Instagram is the best social media platform where to show-off your pictures and short videos. Instagram encompasses the personal side of all the guests attending your Christian camp. By just using a little bit of your creativity and guidance, you can use your guest’s Instagram accounts to encourage engagement, outreach, and promote your event. You will be amazed by the power of Instagram and how turning your Christian event into an online, mini-photography exhibit will add a new level of fun for everyone. At your next Christian camp, try using these Instagram tips below to encourage social activity. These ideas work especially well with youth groups, but adult retreats can get in on the fun too! All you need is a smartphone and the Instagram app to get started. Since not all teenagers and/or adults have smartphones, you can separate them into groups where at least one member does.
Create a #hashtag everyone uses for the event.
With this great photo sharing app, you can use Hashtags to track and search all camp photo activities. This is a fantastic way for staff, volunteers, campers, parents and friends to engage and stay informed before, during and after the event. Keep your hashtag simple and relevant to the event. In this example, let’s assume the camp your are attending is called “Camp Oasis”. You may consider using the following hashtags: #oasiscampfun #ChristianCampWeekend #oasisyouthcamp #gogodatoasiscamp. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to use more than one hashtag relating to the photo or video you posted. This will help your posts reach a wider audience.
Use Instagram to promote your event beforehand.
Find people who have also expressed their interest in attending the event. Take the initiative to work as a group for promoting the Christian camp event that will take place soon. As they saying goes, two heads are better than one. Thus, maximize your resources in these people who share the same interest as you. Create an agenda and plan on how you guys will promote the event online. Timing is important here, you don’t want to upload/take all of your Instagram photos at once, but instead have campers release the photos daily leading up to the event.
A few simple photo promotion examples include:
- The church or main speaker hosting the event records a 15 second video inviting others to attend. #oasiscampinvitesyou
- Have a photo invitation competition. #campoasisinvitesyou
- Have campers release a video saying they are attending. #oasiscampvideocheckin
- Have campers submit questions they would like answered at camp. #oasiscampquestions
Use Instagram to show offer interesting things going on around the campground.
It should be something that will attract the attention of your audience. You can post trivia matched with an appropriate photo to spark the curiosity of the people. For example, it would be interesting if the camp had a “secret” cave, odd looking trees or a hidden prayer garden. You don’t have to stop at looking for the weird either. Show off features you like about the campground as well. These could include a water slide, swimming pool, ropes course, zip line, outdoor chapel, church services, look out tower, etc. The possibilities are endless! #oasiscampinteresting
Show off campers having fun.
When promoting something relevant to your daily life; always choose pictures that represent the reasons why you love it. In this way, you can also give other people some reasons to join you in your activity. Post pictures of your friends that show how happy you guys are at camp. In the description box, you can then tell the story behind the picture. #oasiscampfun
Take advantage of Instagram video!
This is a fairly new feature to Instagram, but one that could yield a lot of fun and creative stories. Did you know that the majority of young internet users prefer watching videos or looking at photos? Take advantage of this opportunity to encourage engagement among your campers. Challenge them to create a 15 second video skit relating to their favorite story from the Bible. Be creative and unique and you may have a chance of getting high number of hits, likes or shares. #oasiscampskits
Take a quote from message and turn it into art.
This is a basic social media activity wherein you will look for some meaningful quotes from the books and then put it in a photograph. Take a picture of a place you find really beautiful and appropriate for the quote you chose. Write it on top of the photograph and post it on your Instagram. Exert a little effort by editing the photo, choose a special font style and color, and add other minute details to make it extra attractive. Who knows, your inspirational Instagram art may be the very thing one of your friends need that day to change their life forever. #oasiscampquotes
During the Christian camp, tease upcoming camp events, activities and services
Think of how your favorite movies release trailers ahead of time or how your favorite TV series leave a cliffhanger to keep you hooked. This is a strategy that you can use to tease campers about the upcoming group activities. Such subtle hints of surprises make people excited about the next big thing that could happen. Be sure to use this approach to keep them wanting for more. A few examples you could use are to tease upcoming games, a hint at the next message subject, a glimpse at what is happening the next day and more. Encourage campers to guess what is coming next in the comments section too. #oasiscampteasers
Group social activity games.
As a camp organizer, holding a group Instagram contest for your campers would be a good idea to engage them in social activity with other campers. For example, you can ask the group to take a pic of a specific Bible verse and upload it on their Instagram. The first camper to upload it successfully shall be the winner of the contest. You may decided on an Instagram scavenger hunt. This works like any other scavenger hunt with the exception that the campers would take photos of each task being completed and post them on Instagram. Not only are you able to conduct a fun and meaningful activity, but also able to promote the Christian camp online too. #oasiscampscavegerhunt
Behind the scenes of the event.
Christian camp coordinators, staff and volunteers know that organizing a successful church camp is hard work. Be sure to show your appreciation for the hard working members that helped may the event a success by including a special behind the scenes series. A few examples would be to include fun photos of your kitchen team working, pastor team preparing, activity teams setting up, and more. #oasiscampbehindthescenes
Using Printstagram after your Christian camp ends.
Printstagram is an amazing service that will print selected Instagram photos. Since you will have a large amount of great photos from your event to choose from, you may consider choosing the best photos to print. Then, display this photos on your church bulletin board or in a display case. With Printstagram, you can print your photos into large or small squares, create greeting cards, frame your favorite photos, create a massive wall poster with 50-400 photos (my personal favorite), create a mini book to pass out, create a photo calendar, and turn your Instagram photos into stickers! The possibilities are endless. Be sure to use the #printstagram hashtag in your photos too. Sometimes they refund customers who post their favorite photos!