Countdown to Summer Festival

This church takes family camp to the extreme and affects the entire community.

For many churches, event planning during the winter months is primarily about indoor happenings in well-heated buildings. At New Heights Church in Vancouver, Washington (, people are thinking far beyond the winter chill. By January of each year, they are making plans for Summer Festival, a 16-day experience that occurs each August. It's like an extreme Vacation Bible School that involves everyone.

Summer Festival takes the entire church to the entire community. In 2005 Summer Festival included 52 different events, more than 30 off campus, ranging from mini-golf to motorcycle outings, from garden tours to guided tours in a children's museum. A few, like a 10K, 5K, and kids' race for the homeless, involve corporate sponsors, but most are free or of minimal charge.

A few require a full day, such as a hike up Mt. Rainier or a trail bike adventure, but most last an hour or so, such as a lesson in line dancing or a game of Frisbee golf at a local park.

"Our goal is to provide ...

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