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Camp/Sport Leadership

Home > Academics > College of Christian Faith > Camp/Sport Leadership

Camping and Sports have a tremendous impact!

11 million kids in America will attend summer camp this year.

Parents send children to camp because:

  • Camp helps build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Camp is a safe environment
  • Camp is a place to build social skills and make lifelong friends
  • Camp helps their child become more independent and develop leadership skills
  • Camp helps kids become more adventurous and willing to try new things
  • Camp is where significant and lasting spiritual decisions are formed

Kids go to camp because… IT'S FUN!

35 million kids in America will play in sports leagues this year.

Parents encourage sports participation because:

  • Sports encourage physical activity and healthy habits
  • Sports provide social interaction with peers and adults
  • Sports teach teamwork, sportsmanship and how to control emotions
  • Sports promote self-discipline and the value of preparation
  • Sports help develop skills for handling success and failure
  • Sports show kids how to play within the rules

Kids play sports because… THEY’RE FUN!

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The Camp and Sports field is a serious career choice and growing industry:

According to the American Camping Association:

  • Camping is a $15 billion dollar industry. (2012 ACA Business Operations Report)
  • More than 12,000 day and resident camps exist in the U.S., 7,000 are resident (overnight) and 5,000 are day camps. (2011 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • Since 2002, the number of ACA day camps has increased by 69% and resident camps have increased by 21%. (CRM Camp Statistics Report, June 2013)
  • Each year more than 11 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S. (2010 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report)
  • Nonprofit groups including youth agencies and religious organizations operate approximately 9,500 camps, and 2,500 are privately owned independent for-profit operators. (2011 ACA Sites, Facilities, Programs Report)
  • Camps employ more than 1,500,000 adults to work in various camp positions. (2010 ACA Camp Compensation and Benefits Report)

Youth Sports Leagues alone account for billions of dollars in national economic impact, including fees, travel, facilities, leagues, apparel and many other ancillary industries…all of which need capable, prepared leaders.

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A Professional Degree for a career in Camp/Sport Leadership

The Camp/Sport Leadership degree at Dallas Baptist University was developed with the extensive input of industry leaders and camp directors.  The Colleges of Christian Faith, Education and Business at the university came together to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to provide a top-tier education for students pursuing a career in camping, or the sports and recreation field.

This is not a degree for those who just like to play with kids or play games.  It is designed to be a challenging course of study that emphasizes entrepreneurship, business principles including management, marketing, finances and accounting, facilities development, and programming and educational principles—all of which are transferable to a wide-variety of career choices.  And this degree, like all others offered at Dallas Baptist University, integrates our faith in Christ and emphasizes servant leadership for those who go from here to launch new, or lead existing, ministries and organizations.

The degree is also flexible enough to allow integration with other programs for students who wish to pursue it as a minor, or to lead into a Masters degree.

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Dallas Baptist University and Camp/Sports – A Winning Combination!

Dallas Baptist University has a well-established reputation in the world of camping and sports ministries.

  • A leading recruiting destination for camps from across the country
  • Hosts annual Camp Day to encourage student employment and camp participation with the University
  • Sends out well-trained and equipped “Rec Teams” to support camps throughout Texas
  • Provides course credit for approved professional experience and internships
  • Offers bi-annual Mission Trips to lend an international component and help establish or support camp ministries in other parts of the world
  • Hosts “ServantU”, a weeklong camp on the DBU campus
  • Maintains memberships and professional relationships with organizations such as Christian Camp and Conference Association and Upward Sports

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Meet the Director

Ed Walker is the Director of Camp/Sport Leadership at Dallas Baptist University, and brings a lifetime of camp experience to the position. “I was invited to church camp by a friend in Junior High, and it was there that I trusted Christ. By high school, again at camp, I knew I wanted to spend my life connecting people with God.” While earning a degree in business, he served on summer staff at a large camp, and began learning what went into the management of camp facilities and programs.  By the time he completed his M.A. in Religious Education at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he had been traveling as a worship leader and speaker at camps for several years, and continued that full-time.

 “To avoid having to travel year round, I started a small project recording studio, which eventually expanded into a diverse media and publishing business. Additionally, my wife and I began buying and refurbishing rental properties.” This entrepreneurial drive resulted in a broad skill set, which would later prove very beneficial as Ed and his wife, Sarah, launched a camp of their own. 

Ed joined the leadership team of Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall in 1999 as a worship leader, communications director and campus pastor.  In 2003, the Walkers also founded Sabine Creek Ranch just 30 miles east of downtown Dallas. Set on over 300 acres of a working cattle ranch, the camp now holds up to 350 campers for overnight summer camps and retreat groups throughout the year.

“The opportunity to direct the Camp/Sport Leadership program at Dallas Baptist University was a very clear call. As the founder and director of a growing camp, I knew what I would look for in a graduate interested in pursuing a career in camping.  Far from just recreation or ‘playing with kids’, camp leadership requires a broad skillset including management, marketing, HR, programming, finance, facilities development and more. And, of course, undergirding all that is a faith foundation, and the servant leadership modeled at DBU.” 

After 30 years of professional involvement in camping, Ed has high expectations for the degree program. “I want a student who comes here, as well as their parents, to expect a challenging, business-oriented program that will prepare them for work in a wide variety of fields. For many of them, I expect to hear stories of how they’ve been used in the U.S., or around the world, to impact the Kingdom through camp and sports ministries.”

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Next Steps

If you have a desire to pursue a career in a camp or recreational sports related business or ministry, we hope you’ll get to know us better.  You can do that in 3 easy steps:

  1. Check out the degree requirements for the B.A. in Camp/Sport Leadership degree or the B.S. in Camp/Sport Leadership degree.
  2. If you’re still considering the possibilities or opportunities in the field, or if the Camp/Sport Leadership degree is right for you, provide us with your contact information and we’ll send you a free, informative article from our director, Ed Walker, entitled, “Careers in Camp and Sports”, which highlights some of the professional options, the benefits and the requirements for success in the field.
  3. Email us or call 214-333-5672 to get more info, or come visit Dallas Baptist University.  We host Patriot Preview Days several times a year, or ServantU, which is a weeklong Collegiate Leadership Development Summer Camp for high school students interested in attending Dallas Baptist University. These events will give high school students a taste of what their college experience here will be like.  We can also help transfer students connect with DBU and enter this or other degree programs on campus or online.

Enter your information here to receive the “Careers in Camp and Sports” article from Ed Walker:

Name                   Email

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- Why Camp/Sport Leadership?
- Why DBU?
- Meet the Director
- Your Next Steps
- Camp/Sport Leadership Degree Requirements

- Camp/Sport Leadership Course Descriptions
- Meet the Faculty
- Learn About Financial Aid

- ServantU
- RecTeams

Majors in the
College of
Christian Faith:

Biblical Studies
Camp/Sport Leadership
Christian Studies

Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's Degree Programs:

BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Christian Education

BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Christian Education: Childhood Ministry

BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Christian Education: Student


BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Christian Ministry

BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Global Leadership

BA/BS Christian Studies (Applied Ministry)/MA in Worship Leadership

College Overview

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Christian Faith:



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