Sacred Playgrounds

Camp Don Lee is pleased to announce our participation in the NC United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries Effective Camp Project this summer. We are part of a group of camps across the country who are a part of the project. This ground-breaking study will reveal the strengths and growing areas of Camp Don Lee.

With parental permission, we are surveying a selection of summer campers at the beginning and end of camp, and 8 weeks after camp ends, measuring lasting change in critical areas like self confidence, social skills, and faith practices. We appreciate those households that have agreed to participate.

By participating in this exciting project, we hope to take an honest look at how we are doing in serving our summer camp families and achieving desired outcomes. Data from our camp will also help tell the larger story of the benefits of United Methodist camping ministries to families and the church! We are partnering with the experienced and respected research team at Sacred Playgrounds in order to tell the camp story in a new way and improve our camp programs for all participants.

Previous Effective Camp research has identified five fundamentals of Christian summer camping: faith centered, safe space, relational, unplugged from home, and participatory. Dr. Jake Sorenson, Effective Camp project director says, "This project has demonstrated that, when the five fundamental characteristics are in place, the Christian camp experience has significant, lasting impacts on the lives of participants and their families." Our participation in this study will show us where our camp shines and where focused attention will generate significant improvement in outcomes for our campers.

As of summer 2021, more than 8000 campers and 2000 parents at 38 camps from across the United States and Canada have participated in this project. These camps represent multiple Christian denominations. The research to date is available online at

For families currently registered for camp, a parental permission form will be added to your UltraCamp account soon.

Click on the logo to learn more about Sacred Playgrounds and their mission.