Brian Frick is the Associate for Camp and Conferences Ministries with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He has been involved in camp and conference ministry since high school. For the past ten years, Brian has served as program director of Johnsonburg Center in New Jersey, Westminster Woods in California, and Heartland Center in Missouri.
Camp and conference ministry compliments and partners with other ministry aspects of our church to foster faith development and reflection. As our communities and our church changes, our ministries need to grow and adapt with creative and emergent programming and leadership to meet new realities.
These blogs entries, though varied, are intended to spur thought and conversation around the opportunities and challenges before us.
I'm excited to share news I have learned about our PCUSA's research services area. Of course they produce the Presbyterian Panel (new one for Camp and Conferences planned for this year so maybe something to share at PCCCA Annual!) But they also have access to other data that you can use for marketing and learning.
Demographics. One of the most important thing for planning is knowing your population - who's in your area? It's one thing to blindly predict growth by doing more of the same, hoping the economy recovers, or sending out more mailings, but to truly have a plan you need more information.
You can find free demographic information at www.pcusa.org/research/demographics. You can look at maps that show a variety of info sorted from the most recent US Census. Find out percentage of household with kids, adult age distribution, household income and more! The report is of course put in terms of congregations using this info - but just substitute congregation for camp/conference center and this same info applies.
Start there, find out more. Share it and discuss it and hopefully use REAL information to plot targeted mailings, marketing, pricing, etc.
Research services will also work with you for other studies and
surveys at a cost, such as surveying your campers/participants,
supporters, board members, or others - you can reach them at
(888)728-7228 ext 2040; firstname.lastname@example.org and by visiting their webpage
I hope the info you gain will be helpful in planning for your future.