Gotta start somewhere

Canoes @ Mapleton

Over the past two decades Christian camping has gone through something of a watershed experience. Rising compliance costs in an increasingly litigious society and higher customer expectations have drawn the curtain on the rustic, occasionally used facility.

The camp sites that have survived this rapid and total makeover of the camping “industry” are the ones that have invested into their facilities for the long term.

Queensland Conference and Camping Centres (QCCC) has stayed at the forefronts of industry trends and boast three state of the art facilities in South East Queensland that are highly sought after.   Each year QCCC hosts more than 35,000 people at its Brookfield (Brisbane), Mapleton and Tamborine Mountain sites.

QCCC’s clientele is drawn from a wide strata of society including schools, church and community groups, other Christian organizations, music camps, art camps, ministry retreats and sports camps, to name but a few. QCCC’s practice of hospitality provides access and opportunities to influence many lives. 

For many guests the QCCC staff may be “the only Jesus some will ever meet and the only Book of Life some will ever read”.   It’s a pressing responsibility. 

Many Christian organisations are working through how to be “attractive”.  It’s not something we have to spend to much time and energy worrying about.  Camping *is* attractional.  It’s what we do with it that will count for the long haul. 

I’ve just assumed the role of Director of Camping with a very specific charter from the Queensland Baptists to concentrate on the further development of the ministry and mission of QCCC. I’m excited by the role because there are endless possibilities for QCCC to have a profound impact for the Kingdom of God.

We intend to build on what we already have in committed staff, breathtaking facilities and our extensive networking and interaction with other schools, community groups and Christian organizations.

Just back from a planning meeting

Already in development at Mapleton is the opportunity for committed Christians to study with us to receive their qualifications in outdoor education. We’re putting this emphasis on training new staff because we will need people to work in our exciting new offsite expedition program.

As part of our process of developing a ministry plan for QCCC I’m keen to enter into a dialogue with the wider Baptist network on how the asset that is QCCC can empower the ministries of our churches, community engagement and people.

I am sure there are latent desires and ideas out there for us to consider and accommodate.   

As we travel this journey I’d like to make it an open book – an evolving adventure in working out a major ministry direction.  Specifically, I hope it provikes thought on how to maximise ministry opportunities within the environment, culture and opportunity that is camping.

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