What is the largest event Pine Cove puts on?
The largest event is our Free Family Days, which is basically an open house. Families can come out to Pine Cove, see what we do, experience the activities, meet our staff and attend an outdoor concert. And it’s totally free. It allows us to reach out to the communities that we’re a part of in Tyler and Columbus, and not only have fun, but have them get to know us. We’ve been doing them for five years in Columbus and three in Tyler. And we’ve found that people will come out, have a good time and then register as campers. Free Family Day in Columbus averages about 3,000 attendees, and Tyler about 7,000 attendees.
When and why did Pine Cove Global Ministries start?
We started doing Global Ministries in 2005, and we take college kids on mission trips in Latin America to work with campers who are elementary to high school age. We partner with a facility in Latin America for three consecutive years. In year one, we go down with our team, put on a camp and train the staff at that facility. In year two, we do a little less of the program, and their staff does more. In year three, they do the majority of the program, and we’re just there to help facilitate what they want to do. We partner with an organization called Christian Camping International, and they have a Latin American branch that finds these facilities.
Is there one piece of advice you would give to faith-based event planners?
Help your attendee share why your event is special. Give them platforms. It’s their testimonial that is probably going to be the most impactful, so give them that opportunity to share.