth through scripture, by starting and seeking out discussions and wrestling with the truths we’ve found in God’s word. Through this process we learn to find the answers on our own. You can give a man a fish or teach a man to fish. We strive to be teaching our students how to find the answers to by seeking out God, fellow Christians, and scripture.
We want students to apply what they have learned. During our worship sessions, students will be given opportunity to apply what they have learned through a tangible experiences that will engage their senses. Often times, the more senses that we can engage (tastes, smells, touches, etc…) the more students will remember and re-use what they have learned. These visible moments are so important to have. Each day students face different reflection opportunities that help them walk through the major decision of choosing whether or not they will live in the image of Christ. These responses range from visible physical movements to quieter contemplative processing.
The That Thing team will provide your group with info about the curriculum that can be used both in and out of the worship sessions. You are free to use as much or as little of the materials we provide as you want. The materials we provide are used in concert to the spiritual journey going on in each student as they engage our worship sessions.
Because our goal is to help campers become disciples of Jesus Christ, each morning they will have an opportunity to attend a learning lab. Students will meet in a predetermined location on campus and will be visited by amazing leaders throughout the course of the week. They will engage in daily topics while immersing themselves in the Word and discussion with their peers.
Campers can experience the waterfront’s sandy beach, catch some rays, swim, or borrow a canoe or kayak. Paddle boards and water-basketball are also available. Want a more thrilling experience? Why not try tubing or The Giant Donut behind our new Moomba Speedboat!
Your students are able to mix and mingle with other campers and make new friends during the Activity Block. Challenge a group of friends to the Gaga Pit or 9 Square in the air! Campers can sign up for multiple tournaments and crafts or even walk the different wooded trails on our campus. It's your conference, so let us know how we can serve you during the activity block.
As a leader or a camper, there is real value in experiencing teamwork each day with your lodge - and a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, either! During Cabin Challenge time your lodge will meet up with other students and leaders on site for exciting games, activities and competitions.