The Essential Camp Leadership Reading List

At CentriKid, we pour into our camp staff as leaders for our camp program and for their avenues of service back home.  We believe that you can never have too much leadership.  Many folks ask for tips on where to begin or what to read next so we’ve compiled an essential camp leadership reading list.

108523557These 12 books are a great foundation for a leader in any context with any degree of experience.  As you read, you’ll discover the source of many phrases and concepts that make up the CentriKid Camps culture.  Everything about camp is rooted in scripture, and these books have been great tools at sharpening our minds for leading at camp.

  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (John C. Maxwell)  This is the starting point we recommend for all new leaders.  The chapters are full of practical tips, stories, and analogies for each leadership law.
  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Tom Rath) The book includes an online assessment to help identify your top strengths, and it challenges you to maximize those areas instead of spending all your time focusing on weaker areas.
  • MBTI Personality Type — There are several books and assessments available to help you determine your Myers-Briggs “type.”  This is fascinating research that can validate some key things about your personality and help you avoid potential pitfalls also.
  • Good to Great (Jim Collins) Anything by Jim Collins is well-researched, but sometimes hard to read through because of all the data and analysis.  Don’t get so bogged down or overwhelmed that you miss it.  Some of the companies may not be great examples now because the research is dated, but the principles of what made them great at the time are quality.
  • Great by Choice (Jim Collins) We’ve benefited so much from this book that we regularly refer to the principles of the “20 mile march” and “firing bullets, then cannon balls.”  If you have trouble jumping in to a Jim Collins book because of the stats & research, then find some podcast interviews with him talking about these key leadership lesson.
  • Death By Meeting (Patrick Lencioni) We love productive meetings, but we got tired of bad meetings.  This “leadership fable” changed our meeting culture.
  • The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive (Patrick Lencioni) Another fable that illustrates the importance of building a healthy organization. These are four practical steps that can bring unity and trust to the leadership team and the whole organization.
  • Next Generation Leader (Andy Stanley) Everything from Andy Stanley comes with so much wisdom and spiritual leadership too.  This is a small book that we’ve used in the past with camp directors for leadership training prior to camp.
  • Getting Things Done (David Allen)  Principles of GTD are found throughout our culture from our language to our meetings to the way we train staff to wrap up details and close “open loops.”
  • Linchpin (Seth Godin) This book challenges us to do work that matters and to be indispensable.  The advice here guides our approach to work, and also has transferrable application to how we live out our faith.
  • EntreLeadership (Dave Ramsey) Leadership insights from a highly successful business man who leads his team with a Christ-Centered approach.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie) A classic since 1936.  We read this as a team a few years ago because of its application to our inter-office relationships and the way we serve our church leaders at camp.

Pick up one or two of these and tell us what you think.  Also, what other books would you recommend for our list?

Jeremy Echols

JE leads the camp team, finds new camp locations, plans training, and lots of other projects. He loves spending family time with his wife Emily and their daughter Madison.

Comments are closed.