Does camp make a difference? “Yes” always feels like the answer, but how do we know?

This is the question we have sought to answer in the Effective Camp Project.

As of summer 2019, 37 camps across the United States and Canada have participated in this exciting research project. They represent multiple Christian denominations. We survey campers on the first day of camp, the last day of camp, and again 2-3 months after they return home. We also survey camper parents.

The resulting data provide a robust picture of the immediate and lasting impacts of the Christian summer camp experience.

In summer 2018, Kuriakos participated in the Effective Camp Study.

Here's some of what we learned about the Kuriakos Community.


94% - Camp is a place to unplug from technology.

94% - Campers should not carry cell phones at camp.

83% of parents reported at least one of these positive changes in their camper. 31% identified three or more.

  • Singing Christian songs
  • Has engaged me in conversations about God/faith
  • Nicer or more pleasant to other family members
  • Shown greater interest in attending church
  • More helpful around the house
  • Spending less time on electronic devices
  • Reads Bible more frequently
  • Has asked to lead family in prayer at meal times


95% - Enjoyed their cabin leader

94% - Felt included in worship services

93% - I had a lot of fun

89% - I tried something new at camp

85% - I felt like I had a say in my camp experience

85% - I learned more about Jesus's life and story

77% - I was strengthened in my faith

75% - My questions concerning faith were taken seriously

71% - The camp experience challenged me physically, emotionally, and spiritually

Church Leaders + Camp Staff

97% - The camp effectively teaches the Christian faith.

97% - The site and facilities are high quality and well-maintained.

94% - I feel welcome to visit/become involved with the camp's ministries.

94% - The camp is living up to its mission/purpose.

92% - Camp is a place to unplug from technology.

85% - Programs should get campers more excited about + engaged in their home congregation.

68% - It is good when campers encounter challenges/frustrations: these experiences help them grow

66% - The most important goal of camp is to have fun. (perhaps they see the larger value of camp!)