Wednesday, September 8, 2010


September 8, 2010
From: Lynchburg, Virginia

   1.  Blast from the Past
   2.  Enter the WARRIOR CAMP Speaker!
   3.  WARRIOR CAMP History 101
   4.  WARRIOR CAMP Fall Forecast
   5.  Thanks to Warrior Nation and Special WC Letter
   6.  Special WARRIOR CAMP Media Expo:
           (Pics, Video, and 1st WC Slideshow)


I hope you're having a great Fall!

Today is a special day for Warrior Camp, because exactly 3 years ago, with lots of prayer and hard work, we had the chance to see God take Warrior Camp from a cool vision to an undeniable and inspiring reality.  I remember it like it just happened. 


But, at the time, it seemed like it almost didn't happen, due to some issues with location and scope.  And then...a breakthrough from a youth pastor who was courageous enough to let his students be the first guinea pigs!  Next: 2 weeks to promote and get ready.  Pray hard and push the pedal down.  Pray, plan, and prepare 24/7.  Talk about a rat race, especially when you're really banking on a bunch of fun noodles and Walmart has conveniently decided that summer ended 3 weeks ago.  Pray about that too.  And then God provided an awesome Plan B.  Wow.  He's so good at that!  Next: gear up for a full day of stellar games, and do it as a jobless college-grad on a spinster-tight budget.  Ok.  Not sure how we did it, but we did.  Sometimes our less-than-ideal circumstances seem to attract God's provision, and in the end we had just what we needed.  Nothing quite like the class of "God Provides 101".  Next, a reminder from God: "Don't forget what this is all about.  Prayerfully compose some hard-hitting discipleship that these boys really need and crave as young men."  So we did.  Three discipleship rallies spread throughout the day.  "The Warriors of Judges."  "How To Be A Good King."  "What a Godly Girl Looks For."  Ok.  I think we're ready.  "God, please bless this all for your glory." 

And then the big debut!  17 boys, mostly in jr. high, rolled out of the church van to fully engaged in a  sweaty 10-hour marathon of testosterone-packed games and of being challenged by stories of epic Bible heroes, on a grass field in southwest Idaho in early fall.  (If you want to see some highlights from that same first Warrior Camp, feel free to check out the links at the bottom of this post).  At the end of the day, we piled up some large stones commemorating the boy's commitments to God and our promises to pray for each other.  Later that night, once the dust had settled, it was crystal clear: God had His fingerprints all over Warrior Camp.  Nothing could have gone better.  Young men had experienced an epic blast in an unapologetic Christian atmosphere.  This was boyhood fantasy as God intended.  Students had committed something to God and to pray for each other, including the shy kid who rarely ever opened up.  Later on we found out one kid got saved!  This was a God thing, and way bigger than us.  I dropped off all the Warriors in the church van and they began to find their parents and head home.  I stayed in the driver's seat of that church van, for I'm not sure how long, and basked in God's glory.  The camp vision God had given me was now alive and real.  There are no words for it.  No feeling in the world like that.  "God, you're amazing."


It's hard to believe, but that was 3 years ago today!  God has stretched and shaped me along the journey, and since then, our team has expanded and grown in exciting ways.  In this update, I'd like to do something new which we've never done.  Chris Pope is one of my strong and trusted Christian friends who, for a slew of reasons that could fill volumes, I have asked to be our Warrior Camp Discipleship Speaker both last summer and this summer.  That's not a role I fill lightly, but I'm 100% excited to have Chris on the team.  Since you put up with me in every update, now is a great time to introduce you to one of the other key players on our team.  He's agreed to jump in on this update and so, without further adieu, I'll turn it over to him.  Welcome aboard Chris!


From Chris Pope to Warrior Nation:

Greetings from the Northwest! So many things have been happening in the life of Warrior Camp over the last few years since I have had the privilege to be a part of it.

This last summer two churches brought Warrior Camp to their doors. We traveled to Grandview, Washington and Nampa, Idaho.  We were not prepared for the surprises that God had in store.

Many times I think that we can underestimate the faith of a child. No where in Scripture do you read that God wants His children to walk with a blind faith. He wants a child-like faith. He tells us in His word that He is the light of the world. He does not want us to stumble or trip, He wants to light our path.

I noticed the students this summer throwing the curtains open.  Revealing the dust in their lives.  Showing what needs to be cleaned. They boldly stood in front of their peers and announced what they wanted/needed freedom from. They dared their peers to hold them accountable.  They learned what it meant to demonstrate a life of honor, courage, and commitment to God. We talked about living a life of integrity by making honorable choices. Students looked at the life of Daniel and his three friends who demonstrated courage. They studied what made Joshua determine that this day he and his family would serve the Lord.

Our students learn from us.  If we want them to live a life of honor, courage, and commitment to God then they have to see it in us. We need to ask ourselves if we are setting them up for success or failure.  There is a reason Christ called the little children to Him and rebuked those who would hinder them.


Thanks Chris!  So true.  Thanks for bringing some awesome God-talks this summer.  Great to have you on the team.



Since this is a special 3 Year Anniversary Edition, I thought it might also be a fun time to push the rewind button a bit and track Warrior Camp from Day 1 through this Fall. Not that there's ever any confusion here, but God gets all the glory! So buckle up for the WARRIOR CAMP History 101:

Easter Weekend, 2005: God inspires the vision for Warrior Camp

Camp #1
Nampa, Idaho
Lake Lowell Park
September 8, 2007
Attendance: 17 boys
Age: Mostly Jr. High

The spark that started a fire = First WARRIOR CAMP ever.  God gets all the credit!  Thanks to Todd and all the Warriors for being brave guinea pigs!  10 hours in which the vision became alive.  The debut for what would define WARRIOR CAMP.  "Awesome Game Time.  Awesome God Time".  Almost no $ to work with, but God provides.  Raft Relays, Highland Games, Weapon Workshop, and Sword Battles.  Discipleship Rallies: "Mighty Men from Judges".  "How to Be a Good King".  "What a Godly girl wants".  Prayer/Share/Rock Ceremony.  (Guess which one was the favorite?)  Also: First WARRIOR CAMP DVD and WARRIOR CAMP Pics are borne.  Slowly but surely, the word begins to spread!  Big thanks to our original team and original warriors!  A fantastic day ending in amazing gratitude to and awe of God.  One Warrior gets saved as a result!

Camp #2
Grandview, Washington
Grandview Church of the Nazarene Field
July 10, 2009
Attendance: 24 boys
Age: grades 4-7

Sophomore Event!  Hitting the road and going out of state for our first non-home-church invite, and furthest distance ever travelled for WARRIOR CAMP.  The Warriors made the front page!  Also new: Games, Discipleship Rallies: "Dare to Be a Daniel", Knighthood Ceremony, Weapon Workshop: Blow Guns, new Discipleship Speaker dedicated exclusively to the Discipleship Rallies, Expanded Team, 1st WARRIOR CAMP T-shirts.

Camp #3
Grandview, Washington
Grandview Church of the Nazarene Field
July 17, 2010
Attendance: 33 boys
Age: grades 3-6

First 2nd invite.  Woohoo!  Biggest Warrior turnout ever.  Warriors made it into "The Daily Sun" and "The Grandview Herald" 3 combined times.  We're proud of you Washington Warriors!  Thanks so much for having us back.  Other 1sts: New Games and Discipleship Rallies: "Honor.  Courage.  Commitment to God."  Monument Ceremony in which every Warrior voluntarily made some kind of commitment to God = so awesome to see!  WARRIOR CAMP Obstacle Course (aka "The Crucible"), Warrior Camp Dog Tags, Group Photo, Official Photo Slideshow, 2nd WARRIOR CAMP T-shirt, and Sunday morning service show-and-tell.  Thanks a ton Grandview!  We love you all, and will see you next Summer!

Camp #4
Nampa, Idaho
Bethel Church of the Nazarene Field
July 31, 2010
Attendance: 25 boys
Age: Grades 4-7
(Note: We were praying for 25 boys.  Praise God!)

Back on the Stomping Grounds!  First WARRIOR CAMP back in Idaho in almost 3 years.  For some of our Warriors, they got to experience WARRIOR CAMP like their older brothers had done in 2007.  Final discipleship rally in which 24 Warriors voluntarily made some kind of commitment to God! = awesome.  It was great to bring WARRIOR CAMP back home where it all began!  This also capped off our first "double-header" summer in which we had 2 WARRIOR CAMPS.  You Idaho Warriors are awesome, and we're looking forward to seeing you again next Summer!

(Total WARRIOR CAMP Attendance to Date: 99)



Fall Season . Every Week . Warrior Club . Lynchburg, VA . OBIC Farm . September - November

September 18, 2010 . Warrior's Birthday Party Bash . Lynchburg, VA . OBIC Farm . 11:00am - 3:15pm

October 23, 2010 . Brentwood Church Father/Son Warrior Camp Event . Lynchburg, VA . OBIC Farm




I really hope you enjoyed this special 3 year Anniversary Update!  On this day, I want to give everyone of you in Warrior Nation a special huge and heartfelt thank you for all your support, prayer, and encouragement over these last 3 years.  I can't say that enough.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  There have definitely been some speed bumps and challenges, but God is doing big things, and we're excited to be apart of what seems to be a growing momentum as we move ahead into this Fall season and Summer 2011.  All of you in Warrior Nation are an invaluable part of that.

As promised, I've included the links to pics and game highlights from our very first Warrior Camp below.  I hope you enjoy them!  I've also included a link to our New-This-Summer Warrior Camp Photo Slideshow...with music!  Brent (one of our die-hard media wizards) definitely gets a big high-five here for burning the midnight oil on Saturday night after Warrior Camp to get this ready for the Sunday morning service the very next day.  It's the first media production of its kind for Warrior Camp, and as of today, has been posted to YouTube.  I've included the link below.  Hope you enjoy it!  Great job Brent!  We're blessed to have you on the team.

Thanks again Warrior Nation!  You're the best.

Have a great Fall and God bless,


PS: If you want to check it out, there's a description of what the Warriors did this summer which we sent to the parents of WARRIOR CAMP: IDAHO.  You can check it out via our August blog post under "SPECIAL LETTER" or by clicking here.  If you have any questions you'd like us to tackle in our next update, feel free to let us know at  Maybe yours will be picked!



WARNING: This is a Special WARRIOR CAMP Media Expo: 3 Year Anniversary Edition!  (If you experience excessive laughter, an uncontainable amount of joy, side aches or facial tension from viewing this media, please feel free to take a break before resuming).


Highlight Pics
September 8, 2007
Courtesy of: Jaden, Warrior Camp Media Wizard

Slideshow View:

Manual View:


Game Highlights Video
September 8, 2007
Courtesy of: Jaden, Warrior Camp Media Wizard


1st Official WC Photo Slideshow
July 17, 2010
Grandview, Washington
Courtesy of: Brent, Warrior Camp Media Wizard


Tuesday, August 31, 2010


An email letter sent to the supporters and parents of WARRIOR CAMP: Nampa, Idaho . 7-31-10

Letter sent on: 8-14-10


Dear Parents and Supporters,

Hey! This is Derek from WARRIOR CAMP. I hope you're enjoying the rest of your summer!

If you're in a rush and just want to see the WARRIOR CAMP Pics, feel free to scroll down to the link below. If not, I wanted to send you a quick update about the WARRIOR CAMP which touched down on July 31 at the Bethel Field.

We're now exactly 2 weeks out from WARRIOR CAMP 2010: NAMPA EDITION, and I just wanted to let you know how grateful we are for your involvement, support, and encouragement. I can't say that enough. Whether you allowed your son to attend, wanted to but had a schedule conflict, or helped us spread the word, I wanted to extend a personal thank you for your support, prayer, efforts, and help at making WARRIOR CAMP 2010 a big hit for the boys. It was epic. God answered prayer in a big way and deserves all the praise.

If you're curious what the boys did at WARRIOR CAMP, here's a rapid snapshot:

Throughout the 11 hour marathon of fun and discipleship, the Warriors participated in a Team Tournament including a 5 minute race, Truck Pull, and Tug-O-War. (That's right, I said Truck Pull. 7,000+ lbs of F150 for 200 feet!). The Opening Ceremonies involved the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and the March of the Clans. (This is where team pride was big!) Next came a Weapon Workshop, where each Warrior got to build his own sword. He would use his sword in the battle games to follow, and take it home as a souvenir after his completion of WARRIOR CAMP. Next, "The Crucible" (our new 8-stage obstacle course) challenged Warriors with everything from an ice-blocking sprint called the "Siberian Rodeo" to a slime-filled slip n' slide, an uphill frog-walk with scuba gear, a 40+ yard weight pull, and a gauntlet of moving hurdles known as the "Fun Noodle Frenzy". To go out with a bang, we enjoyed slime fights on the slip n slide and "King of the Tube" in a 1500 gallon swimming pool. Other games involved our signature "Kingdom Under Fire" where each team built their own castle, exited, and then barraged their opponent's castle with high-performance waterballoon launchers. Again, to go out with a bang, we let each team run through and obliterate the opposing castle, making sure no walls were left standing! "Man vs. Food" allowed a volunteer Warrior from each team the chance to earn bonus points for his team by conquering his taste-buds. "Sword Wars" pitted Blue Warriors vs. Red Warriors, and later Warriors vs. Leaders, in the Final Battles.

But Warrior Camp isn't all just fun and games. Our spiritual objective is blunt and rare: to challenge each Warrior to grow into a young man who is a real man after God's own heart. Throughout the day, Warriors were challenged across 3 discipleship rallies in this year's theme of "Honor. Courage. Commitment to God." In the final rally, 24 out of 25 boys decided to step up, and make some kind of commitment to God. Some of these included honesty, not being a bully, sanctification, and being a Warrior for God. Each participating Warrior immortalized his same commitment on two separate bricks. One brick went home with the Warrior and the other remains at Bethel Church in a bold "Monument Stack", tangibly representing a milestone in their walk with an awesome God.

This was our first WARRIOR CAMP here in the Treasure Valley in nearly 3 years, and God moved in a big way. The Warriors had a blast, and God is at work in these boys, many of whom responded with bold strides during the rallies. (Note to Dads: I think it would be a great followup if you want to work through the rest of the WARRIOR CAMP Discipleship booklet with your son. If you'd like an extra booklet for you, please let me know).

Thanks again so much for all your encouragement. You'll never know... (It was also great to be back in the original stomping grounds here in Nampa, right where our very first WARRIOR CAMP took place in September of 2007!).


If you'd like to check out the pics from WARRIOR CAMP 2010, I've included a link right here below. Hope you enjoy all 500+ of them!


Slideshow Feature:
Once you click on the link above, then select the red "Slideshow" button near the upper right if you'd like to enable the automatic slideshow feature.


If you'd like to be kept in the loop about WARRIOR CAMP 2011, and/or you'd like to receive our special update to "WARRIOR NATION" which comes out via email 5-7 times per year, feel free to let me know.


If you did not receive some or all of the WARRIOR CAMP Stuff you ordered, feel free to let me know. I'll be glad to get it to you asap.


Thanks again. If you're a Warrior's mom or dad, we count it a privilege to have had your son attend WARRIOR CAMP, and are looking forward to next summer!

Grow strong and God bless,

Isaiah 40:28-11


Saturday, August 21, 2010


August 21, 2010
From: Nampa, Idaho

Hello Warrior Nation!

I hope you’re having a great summer wherever you are. Unlike our last update (which probably set a Guinness Record for length) this one will definitely win gold for read-speed. We’re stoked about what God has been doing this summer, and will fully unpack everything in our next update.  But for now, believe it or not, I’m actually going to try and break the mold and keep this one short and sweet. (Yeah, I know you’re thinking “Prove it”). Ok. Here goes :)

We’ve never done something quite like this before, but since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m about to just give you the pics below and let them do the talking. So, without further delay, I hope you enjoy the 2010 Warrior Camp Photo Marathon.

Have a great rest of your summer, and God bless,


PS: If you want to check it out, I’ve also posted our most recent video link below.


WARRIOR CAMP: Grandview, Washington

     July 17, 2010

     Photo Slideshow View:

     Manual View:


WARRIOR CAMP: Nampa, Idaho

     July 31, 2010

     Photo Slideshow View:

     Manual View:


Warrior Camp Video:
     Props to Dave, Diana, OBIC, and Peter (aka "Randolph") for all your help!


Friday, June 25, 2010


June 25, 2010

Hello Warrior Nation!

Hope you’re all having a great summer! For those of you who mysteriously continue to doubt my ability to compose marathon length Warrior Camp Updates, this one may come to hold the belt! (If you’re in a rush, feel free to glance over the “Table of Contents” below, and then fast-forward to the sections that interest you most).

Without further delay, let’s dive in…

Hang on. Let me check. Yeah. Pretty sure this will be my least favorite update, to put it nicely. I think I’d rather run a few miles…in wet jeans. It’s not because I don’t enjoy the interaction with you out there in Warrior Nation. I really do! Hearing back from you is a huge encouragement to us, and helps keep our motivational gas tank from running on fumes. No. Instead, it’s this unfortunate topic that keeps buzzing around like a pesky mosquito, or maybe like that yellow jacket that manages to light your fuse. I’ve definitely come a long way in being able to hit the tough issues head on like a sledge hammer. But somehow this one still makes me feel like curling up in the fetal position, or about as agile as a porpoise on a balance beam. It’s awkward and unsettling, kind of like eating bad Mexican from the local Burrito Trailer your mom warned you about. (Hey, you were starving, and it was cheap). Or maybe it’s a bit like telling Aunt Bertha she has a huge rip in her nylons. Or Uncle Fred that his toupee is off-center. How do you start that conversation?

I’m not sure how exactly to embark into these uncharted waters. But are we going there anyway? Absolutely! In the last video update, I invited Warrior Nation to participate and interact for the first time. Since then, one thing has been popping up like a clan of spring gophers. It’s a topic that is often forbidden, and as flammable as July 4th. It’s also about as easy to discuss as opening Pandora’s Box. It reeks with uncertainty, surprise, risk, and the excitement of the unknown. It’s a five letter word and is often taboo. Any guesses? Ready for it? We’re going to talk about…(drumroll please)… money.

There it is. I said it. (Now that we’ve courageously crossed that bridge, I’ll either refer to it as the dreaded “M” word, or maybe use the hopefully less infamous “$” symbol on my keyboard). Anyway, since the last update to Warrior Nation, the whole $ thing has managed to become a prevalent theme, and the examples are so abundant, that it didn’t take rocket surgery to see the wisdom and practical benefits of tackling this behemoth in the very near future. I owe this revelation to one of my closest friends, whose business savvy and street smarts could probably make him the next Stephen Covey. Another friend recently expressed how surprised and impressed he was at the philosophy of $ embraced by a church he was checking out for the first time. Right there on the bulletin were written the salaries of everyone on the church staff, visible for all to see. That got the wheels turning. Before that, a ministry partner whom I highly respect had a polite and candid talk about how $, faith, God, and ministry all intersect. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all that, but the interaction definitely put some insightful new stuff on my horizon. Even earlier, Warrior Camp received its first donation ever, and since then, interest in financially supporting Warrior Camp has been growing, all completely unsolicited. A few weeks ago it dawned on me. By the next update, it would be time to break out of the comfort zone and embark deep into uncharted territory. We would actually try to muster the audacity to talk about $.

So here we are. And without further adieu, we’ll jump in with both feet and let you look “under the hood” of Warrior Camp. Here’s our “Top 10 Forbidden Questions” we thought you might like to ask about Warrior Camp:


     1. How much $ do you make to lead Warrior Camp? (This one will be short :)
     2. Where does the $ come from to fund Warrior Camp?
     3. How much work and $ does it take to put on a Warrior Camp?
     4. Why is Warrior Camp so expensive to put on? Where does the $ go?
     5. What are the biggest expenses for Warrior Camp?
     6. How much does it cost for kids or teens to attend Warrior Camp?
     7. Does Warrior Camp generate any profit? If so, where does it go?
     8. What is the Warrior Camp philosophy on $?
     9. Will Warrior Camp ever ask for donations? Why or why not? How can I help?
    10. What has Warrior Camp purchased recently? What is Warrior Camp going to buy in the near future?


1. How much $ does Derek make to lead Warrior Camp?

Great question. Though it may likely change in the future as Warrior Camp grows and matures, I, like our original Warrior Camp Team, am 100% a volunteer when it comes to financial compensation. To put it bluntly, we don’t do this with any high hopes of striking gold or even knocking down ½ of minimum wage. Ever have a passion and a vision that God has branded so deep that it’s in your DNA? That’s bigger than you? That you just know needs to exist? Like the commercial says, for everything else, there’s Mastercard.

2. Where does the $ come from to fund Warrior Camp?

Wow. (Way to cut to the chase!) There are 3 sources. Let me explain. I have a separate job for which I’m forever grateful to God. It gives me the freedom to travel from East to West and to do Warrior Camp Ministry in a way that blows my mind when I think about God’s provision. It also gives me the capability to procure some or all of the game and discipleship equipment we need, out-of-pocket. This is the 1st source of $ for Warrior Camp, and is the one that helps tackle the upfront costs associated with procuring all the stuff we need in order to put on a Warrior Camp, before it officially begins.

Next is Warrior Camp Registration and Admission. This is the 2nd source of $ for Warrior Camp. Here, kids or students pay to come to Warrior Camp, kind of like we all did as teens when we went to Summer Camp, only less. The Camper Admission gets lumped into one “pot” and goes toward reimbursing the upfront costs mentioned earlier. This 2nd source of $ helps cover the costs directly associated with the given Warrior Camp, and may even provide a little extra for Warrior Camps the following year.

The 3rd and final source of $ is from those in Warrior Nation who are excited about the vision and who want to help sponsor Warrior Camp financially, as well as in prayer. Our first gift of this kind came just this last Spring 2010, and as promised, we’re using every penny to the max as we fully gear up for the Summer Camping Season. Thanks again to everyone in Warrior Nation for your support, encouragement and prayer! You’ll never know how much you’re appreciated.

3. How much work and $ does it take to put on a Warrior Camp?

Great question. No joke, fully preparing for Warrior Camp is like a marathon more than a sprint, and eats up a decent amount of “blood, sweat, and tears,” as the saying goes. There’s a long list of stuff to tackle, and we really love it if we can bat close to a thousand. What Man-Crafts are the Warriors going to build in the Weapon Workshop? What games are Warriors going to play? What’s the best way to build or procure all that corresponding game equipment? What’s on the schedule? What exactly will the discipleship rallies look like? How can we best train these kids or youth in being a man after God’s own heart? These are big questions, and this stuff doesn’t just happen. Also, though we strive to make Warrior Camp as easy as possible for the kids’ pastor or youth pastor at the host church, this person nevertheless deserves a high-five for their efforts as well. While certain preparations begin months in advance, the actual “marathon” of fully gearing up for Warrior Camp can take anywhere from 3-4 weeks, and consume well over 100 combined hours from our team.

Financially, the cost of materials, gear, and equipment alone hovers around 50% of the total amount of Warrior Camp Admission. I’ve included the complete list below:

GAME EQUIPMENT: approximately $550-$650 (or more) goes toward buying or building game equipment for Warrior Camp. Some of this goes toward construction materials for the signature Weapon Workshop, where each Warrior gets to customize or build his own take-home weapon. (No worries Moms: your Warrior won’t end up in the hospital, we promise!). Approximately 80% or more of this game equipment cost is associated with gear which can be used at multiple Warrior Camps.

WARRIOR CAMP T-SHIRTS: approximately $300 goes to designing/ordering Warrior Camp T-shirts, which Warrior Campers can buy at or after Warrior Camp. Any remaining shirts can be sold at a subsequent Warrior Camp. Warrior Camp Dog-Tags ($100) and Warrior Camp Group Photos are other souvenirs which may be made available.

FUEL AND TRAVEL: approximately $100-$150+ goes to keeping the team’s gas tanks full, especially if we travel very far to meet the hosting church on their turf. Approximately $75 goes to renting a truck. Churches which are significantly closer are far less expensive in this category.

GRATITUDE AND THANKS: We’re genuinely grateful for the volunteering spirit and excitement from each member of our team to be a part of the Warrior Camp Leadership. They give 100% all day long, love the kids, echo the vision, and enjoy bringing up the $ thing as much as I do.  While our first Warrior Camp involved a Team of complete volunteers, since then we're becoming more able to gift our team in small ways.  From our very first Warrior Camp until now, either most or all of our team have fully intended on volunteering 100% of their time at Warrior Camp.  When $ does come up, it usually involves reimbursing everyone for their gas bill getting to Warrior Camp.  Aside from rare, justified exceptions, there is little or no expectation for $.  Nevertheless, Warrior Camp purposefully aims to take care of its leadership team.  It’s definitely not a salary, but I’m thrilled to express our gratitude for each member in a tangible way.

MISCELLANEOUS: In addition to these major categories, there may be small but highly important expenses associated with each of the Warrior Camp Discipleship Rallies. We might give each Warrior his own brick, encouraging him to mark it with the creed that God is calling him to live by. This year, we’ll be handing each kid his own Warrior Camp Discipleship Booklet, which he can use to “immortalize” his God time at Warrior Camp, and also for follow-up with his Sunday school teacher, who got to experience Warrior Camp with him. Fireworks kick off the Opening Ceremonies with some loud and proud shock and awe. Fun, high-energy songs (purchased through itunes) help create a fun, outdoor atmosphere during the field games. Then there’s the candy launch, where we send pounds and pounds of candy (the good stuff, not crusty tootsie-rolls from last year’s Halloween party!) into the lower atmosphere with long range spud guns, letting it rain down upon grinning, scrambling, kids. Also, a special Grand Prize is awarded by each Team Leader to one distinguished Warrior who demonstrates leadership, Godly character, Biblical manhood, and other honorable virtues. After the final game at Warrior Camp, the 1st and 2nd place teams are then announced, and each Warrior is given a corresponding prize. Much of this stuff helps put an extra “cherry on top” of the kid’s experience at Warrior Camp, and together may total between $50-$150.

4. Why is Warrior Camp so expensive to put on? Where does the $ go?

Great question. If we bring Warrior Camp to several different kids’ ministries or youth groups each year, our cost per camp takes a big and encouraging dive. The result is that each consecutive Warrior Camp actually gets less expensive, on average, to put on. On the other extreme, if we do 1 or 2 camps per year, our average cost per camp climbs. In the last case, one main reason for big recurring annual expenses is this: because camper boredom-through-redundancy is enemy #1. We’ve tried really hard to identify the biggest challenges which camp ministries face, and one of them is this: maintaining the elements of excitement and surprise for the campers from year to year. If the camp program gets too familiar, then campers tend to get bored and may not want to come back. Also, we have a bit of an inside joke that we refuse to play “Duck-Duck-Goose” at Warrior Camp. (Does anyone genuinely pine for this game?) Instead, we prefer designing, customizing, and/or offering games that reach epic, unforgettable proportions, and which unapologetically play upon the chord of boyhood fantasy. Sure, our signature “Kingdom Under Fire” game may require 3 garden hoses, 1 two-way splitter, 2 four-way splitters, 8 water balloon nozzles, 60+ big boxes, eight 200-300 yard water-balloon launchers, and over 1000 water balloons, but what other game makes you feel like you’re in a battle scene from Lord of the Rings? Hop-skotch? Four-square? Ring around the Rosie? Yeah, I think we’ll pass. So, here are our game goals: (1 ) no camper will ever be able to predict what he’s gonna do Warrior Camp, and (2) every camper will have so much epic fun that his future grandkids will hear about it. So, to answer your question…

     1. Go Big or Go Home Philosophy
          a. No Duck-Duck-Goose = Awesome games and game equipment instead
          b. Equipment for epic games = More $, but totally worth it!

     2. Unpredictability: Keeping the Warrior Campers guessing
          a. Element of surprise every year = New camp program every year
          b. New camp program every year = New games, discipleship rallies, and activities
          c. New games, discipleship rallies, and activities = New equipment
          d. New equipment … well, you get the picture

5. What are the biggest expenses for Warrior Camp?

Great question. Here they are in order of largest to smallest:

     1. Game Equipment (for new and/or epic-level games)
     2. Warrior Camp Warehouse Inventory: T-shirts and other souvenirs
     3. Mobility, Transportation, and Fuel
     4. Gratitude and Thanks to Warrior Camp Team
     5. Miscellaneous: discipleship materials, props, fireworks, candy, prizes, etc…

6. How much does it cost for kids or teens to attend Warrior Camp?

Ever find something cool you want at the store, but can't find the price-tag? Yeah, we hate that as much as you do. So, here goes. Warrior Camp costs somewhere between $30-$60 per Warrior. Why the big range? Because some Warrior Camps might be really close to our city, and so we can drive there faster and use less gas. Also, if we have more Warriors who want to come (up to about 40) that helps out a lot too. Other Warrior Camps might be farther away, and the youth pastor or kids’ pastor might want us to bring the very best of the best games. (Somebody has to buy or build all that game equipment!). But here's the kicker: we know kids or students probably don't have the best jobs yet, so we've made it our goal to keep Warrior Camp as affordable as possible so everyone can go. For youth pastors and kids pastors, we have some cool ideas on how to help keep Warrior Camp as affordable as possible, and encourage them to feel free to send us an email. Oh, and don't forget, many summer camps cost $200 or more for about four and a half full days of camp. I'm not a math whiz, but that's about $44.50 per day, which is comparable to what the $ could be for kids or students to attend Warrior Camp. (And we're not bragging, but we honestly think campers will have tons of fun and a spiritually monumental experience at Warrior Camp).

7. Does Warrior Camp generate any profit? If so, where does it go?

Using last year’s model, Warrior Camp covered all of its expenses with approximately 70-80% of the total amount of incoming $ from Warrior Camper Admission. This resulted in 20-30% being left over. This extra $ was then re-invested in the following way, from greatest to smallest:

     1. New or additional game equipment for Warrior Camp(s) the following year
     2. Promo, materials, and mailings
     3. Miscellaneous

8. What is the Warrior Camp Philosophy on $?

Uh oh. Here we go! For starters, we can at least agree that: (1) this is controversial territory, and (2) you can definitely disagree with me and still be a strong Christian with a lot to offer. In fact, I owe a lot of credit here to a friend whom I admire, and who has helped me sharpen my own take on $. So, let’s jump in!

I believe that $ is just one tool in the tool shed. If you have nails to pound, you grab a hammer. If you have bolts to tighten, you reach for a wrench. If you have stuff to buy, you use $. There's no need to worship the tool, worry about the tool, or hesitate to use the tool wisely, effectively, and responsibly. And there's a ton of stuff that is beyond the Christian's God-given reach. Sometimes $ is one of those things, and God does take us to the "school of trust" cause we really need it! Other times, God provides through ways that are so simple and practical that they almost seem "less magical" and less Godly (I'm still curious why that is!), even though God isn't limited to either the mysterious or to the practical. I've seen God provide in huge ways for Warrior Camp. They ways are numerous. His original calling and inspiration. Prayer. Hard work. Seemingly random yet epic game or discipleship ideas which God periodically injects into my head. The spiritual fruit in kid’s lives which we’ve been blessed to hear about afterwards. Having a good job with geographical mobility, and even our first donation ever...God has provided and used all of this stuff for His glory in Warrior Camp in ways that blow me away. Some are mysterious and just seem to happen by His miraculous hand. His call. His anointing. His provision. An unsolicited donation. Others are what we humble mortals might call "practical" and happen through the job, creativity, diligence, advice from family and friends, and the work ethic which He's provided us with and for which we're grateful and seek to labor faithfully. In my humble opinion, I really think both (the mysterious and the practical) are probably equally Godly, and neither one fails to bring Him glory. It all directs the attention upward to Him. It's all for Him, by Him, and to Him.

9. Will Warrior Camp ever ask for $? Why or why not? How can I help Warrior Camp?

Wow. Time to show the cards! Here goes. As I stated earlier, I'm not a big fan of talking about $. I’m even less of a fan when it comes to asking for it. Maybe it’s because asking for $ seems so popular. (If everybody ordered a Coke at Sonic, I’d probably order Pepsi just to do something different!).  Don’t get me wrong. I would never disparage a church for passing the plate. That’s a great way to help fund vital ministries and I’m glad to wholeheartedly participate.

Regarding Warrior Camp, I would never suggest our approach to $ is morally superior. It’s not. But it may be unique.  And it is my own conviction.  My perspective is this: most of you in Warrior Nation have developed a pretty firm grasp of what Warrior Camp is all about. You know enough about us, our goals, our methods, and ministry-DNA to decide if Warrior Camp is a ministry you’d like to link arms with in prayer or sponsorship. If Warrior Camp gets you fired up about imparting God’s vision for manhood to a young generation in a high-octane way, and God moves you, maybe you’ll choose to help sponsor Warrior Camp. If so, let me say personally how grateful we are to have you among those who pray and provide for Warrior Camp. Your prayer and support are a huge encouragement to us which you’ll probably never fully know. But it’s also possible that maybe you won’t choose to support Warrior Camp in this way. Guess what? That’s ok. The sky is not going to fall. Maybe you won’t make a donation at all, but you will pray for us, and for the kids or students whom we have a privilege to minister to. Or maybe you’ll be a “Fire-Starter” and, if there’s a need, you’ll enthusiastically introduce the possibility of Warrior Camp to your youth pastor or kids’ pastor at your church. Your encouragement and support here are also super encouraging to us and not taken for granted. Are we grateful for your support, in whatever form you may choose? Absolutely. Do we ever intend to solicit your $? Not unless God does an extreme makeover on us. Until then, it’s just not how we play!

10. What new, big stuff has Warrior Camp bought recently? What is Warrior Camp planning on purchasing in the near future?

Glad you asked! Here’s the latest.

      Recent Purchases:
          Miscellaneous Game Equipment
          Long Range Megaphone
          High Performance Water balloon Launchers (200-300 yard range)
          Obstacle Course Equipment (for the newly created game “The Crucible”)
          1500 Gallon Swimming Pool (Above-ground and portable)

     Future Purchases/Prospective Purchases/Upcoming Purchases:
          New Warrior Camp T-shirts
          Equipment Trailer
          Snow Cone Machine
          Outdoor sound equipment/speakers
          Additional/New Game Equipment


Phew!  We successfully crossed that bridge.  Good for us!  (If you read that whole thing, you deserve a medal!).

Thanks again so much for all your prayer, affirmation, and support. You’re a huge encouragement.

Grow strong and God bless,


PS: Huge praise = we’re taking Warrior Camp on the road to Grandview, Washington in about 3 weeks! We’ll keep you posted!