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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Technology takes you there …

and keeps you connected

Summer is still a way off, but perhaps you've already noticed an announcement in your church bulletin alerting you to Bible camp dates. Since about 125,000 young Lutherans will attend camp at one of the 145 ELCA outdoor ministries this summer, your family might be making such plans.

In Ohio, making those decisions can be done in a new way. For the first time, Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio is using QR coding to direct people to camp information. Each month leading up to the summer, LOMO provides bulletin inserts to congregations. Each insert includes a different theme and bar code. If worshipers scan the code with their Smartphone, they're taken to the section of LOMO's website that matches the bulletin insert's theme.

Bulletin insert with LOMO's QR codeOne month the insert might focus on testimonials, said Corey Wagonfield, marketing director, so the QR code will direct people to the testimonials website page.

But that may not be the only way the Ohio camps will use technology, Wagonfield said. He hopes to go high-tech out in nature too. "Normally you go to a spot on the nature trail where there's a plaque telling you about the qualities of a tree, for instance," he said. "If we incorporate bar codes on the nature trail, when it's scanned, it can take you to a short video about that tree."

Wagonfield recognizes the incongruity of camp — historically an escape from technology — using such devices. "I still think we can incorporate technology in the camping experience without making it distract," he said. "It's a fine line."


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