Some Behind the Scenes Ponderings

How this site started--
Grabbing an opportunity

January 11, 2021 we had a two week workshop, Synergistic Camp, at Los Domos for five new camp directors from four states in Mexico. The objective was to start five camps using a 24 hour format. I sent the directors home for them to find and train their own camp guides/counselors. Although we had two weeks, we needed another two weeks to present the training for all who would be involved. I was both excited at the possibilities of more camps and taken back at the immense need for more complete training.

February 11, 2021 I received an email from an old friend, Dan. His email showed up in my in-box offering a website domain and software in exchange for severe commentary (critiquing) on training videos for the same website software. Being that I had known Dan since high school, and he was a missionary for Wycliffe Bible Translators, an organization I had also served with (thanks to my wife, Karen) in a voluntary capacity in Papua New Guinea, I took him up on the offer. A few days later I heard back, I had been selected, approved, to view the tutorial videos and start developing my own website.

I believed Camps International needed yet another website to continue its growth. We had ministered in at least six countries and in multiple languages. Eric, Bill, Tim and his friends from RIT and MIT, David and our daughter, Cherith and her husband Marshall, had all spent incredible amounts of time establishing, developing, refining, editing, and proofing the content and presentation of heartfelt concepts of the Camps International ministry in at least five websites. But those great people were not available to put untold amounts of work into a new site. They were married, had moved on, sick, etc. We needed a site that would help train in multiple languages. So I resolved to put up a site that would be dedicated to the camp guide/counselor. I started watching the training videos and paralleled the teaching by trying to implement the actions on the provisional blank site provided me to start our site.

A good thing was that Dan and I knew each other from wayback. He encouraged me to continue making feedback and press forward to learn how to build a site. Another helpful aspect was that many technical options were unavailable to me as a site constructor. On purpose and with reason, the Wycliffe technical team had designed the software for regular people. I didn’t need to have an advanced degree in Information Technology. Although I had maintained websites, I had never built one from scratch. But this time it would be different. One month after Dan’s initial email, I had learned how to navigate the technical stuff, designed the site layout, created a menu from a healthy plan and was half done with pasting in the English content part of the site.

The genius of the software was that it put the multiple language considerations as a primary aspect of the software. This made it much easier for our team of translators to move the text into other languages.

The domain names went through a few revisions: guia.camp was first, then prescencia.org. But finally the name, Disciple5.com was settled on to reflect the desired outcome and purpose of having a camp.

The majority of content had been written years prior. The format had been handouts, manuals, or handbooks. The site was a place to bring those materials to introduce essential elements of camp guide/counselor know-how. The text is mostly about skills one can develop that will help and be of service to explorers/campers. Text has been written and recently edited in Mexico and the USA for Camps International by contributors who want to see a generation of Christian camp guides/counselors exercising evangelism and discipleship to impact a future generation. This site is for that ministry.

My thanks to the Wycliffe team for giving me the opportunity to develop this educational tool for Camps International.

To God be the glory,

Los Domos, Loma Caliente, Mexico. Spring 2021.