Los Domos

Los Domos is primarily a research and development site for camps in Mexico and beyond. Donate Now

Los Domos
Loma Caliente, Michoacan, Mexico

Demonstrating Christian camping possibilities in training, programs, and facilities. 

Strategy: To equip, train, and mentor camp administrators in the development of their own site. To equip and train camp counselors in culturally appropriate uses of Christian camping in areas of discipleship, evangelism, fun and skill development. 

Los Domos is privately held. It is home to the Caldwell family. The national office for Retiros Y Campamentos Con Aventura (RYCCA) is to be built at this site. Los Domos is a hosting point for Camps International. 

Los Domos is a working prototype for future campsites to be implemented by international Christian leaders with a social entrepreneurial spirit to develop Biblical-based autonomous, indigenous and self-sustaining campsites where creation is used to reveal the Creator. It is a place of ministry opportunities. 

Preference in hosting national and international events at Los Domos is given to those with an emphasis in Christian camp teaching and training. Interaction with the local community, Loma Caliente, is valued by offering occasional events free of charge. Orphanages and newly-started churches are given special consideration. Churches desiring to utilize Los Domos are encouraged to designate an events administrator. This person is trained in the philosophy for using the facility and in proper procedures. 

Research and Development 

Curriculum is developed at Los Domes for camp activities and programs. This ia a laboratory type setting where Christian camping is culturally translated. 

Los Domos is home base for a portable camp system. Excursions with the portable camp to potential sites to demonstrate and encourage the team at that location is a stepping stone for a future permanent campsite. Essential program and facility components are to be set up at complying sites. Pre-camp training prepares the team. During camp they experience some of the blessings of being used by God to touch the lives of children. Staff/volunteers are needed for this outreach.

Training at Multiple Levels 

Camp training at Los Domos gives counselors “take-away” skills – skills they can use the rest of their lives; in church and for personal edification: sharing personal testimony of their salvation experience, praying for others, working in small groups, sharing biblical principles that relate to present circumstances, leading Bible studies, living out friendship evangelism and proclaiming the Word of God in large group settings. On-line# and on-site training, with testing and certification, prepares counselors to engage in camp ministry. After training, counselors can minister at other sites that use a similar philosophy. The first training at Los Domos took place in May, 2003.
American volunteers are hosted in cooperation with Camps International Volunteer Opportunities In Camp Experience (VOICE). Through service projects and excursions, participants experience the philosophy of the RYCCA camp model, the Mexican people, their culture, and the Spanish language. VOICE projects can be done from the U.S.A. or in Mexico and range from a few days to six weeks. Projects are discussed and selected for the abilities of the team, availability of funds, and importance for the target camp.
Los Domos offers camp development training. The first two-week session took place in 2009 for a couple from Canada, who then used the experience in Oaxaca, Mexico. Tours are given to people interested in starting their own camp. In the planning stage is a workshop to teach how to fabricate a geodesic RYCCA cabin. The participating camp team would then return to their locality and build cabins for their campsite.

Camp Program 

In each of the over thirty activities being developed at Los Domos, there is the personal dynamic provided by each counselor. Personality, giftings, talents, energy level, background, and experience project a unique opportunity to minister to the children that the counselor has chosen. The counselor practices using activities at Los Domos so when they take their five kids and co-counselor to camp, they are prepared to be used by God to minister to the whole child intellectually, socially, physically, and spiritually.
A zip-line and challenge course allow for adrenaline release and the sense of satisfaction of accomplishing or overcoming a difficulty. Traditional courts of soccer, volleyball, and tetherball inject team spirit into the camp environment. Waterfront activities teach swimming and life-saving skills. The go-cart lends itself to the teaching of mechanics and courtesy in driving. At the dining hall an appreciation for God's provision of food and the tireless work of their mothers is purposely communicated.
The majority of camp program is focused on interaction among the counselor's group. However, whole camp activities such as dramas, Capture the Flag, and chapel add important feelings of community.
Follow-up is built into the counselor's group. Because the counselor chose the group from the local church and adjacent neighborhood, repeated invitations to church and visits into the home can continue on after camp.

Facility: Modeling, Building and Doing 

Los Domos represents a ten person per acre camp that could be built by a regional body of a church denomination, a co-op of local churches, or even an individual. The site is sized to host fifty participants. Housing consists of over a dozen tent sites, demonstrations of the RYCCA cabin (houses eight), and three examples of concrete dome-style cabins. Nature and the outdoors are experienced. The smell of campfire, taste of campfire food, watching a full moon rise over the mountains with its reflection on the lake, instills a sense of the greatness of God. The landscaping demonstrates how green space can be used to separate activities from one another even in tight spaces. Nut and fruit trees, flowers, and greenery provide an extensive opportunity to explain and teach about God's creativity and provision.
The location is remote, where land is less expensive. Sound ecological behavior is demonstrated in the care of the land. The site is off-grid and the practice of minimal energy consumption is a lifestyle.
A shop exists on the site where the replication of camp facility and activities for new sites is taking place.
Occasional retreats, day camp, overnight camp, counselor training, and camp start development workshops make up the calendar.
Site map of Los Domos.

Panoramic Photos 

Click on "See media."
Panoramic photo from 50 feet up. See media.
Panoramic photo of rock climbing outcrop five miles from Los Domos. See media.

2012

The summer of 2012 the campsite offered an overnight camp model in addition to the day camp program for the children of Loma Caliente. 

Observations of a Visitor

Los Domos is situated on the shores of a small lake in the middle of the rolling hills of a farming community in Morelia, Mexico. In the center of this ministry is a precious family, David and Karen Caldwell and their children. Los Domos is a product of their vision, creativity, development and hard work. The Caldwells’ enthusiasm and passion for camping and the people of Mexico is evident as they work to develop something new and unique, not only to help grow camping in Mexico but to transform lives for the glory of Christ. Each step they take has been thought through. Every activity, every building, every plant, every path and stone has been placed with the purpose of reaching people for Christ. Los Domos is a model for other camps; to create sites with a purpose. While the camp’s grounds are beautiful and well designed, it is David’s philosophy and development that may pay the greatest dividends for camps all over Mexico and Latin America. His ideas of training meet counselors where they congregate, the Internet. But it also includes the hands-on personal touch designed to meet the counselor where they are gifted and where their interests lie. Each counselor is invited by his or her local pastor and then must find a co-counselor, three explorers (campers) from the church and two from the community. Follow-up is natural with this program. It is simple, inexpensive and quick. Pastors, counselors, and campers experience God using them in other’s lives. Their lives will change, the new explorers’ lives will change, and even the church may change.

As a missionary and staff member of CCI AL Mexico (Christian Camping Intl. America Latina Mexico) whose vision is “to be a source of high-quality resources in camps; uniting, equipping and mobilizing the Latin Church to see camps which transform campers’ lives,” I am excited to see how CCI AL Mexico can use Los Domos as a model in conjunction with materials already developed.

Christ’s servant,

Cliff McCalister