The day before the first day of camp.

People know camp for many things:

Sun. Swimming. Services.

5 days to get away and focus on what matters most.

The Greatest Week Of Your Life.

Here’s what I know it for:

Sleepless nights shooting and sitting behind a computer.

And yet, I’m back for year six.

Why? Because I love it.

Camp is my Christmas.

Cue “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Andy Williams.

It’s such a joy hanging out with the campers and staff.

Making them feel famous and I’m the paparazzi.

Telling the stories of what God doing in & through their lives.

At it’s best, Camp is an example of “Heaven on Earth”.

It is a glimpse of what’s to come on the other side of eternity.

This year, I want to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the camp creative process, by keeping a war journal.

Make no mistake: camp is war.

There’s the war of art yes, but camp is spiritual warfare.

Fighting to see campers have a life-changing encounter with God.

You see, campers bring more to the grounds than color team costumes and sugary snacks.

They bring “baggage” too.

Put students in this environment and these things often come to the surface.

To be honest, any of the other staff could write a war journal of their own:

One that documents the discipleship process of camp.

My “online pastor” role isn’t focused on that “in the trenches” work.

So here’s what this journal will focus on:

The battle to tell the story of Breakaway Camp well through social media.

Investigating ideas. The fight of filming. And the process of publishing content that:

  • Assures the pastors and parents back home that their students are having a good time.
  • Helps the attendees remember the glimpses of Heaven they experience throughout the week. (The silly and service moments, for both are sacred.)
  • And is less focused on promoting camp but performing ministry alongside it.

The specific goal for this year:

Working with a team to create 5 pieces of content a day (the 1-2 minute recap, 3 photo dumps, 2 short “vertical style” videos)

If you’re looking to learn how to improve your ministry’s social media, this journal may help you.

If you love camp and want to hear stories from it, this series will for sure deliver.

And if you’re nosy about what’s going on in my mind, well that works too.

Whichever reason, I’m honored you’re here.

– Zachary Thayer

Storyteller & Online Pastor for Illinois Student Ministries