In February 2022, Jeff Wines, Camp MiVoden director, noticed how much time students were spending on their phones while recruiting summer staff at different colleges and high schools. This struck him because he saw how truly important an online presence was.
“Camp MiVoden is on social media, but we wanted to connect with people in a different way,” Wines explained. “I wanted to carve out a spot for MiVoden in their world. MiVoden needs to be on their phones!”
In April 2022, the idea of creating an app for Camp MiVoden started becoming a reality. “Creating the app would create the ability to communicate with all groups of people attending camp,” said Wines.
Luke Irvine, MiVoden assistant director and a graduate of the computer science program at Walla Walla University, was asked to work on this project.
“Few people are lucky enough to work on something that aligns with their passions,” shared Irvine. “I had been looking for coding projects that aligned with my other hobbies and passions, so when Jeff asked me to develop an app for camp, I was stoked.”
The primary focus of the app is to highlight camp content such as week-in-review videos, promo videos and camp photos, some of which are exclusive to app users.
“We also wanted the app to have some features that would be handy for campers while at camp,” Irvine explained, “so we built a way to show schedules for any given week and an interactive map with all the landmarks and activities at camp.”
Jeff was excited to make this app a reality. Camp began in June 2022, which allowed the beta testing to begin. The app went through several beta tests. The primary group to test the app was the summer staff. They used the app throughout the summer helping to fix bugs and getting the kinks out.
“The beta testing was great because the staff got to use the app without it needing to be perfect enough for an App Store release,” shared Irvine. “The staff were good at giving feedback, and it made it easy to quickly roll out updates that fixed little bugs they found.”
The app was formally released during Family Camp for the family campers to use.
Since Irvine was also the assistant director this summer, he was quite busy. When asked what his experience was like creating an app, he explained, “Creating this app was a lot of fun because it was all about camp, which I love so much. There was a lot of personal investment, since I got to build features that would make my job as assistant director easier.”
Irvine has worked at Camp MiVoden for seven years. “Working at camp helped to really capture the essence of camp and bring camp to life digitally,” Irvine explained. “Creating the app for Camp MiVoden was a unique idea that became a reality this summer.”
The app is currently created for Apple iOS users, but for those with Android, there is a version being created. If you are interested in downloading the Camp MiVoden app, you can find it on the iOS App Store. You’ll be able to view a host of videos from this last summer, but you’ll need to be at camp to view the map and schedules for safety reasons. For more about Camp MiVoden visit mivoden.com.