At Summer Camp I Got To Be Loved And Love Others

“EAGLE LAKE CAMPS!!!!!” screamed my friend in response to hearing the camp mentioned — on other side of a crowded, chatter-filled room of college kids. I looked at her in surprise, slightly embarrassed by her scream, and found myself thinking, “What an odd way to respond to one sweet hiking location.” But as I came to discover over the course of a summer, what a sweet hike it was.

I’ve lived in Colorado all my life, but riding in a bus full of new counselors “ooing” and “aahing” on the ride up to orientation at Eagle Lake Camps refreshed my knowledge of not only how blessed I was to start calling this place home, but also how great our God is to have created this meticulously crafted landscape in a breath. Upon arriving at the top of the mountain I realized that my screaming friend (who’d been at Eagle Lake the past two years) was spawned from a community of high-energy, optimistically friendly, Jesus-loving young adults with one purpose: spreading this gift of enthusiasm for the Gospel to all they encounter.

When I was a kid, I was generally quiet. The kid who’d opt out of crafts because they were “childish” and who would never participate in a game for fear that the spectators would realize that I was not, by [enter age], a professional baseball player, four-square champion, name-game enthusiast what-have-you. Not until this moment on the ride to camp had I been surrounded by masses of people who not only didn’t focus on my imperfections, but authentically and excitedly offered to help my personal growth. I soon realized that, were I eight years old again, I would be entirely thrilled to be at camp with this group of people and I would have easily fallen in love with the fact that the true source of all this authentic love comes from Jesus. My not eight year old self thought, “I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

After orientation, I was ready to be an Eagle Lake Day Camp On Location Camp counselor travelling to the state of Missouri. We would spend a week each at nine churches across the state getting to tell kids from several different ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, and personal belief systems that they are loved so much more than they ever knew. Each week caring for these kids was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve experienced. I loved having the blessed opportunity to tell them that God sees each and everyone of them as equal, loved and cherished.

I got to sit down with an eight year old boy and tell him that he doesn’t need to beat the highest score or conquer the world to be important, he already is. I got to share with a young girl that regardless of what the others in her grade think of her, she is adored by a Father who thought her worthy of sending His perfect Son to die in her place. These are among my favorite encounters during my summer at Eagle Lake Camps. Seeing a kid’s face light up with contagious joy at the idea of being able to go out into the world and tell others about the One who saved him brought joy into my own heart beyond description.

Eagle Lake Camp Counselor meets one-on-one with a camper to share about Jesus.

Eagle Lake Camp counselors and campers pose for picture in their new tie-dyed shirts!

Aside from having the opportunity to carry-out the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20), I also learned the importance of abiding in the True Vine (go read John 15). It stuck out to me that Jesus says in John 15:5b “-for apart from me you can do nothing”. I learned that in the heat of life, whether it’s at work or in school or just driving down the road and a tiny car in front of you decides to drive at the speed of the interstate number (I-25) and not the speed limit (75), if you’re not getting your energy and patience from God then you’re not getting it. Matthew 11:30 says “my yoke is easy and my burden is light”. If you’re not being filled from the Source then you’re cut off and everything in life seems heavier. Jesus is the Giver of all life; why would we not want to take His gift? This practice of leaning on His everlasting arms is something I took with me beyond camp and I’m still learning how to do even better.

Now when I yell across a room the words my friend and so many others have yelled before, I hope somebody else is thinking how odd of a thing it is to scream “EAGLE LAKE CAMPS!!!!!” and wonders why. Of course, once you understand what it means, it’s not odd at all. If anyone truly understands the joy of sharing the word of God then that person is offered no choice but to scream it from the mountains and tell it to the masses that He is God. Eagle Lake Camps offers a Christ-centered, friendly, passionate, enthusiastic and steward-minded avenue to know Him and make Him known and still I’m proud to scream it at the top of my lungs.

Camp Counselor dressed as pirate claps as campers arrive to their day camp!

Is Camp REALLY Worth THAT?!

This past election cycle, Colorado passed a new law that will increase minimum wage over the next three years.

Not only do we have to comply with the law, but we’ve also committed to do everything possible to ensure we provide the best counselor experience for your child. This means:

  1. we keep our counselor-to-camper ratio well below state requirements to make sure your camper gets plenty of individual, personalized attention
  2. we will be increasing our summer staff salaries to draw only the highest caliber counselor to serve your child

(We feel that it’s important to note that we are not increasing our full-time staff salaries. Moreover, our full-time staff will continue to personally fundraise a percentage of their salaries to help Eagle Lake keep the cost of camp down.)

However, it’s very important to us that no family is denied the opportunity to experience Eagle Lake because of price. So we wanted to share three programs we have in place to serve you:


    You can save big with this program! For every new friend you refer to an Eagle Lake overnight camp, we’ll take $50 off your 2017 registration. We’ll also take $50 off your friend’s registration. The more people you invite, the more you’ll receive – invite more friends for more discounts. (You could even potentially come for FREE!)


    Simply decide which week you’d like to return to camp by November 1, 2017, and receive $50 off your registration – the discount will be automatically applied!


    We also offer camp scholarships (camperships) to campers on a needs-basis. Click the link above for an application.

Thank you so much for choosing Eagle Lake! Because we value you as our customer, we are working our hardest to ensure our prices reflect the value of our exceptional day camp and overnight programs. We look forward to sharing our signature brand of contagious, enthusiastic fun as we make life-long memories with your camper. See you next summer!

Is An Overnight Summer Camp Really the Best Choice for Your Child’s Summer?

Did you know…

  • children spend an average of 20 hours/week online?
  • children only spend an average of 4 hours/week playing outside?



Eagle Lake (Rez)ident Camp is everything you could want for your child in an sleepaway summer camp.

We know that playing outside is key to fostering creativity, problem solving skills, social development, and a love for God’s creation. So we provide an exciting array of activities in the Colorado mountains sure to engage your children’s interest in the people and world around them from the first hour of camp until the last.

At Eagle Lake, campers get time to romp through the woods and run through the trees while playing big and small team games like Capture the Flag. They get time to enjoy beachfront activities like the Blob and waterslide, and a bevy of canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards to splash around our lake on; and skills workshops like crafts, riflery, and archery. And they get time to simply be: time to play games like Gaga ball; time to build friendships with their cabin mates; and time around a campfire to laugh and share stories while building s’mores and life-long friendships.

We work hard to balance structured and free time. This allows us to train and equip campers to work in teams through group competitions and in how to do Bible study, quiet times, prayer, and scripture memory. It also develops their sense of independence as they decide how they want to spend their time: in skills workshops, beachfront activities, or simply soaking up the Colorado sun while building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or enjoying treats with friends at out store.

We’ve discovered that playing alongside campers allows our exceptional staff to meet your child right where he or she is at. This, in turn, lays the foundation for counselors to build authentic, life-changing relationships as they make time to give your child intentional, individual attention through one-on-one discipleship.

We want to give your child time to play outside and build memories they’ll treasure for a life time! Do you?


sleepaway camp fun activities flight simulator


overnight camp lake kayaking


capture the flag in the forest


overnight camp Gaga ball fun


Love the idea of camp but want something a bit more adventurous than the ‘traditional’ camp experience?

God’s creation is just waiting to be explored, and our Excursions programs are the perfect way to take the adventure level up a notch.

Excursions is unique from all of our other programs. It harkens back to our earliest days as a premier Wilderness camp. These roots are evident in the exciting and challenging experiences we create for campers to encounter God in His creation.

We provide an array of programs to meet campers at a variety of skill levels. Depending on the program, Excursions campers have the opportunity to brave the rapids of the Arkansas River on a whitewater rafting trip; explore the beauties of Pike and San Isabel National Forests via hiking and backpacking trips; push their limits as they rock climb and rappel off new heights; enjoy kayaking on our lake; develop mad mountain biking skills; learn to trust God in new ways as they traverse our premier 60 foot high ropes course; and build communication and social skills while working through our low ropes course and team building initiatives with their cabins.

Excursions is the perfect blend of fun, challenge, and adventure in a camp setting guaranteed to inspire awe and appreciation for God and His incredible creation in the Colorado Rockies.


premier high ropes course at overnight camp


hiking a 14er at camp


mountain biking


eagle lake overnight camp premier high ropes course


Did you know:

  •      9/10 teens report being online daily?
  •      1/3 teens feel that technology negatively impacts their relationships with their parents?


Our SHOCK teen camp is the perfect reboot for teens heading into another year of high school!

A week of SHOCK provides your teen with an amazing camp experience that gives them a chance to unplug from social media and the internet and connect with the world and people around them, and enjoy the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

As they step away from daily distractions, they have more time to enjoy some good, old-fashioned fun: soaking up the summer sun relaxing or playing volleyball on the beach; splashing around the lake in canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards; flying through the air via our Blob or our quarter-mile zipline; jumping in on food fights or building s’mores around a campfire; or grabbing coffee or ice cream at our store with friends.

Moreover, they’ll be challenged and equipped in their walks with Jesus through Bible study with like-minded peers, as well as through individual attention and discipleship from our exceptional counselors. Through all of this, they’ll have a safe place to refocus on what’s truly important and begin to develop life-long habits and helpful strategies to live out of their core values and return home emotionally and spiritually refreshed.

We’re ready to provide your child with a safe, fun week of camp designed to help him build life-long memories, create new friendships, develop healthy habits, and encourage and equip him for the coming school year! Are you?!


summer fun for teens


helping teens build strong friendships


best camp fun for teens


lake fun for high school boys


Did you know…

  • 1 in 4 high school students report experiencing a great deal of stress?
  • 1 in 3 high school students note that stress considerably affects their relationships with their families?

High school students! How are YOU handling the constant juggling game of school, friendships, family relationships, work, and figuring out how to authentically live out your faith in the midst of all of these?

If you feel like you could use a retreat from the craziness of life and would like a chance to learn healthy habits for walking with Jesus while serving alongside like-minded peers, then we would LOVE to invite you to apply for Crew!

CREW provides you with amazing opportunities to:

  • BE DISICIPLED. Your counselor will meet with you one-on-one at least once a week to listen to you, encourage you, and equip you to grow spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
  • GROW SPIRITUALLY. Along with being discipled, you’ll be in daily quiet times and weekly Bible studies alongside peers who are excited to grow alongside you.
  • SERVE OTHERS. A major component of CREW is serving behind the scenes to enable our Overnight camps to run smoothly. You’ll have a chance to serve our overnight camps as you do tasks like cooking, cleaning, building trails, or setting up camp activities.
  • EXPERIENCE TRUE COMMUNITY. There are few places like Crew that foster such intentional community among high school students. You’ll be surrounded by people who – although they have different backgrounds and giftings – have come together for a common purpose. You’ll build deep and often life-long friendships with the people you live and serve with.
  • HAVE FUN!!! We are a camp, after all! And we want to make this one of the best summers of your life. So we’ve built in tons of time to play in the lake, lounge on the beach, enjoy treats at our store, and chill in the Lower I (Crew’s basecamp). Even better, we’ve developed weekly game nights and weekend activities you’ll love. From camp-wide Capture the Flag and water balloon wars to Human Clue and white water rafting, you’ll have a blast building life long memories!

We’re ready to equip you for a life-long walk with Jesus while packing your days with crazy fun and great friends. Are you in?

*Crew is by application only. Returner applications open October 1; new applicants January 1. Please note that spots fill very quickly, so apply ASAP once open!


camp fun for high school students


high school service program


water balloon war for teens


teen camp Bible study

How God uses Camp to Build Our Faithfulness

I have just had my one year anniversary of hearing about Eagle Lake. That’s right, Eagle Lake has only been a part of my life for a year and, boy, has my life changed! As I look back now, the only real reason I’m even writing this is because of God. It was purely a God-thing.

I learned about Eagle Lake during my last spring break in college. When I first signed up for the spring break trip with my Navs group, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I was just along for the ride, but it soon turned into something bigger. During the week, Eagle Lake came and spoke with us about being counselors during the summer. My initial thought was, “I’m graduating. I need a real job.” However, two days later, Sean McKelvey came to give us a devo and talked about his role as the Emerging Leaders Program Director. This SPARKED my interest! I thought the Emerging Leaders Program was so cool and immediately wanted to be a part of that.

Before I knew what I was doing, I applied to be a counselor for the On-Location Program and without even thinking about it, said “YES!” to spending my summer in Missouri. But I immediately became hesitant. I was graduating college, I had barely given any more thought to the Emerging Leaders Program, and I wasn’t excited for summer. I was putting pressure on myself to know God’s will even when it was clear that He didn’t want me to know it just yet. So, I went into summer with my head in the future.

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

Camp quickly took me out of my head though. The hustle and bustle of being part of Eagle Lake’s Traveling Circus, I mean, On-Location Program, made it so that I was heavily relying on God. If I needed strength: God. If I needed patience: God. If I needed energy: God. If I needed grace: God. I learned that God works, and He sometimes works fast. He took me out of my head, and started to change my heart. Through all the busyness, God showed that where I was, was exactly where He needed me.

I think a lot about last summer and the campers that I had. But I always come back to my first, FIRST week with my camper Blake. My first week was a mega week, and I was so worried that I was screwing up camp. The kids were running wild, I wasn’t used to the heat, and I was so tired. But Blake was one of my saving graces. He was one of the reasons why I knew that no matter what would happen, the next nine weeks were going to be great and I would succeed as a counselor. I believe that God put him in my group that week for a reason. That reason was to show me that I wasn’t at camp to pass the time until I got a “real job”; I was at camp for God and His Kingdom.*

As I went through the rest of the summer, I gave everything to God – jobs, ELP, relationships, struggles, everything. I knew that He had me and that I just needed to be faithful for what He was having me do. After that, He’d show me where I needed to go. I can plan, but ultimately the Lord will establish my steps (Proverbs 16:9). And the great thing is, He ended up calling me to serve on ELP, and I get to spend another two summers serving Him in this fun and crazy and exciting way!

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

*Disclaimer: Working for Eagle Lake, whether during summer, full time, or in ELP, is a real job. I learned so many skills that I will take with me for the rest of my life!


How God Uses Camp to Speak Tenderly to Our Hearts

I remember when I first drove up bumpy Rampart Range Road, my heart pounding. It was the sort of soul-splitting pound that happens only when the Lord calls me to show up and be bold. What I didn’t know in that moment when I arrived, Chacos on my feet and butterflies in my stomach, was that the Lord would use those mountains and the little hands that held mine as we hiked up and down them to entirely change the way I knew Him.

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


I discovered the book of Hosea my first summer during a quiet time. I spent hours pouring over its pages about redemption, rescue and grace. For the first time, I saw God as Rescuer and Redeemer—a Father knew me, even though my earthly father never truly did. Hosea 2:13 pierced me in the soul:

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” 


I began praying that God would use camp to draw girls into the wilderness so that He could speak tender words into their hearts:


You are loved.  


I am with you.


I am enough.


And He did. He spoke so clearly and tenderly more times than I can count. And for getting to be a part of it, I will never stop praising Him.


I spent three summers under the same brilliant, star-studded sky at Eagle Lake Camps—two as a Rez Counselor and one as a Crew Counselor. Eagle Lake brought me to my best friend, showed me how to serve and to lead, but what I am most thankful for is that it brought me to my knees before Jesus. I learned to ask expectantly and that our God cares more deeply, is fighting more valiantly, and loving each girl way more perfectly than I ever could.

Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


I saw campers fall head-over-heels in love with God’s word, their hearts and minds being transformed by His character, His power, and His grace. I saw God bring sin that laid in darkness into His glorious light and whisper, “you are loved, you are loved, you are loved” in their ears and in mine. I saw campers hear directly from the Lord about big plans for their lives or the lives of those they loved. I saw girls raise their hands high in worship and praise God for who He is for the first time. I saw God use the beautiful redemption story of the cross that wasn’t burned by the fire that surrounded Eagle Lake to bring campers closer to His heart. I saw girls proclaim truth to each other and watched in awe as highschoolers mopped floors, did dishes, and cleaned toilets day in and day out, singing worship songs and reminding each other that everything we do is for God’s glory. I saw my own sister come to know Christ for the first time when she came to camp.


In the mess that is program scheduling, bathroom cleaning, living in a tent with a dirt floor, and seeing the same people all day everyday for an entire summer, I saw God’s goodness more clearly than ever.  Eagle Lake Camp, a “thin place between heaven and earth”, is a place where God’s whisper became more audible to my stubborn ears because I saw Him time and time again in the echoing of kid’s laughter as it reverberates across the property.


At camp, memories are best kept scribbled in journals, not on social media feeds. Kids get to be themselves and they get to be loved. They get to stare at the mountains and wonder how the same God who made them in all their majesty, would handcraft their little hands and their little hearts, creating each part with care and precision. There’s a certain magic to the simplicity of camp living and I think it’s because there’s a part of each of us that feels whole in being there—as if our hearts are saying, this is how we were made to be: in community with each other through celebration and tears, praising and singing, without need for the “quick fix” modern day inventions, listening for God’s voice in all things, and sleeping under the stars.


After all of these years, I know full well that camp matters.


Why? Because God changes hearts at camp, He revamps lives, He convicts, He guides, and He speaks tenderly to us there.


But, most of all, camp matters because God uses it to rewrite the stories and touch the lives of others who don’t know Him, who have never been to Eagle Lake, who are far from Him. Because those who have had their hearts changed in the wilderness can’t help but shout His glory and bring His light to those in the valleys.


If there’s one thing I’m certain of about God’s sweet desire to allure us into His wilderness, it’s that once you’ve been swept up, taken to the wilderness, had your heart filled by a Jesus who loves, who rescues, who sees you, there’s no other choice than to go and tell.


It’s what the Samaritan Woman, after encountering Jesus’ genuine love for her, an outsider, can’t help but do. She goes to her village and she tells. She tells of His love, of His grace, of the way He saw her, sin and all, and had compassion for her. She tells of His promise to quench the thirst she has had her entire life. And do you know what happened after she went? Many Samaritans believed. They heard of His wondrous works and they believed.


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


My sweet camp friend Eliza continually wrote and spoke of a phrase in 1 Peter 2:9 this summer that I’ll never forget: proclaim His excellencies.


“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” —1 Peter 2:9


God’s faithfulness, the care with which He loved me and showed me how to love my campers, the way He redeemed brokenness and brought light into darkness, are all stories I will never stop telling—and God’s faithfulness abounds after camp because of the ways I continue to see Him working in my campers’ lives to use their testimonies and mine to reveal to others more of who He is.


So although the season of my life where I got to prepare meals with highschoolers all day, play capture the flag, eat dino nuggets in the Upper D, hike up to zippy rocks, or bang spoons on the table during Sunday morning pump up, has come to a close, I will never stop proclaiming the excellencies that our steadfast, sovereign, faithful God orchestrated right before my eyes. He drew me and each one of my campers into the maze of tall evergreens and wildflower-laden mountain meadows those three summers because He loves us and He wanted us to see, to hear, and to touch His glory.


But, I also think he brought us to camp because He wanted us to feel His love in the beating of our own hearts so closely and clearly that we’d spend our lives sacrificing whatever it takes to tell those who don’t know about a God who loves like that.


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps

How God Uses Camp to Meet Us in the Little Moments

Monday morning games. Who knew that three little words could make every heart at camp beat just a little faster?


Campers: nervous about the thought of actually having to play games and get out of their comfort zones with people they met less than 24 hours before.


Counselors: exhausted by the mere thought of jumping, yelling, and cheering for three hours about games they play every week.


And leadership: counting down the number of times left to explain the same game.


Yep, Monday morning games are tough. I can say that as a camper they are terrifying, as a counselor they are tiring, and as a PC they are just boring. But for some reason, God chooses to meet us out there on the angleball field and the nuke em’ court. Rather than using the fanciest games or the craziest activities, God steps into these simple moments and uses them to point hearts towards him. And that, more than anything else, is what makes Eagle Lake so unforgettable.


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


I met Maddie for the first time on a Sunday afternoon. The first thing I thought was that she seemed excited, if not a little nervous, to be at camp. Little did I know that the Lord would soon use this sweet 12-year old to impact my own life.


On Tuesday afternoon, chaco-taco in hand, we sat down together on the beach to talk. Before long, we had launched into a full-fledged discussion of dragons. I have never once in my life thought about the different types of dragons, but there I was asking questions and listening intently to every detail. For over an hour. In fact, that afternoon we didn’t talk for a single minute about Jesus or what she was learning at camp.


But from that conversation, Maddie knew that she was cared for and that I was there for her. She knew that when she was ready, she could trust me to come alongside her in the tough things she was facing. And over time, after camp ended and real-life began, that’s what happened. Through letters written over the course of the next few months, I was able to encourage her with Scriptures, reminding her that no matter what happens, her Heavenly Father always has, and always will be, right beside her. I got to watch as Maddie began to experience the faithfulness of the Lord and the freedom of His promises.


God chose to use this tiny moment to turn both of our hearts towards Him, reminding me that He is completely sovereign and in control. It was clearly not my dragon expertise that impacted Maddie’s life. But the Lord used what could appear to be a trivial conversation to mold our relationship and lead to deeper moments of discipleship for His own purpose.


Matthew 13:31-32 says “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


Summer Jobs in Colorado Camps


As I have traveled down the mountain and returned to school, I am reminded that God is able to work in these seemingly small ways no matter where I am. A conversation with the cashier at the grocery store, a note of encouragement to a roommate who is hurting, or a quick coffee date with a new friend could make a huge difference in someone’s life, even if I don’t see the fruit of it right away. God calls us to love others. He calls us to listen. And He is faithful to use little moments like these to change lives for His glory.

How God Uses Camp to Renew our Spirits

Teary eyed, exhausted and broken, an ominous, shapeless feeling of loneliness consumed my soul as I wearily started praying one night my junior year of college.  As the world closed in around me, the Lord came and met me.  He sat with me as I cried and He didn’t offer advice, He didn’t get me the answers, He didn’t even try to tell me everything was going to be okay. He was just there.  In the midst of my pain, I tried to remember the last time I felt God active and moving in my life in a real way.  I remembered Eagle Lake. The Holy Spirit sensed that I was drowning in myself and He offered me a lifeline.  Whatever caused me to think of Eagle Lake, it had unknowingly set me on a path to pursue a personal relationship with my Savior.

I applied that night to work as a counselor at Eagle Lake, hoping to relive my childhood memories as a 21-year-old college student.  For the next two summers of 2014 and 2015, God continued to carry my burden with me.  I felt like a kid learning to walk, as, strangely enough, I was entrusted with teaching kids about what it meant to walk with Christ as I was experiencing it.  The Lord built me up little by little through Eagle Lake, just as he did when I was a camper there.

My first summer I had a camper named Brian who came in on Sunday night with little to no interest in, how he put it, “that Bible stuff.”  I was never offended or hurt when one of my campers showed disinterest in the Word.  After all, I was just figuring out how to put my identity in Christ at age 21.  Towards the end of the week, Brian and I went canoeing and he asked me for a Bible.  I asked if he had lost his, knowing he had had one the day before.  He told me it wasn’t for him, but for his parents, so he could tell them about God.  Whether he knew it or not, his sincerity to share about Christ at age 9, put a deep, unquenchable yearning in my soul to share the redeeming power of the resurrection with anyone who would listen.

Eagle Lake Opportunities


I took a break from Eagle Lake to graduate school in 2016 and my summer felt eerily different.  I knew the Lord needed me to finish school but part of me longed for the fresh mountain air, the sounds of canoe paddles hitting the water, and the breathtaking view from the top of the zip line that unknowingly stole my heart at age 10.

After that summer, the Lord called me to Eagle Lake once again to their Emerging Leaders Program.  A program that gives me the chance to work year round for the camp that changed my life and continue to spread Christ’s never ending, infinite love to kids one week at a time, in an environment unlike any other.

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is God’s answer to my prayers.  I prayed for a calling, a purpose, and a direction. Eagle Lake gave this to me in droves.  I begged God to take away the weight of the world on my shoulders and he led me to a verse.

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” -1 Peter 5:10

God sat with me that night junior year, in the midst of my suffering and provided a way out. He gave me a new hope and He is in the process of confirming, strengthening and establishing me.  He’s using the people and the experiences of ELP to do it.  I am so excited to spend this coming summer sitting with counselors.  I don’t have all the answers, I don’t have the perfect advice and I’m not going to pretend everything is okay. Sometimes people just need someone to sit with them and love them, the same way Christ loved me.

How God Uses Camp to SHOW Us His FAMILY

I never attended Eagle Lake as a camper. My first experience at camp was as a counselor in the Rezident program in 2013. And I loved it. I came away knowing that I wanted to go back if I could.

Having never been to camp, I did not have many of the established relationships that other counselors seemed to already have at the start of the summer. Some counselors were former campers, excited to be reunited in a new way after attending together as kids. Others came with friends from their college campuses, like the large crew from Colorado State, united in their green and gold. Among the CSU crowd was Michael, a friend I had grown up with since our families were members of the same church. We arrived together, and a little bit late, so the whole staff was assembled in the dining hall, a sea of new faces that I did not know.

It didn’t take long to get connected to new friends, an effort aided by sharing awkward stories and preparing for kids through long, exhausting hours during our first week together. Camp is strange. It’s a bubble in so many ways, insulated from the busyness of “normal” life and the incessant noise of the internet and tv. The separateness allows for fast and ready relationships to form, as both conflicts and connections come up quickly between people who live, eat, work and play beside one another day-in and day-out.


Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado

Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado

Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado


Not only did we get to spend all that time together, but we also got to spend that time in the context of our shared faith, taking time together in study and prayer for one another. When I discussed this depth of community with a friend, he asked me if I had thought to credit these connections to the presence of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of enjoying the tight bonds that formed over the summer, I confess that I had not, actually, thought to credit those bonds to God’s unifying Spirit. In the midst of spending time together at camp, I hadn’t really noticed that for many of the people I considered new and close friends, the only real thing we had in common was Jesus. Our varied interests and hobbies all fell away as we learned to laugh, cry and love with one another in the unity granted by the Spirit.

Over the course of three summers spent at Eagle Lake, I have only found this to be more and more true; choosing to love one another as members of God’s family, for the sake of that family, built deep and lasting relationships that transcended each of our individual ideas of ourselves, wherever we had come from.

All of this was on top of the cool craziness that is Eagle Lake. Camp is SO MUCH FUN. Where else can you shamelessly wear your hair in any style you choose? Where else can you sport socks and sandals with such pride? Where else but camp can you be a costume? And in the midst of all of that fun, games, wild outdoor adventures, and crazy inside-joke-based antics, the chief thing that stands out to me is the relationships I built and founded in the midst of those summers. The friends I made have continued to be some of the best friends I have, brothers and sisters in Christ that I count myself blessed to know and love.


Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado

Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado

Best job ever at Eagle Lake Camps in Colorado


I’m in it for the long run.

After three summers, nearly 180 days, at Eagle Lake, that may be obvious. But it’s even more soul-pervasive, life-impacting, than that.

Camp is the persevering ascent of thousand foot mountains, tangible and intangible.

It’s the will-defying, discipline-building miles that graft trails, skies, songs, prayers into the soul.

It’s the distance-defying phone calls that keep relationships authentic and heart fibers entwined.

It’s the glorious redemption of miles driven with that earnest initiative that is to dial and courageously offer any wisdom and experience to the now scattered girls I once started my mornings with, dug holes with, hauled bursting bags of week-old eggs and tomato stained rotini with, harmonized and filled out the work hours in gracious music with, singing ourselves out of discouragement or pain, ran with, cried with, dreamed with, confided in, pursued with.

At Eagle Lake I realized that when I quit trying to perfect relating and loving in impressive sprints, and instead build a foundation for the marathon relationship, by God’s grace, I suddenly resonate with Jesus’ perspective on forging enduring relationships.

Eagle Lake is wondrous because it isn’t experienced in a vacuum.  Implanted in willing heart soil, its treasures, “rooted and established in love,” spread their branches out to bless, so that people who’ve never set foot on property delight to sit in its shade months, years later.  The enduring, treasured maintenance of counselor-camper relationships can be a glorious reality. It’s an investment I’ve seen unbelievable returns on, to the point that at my most vulnerable, I’m being received tenderly by the people I counseled. Heard, understood, known in such a way that demonstrates what seems too good to be true- they got it.  These campers passed on not only the truth in words, but the manifest comprehension of what it looks like to love well, agape, devoid of self-interest and replete with sacrifice, honor, and trust.
But it’s beauty is that it extended past that.






Over the course of the summer of 2014, my “return summer” on Crew, Katlyn Kincaid, the first woman I knew to pray comfortably with pauses in order to speak genuinely to her Creator, imparted some beautiful truths from a blend of her rich experience and with a life-changing book as a framework: 1000 Gifts.  A manifesto of Gratitude in All Things artfully, gracefully penned by Ann Voskamp as she counts the gifts sweet and hard that God gives, it sought to live in the tension of the apparent ‘good and perfect gifts from above’, and the rest of life’s circumstances, also from above and, for all their dissonance, utterly perfect.  The ugliness of loss, unmet expectations, mundane-ness, inexpressible longing—all these were also gifts, aches meant to point us to the Lord and forge within us holy contentment.
“I’m thankful for everything,” is a swift, over-generalized, oversimplified wash to attribute to the God who is so, so present in the details.  Could not the picture enliven with precision such that every stroke of the brush was yet another intentional, captivated act of giving.  Love, inherently self-giving, implies a generous spirit, and suddenly when I look at the other side of all the gifts, I see the one reaching for me knowingly, setting his affection on that ineffable essence of my soul with thousands of gifts meant to somehow incarnate that love.  I read slow, savoringly, secretly relishing my half-week convalescence in the infirmary with the stomach flu that let me absorb just a bit more of these fresh truths.

It was too good to keep to myself.

That fall, whether by untamable enthusiasm or sheer persistence, I surrounded myself with a half a dozen girls, got them the books, and begged them to work through this. I processed so much all over again with them, and watched each of them start their own enumerations of God’s giving to them, a careful record of their experience of Him.  One of these precious sisters bought 10 copies of the book a few months later, brandishing it to any friend who expressed even mild interest.  One had “Eucharisteo”—the Greek for thanksgiving—tattooed onto her foot.  Another brought friends week in and week out, believing or not, to see how good it was.  Yet another started meeting with a girl to hash out these truths from the beginning again, structuring their discipleship meetings around this book.  And my relationships with all of them were all the more deep and substantial.
Suddenly the texts started popping up, even after graduation and leaving the school where this group had become a tribe of Eucharisteo. Now distant in my solitary urban post-community grad-school starting season, these messages comforted and reminded me of the truths I once had preached.  They said things like:

“Thankful for Thankfulness…as the key that opens the door to see the most truth reality that all is gift from our Gift Giver.  All is grace.  All is gift.” 

“Inhale with prayer.  Exhale with Thanksgiving.”
“Thankful to have transportation with a job as hectic as mine.”

And thankfulness as a tradition with my running partner for the last mile we run together each day.  And as a question that my fiancée knows will pull me out of any pouting emotional rut.  And what I have learned to be an incredible rope to grab hold of when I am in stagnation, complacency, discontent.



Because when I start counting all that God gives, the number indicates I’m far more loved than I was even aware of. And that gratitude is always an option as I live in the glorious tension of an unideal world juxtaposed with “Christ in me, the hope of glory.”

The long run surpasses description. I can’t shake the feeling the fullness of my heart for Eagle Lake has fallen short of articulate expression, because in this Holy Place, God grants gifts that cultivate perseverance more than I can give word to.  But may the Spirit interpret this to your conscious understanding as referential, an arrow toward a God of all-encompassing, ultimate, redeeming self giving.
And maybe your journey to (your first) 1000 could start today.

Because God is in it for the long run with you.

How God Uses Camp to CREATE MARGIN

I spent every summer in college working with Eagle Lake Camps and God made sure to not let that time go to waste. When I look back I can see His hand working in every awkward introduction, every late night conversation, every hour of cleaning bathrooms, and every voice-shattering cheer. I know the time and energy I spent with Eagle Lake was not just a fun summer job in college. God not only used those summers to continue to mold me into the image of His son but also to invite me further into his ministry of reconciliation. What a privilege to be even just a small part of a people and a place that God is using to advance His kingdom.


I had heard from friends and older students in the Navs ministry at Colorado State University (Go Rams!) that Eagle Lake would make for the hardest, but best summer of my life. God did far more abundantly than all I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).


At the beginning of my first summer I was anxious to make a good first impression and to find where I fit in. Somehow everybody already knew my name, my favorite food, where I went to high school, how many siblings I had, and my credit score. I don’t even know my credit score. All joking aside, this seriously is how Eagle Lake leadership start the summer (minus the credit score) – intentionally including and caring for their summer staff, even in something so small as a name. As orientation passed and the first week of camp came to an end I became aware of an internal battle for my identity. My flesh desired to be highly esteemed by the PCs and other counselors, while the spirit desired for me to be fully engaged in the Luke 2:52 growth of my campers. Day after day, I performed for a crowd, showing my “exemplary service and selflessness,” only to find myself dissatisfied. Binded by toxic comparison and motivated by my reputation, I found myself exhausted by the fourth week.


Life Long Friendships

Camp Counselor in Colorado

Adventures in the Colorado Mountains



How pathetic, I thought, to be using God as a stepping stone to my own glory. And how ironic, that in the next few days it was those who I had yearned to show my every strength who ended up knowing one of my biggest weaknesses. The PCs and counselors I had grown close to gently tended my heart back to the Lord and reminded me of his faithfulness. Because of His great love, I was not consumed, for His compassions never failed. They were new every morning. Oh, how faithful! (Lamentations 3:22-23) And how thankful I was that God’s faithfulness was not based on my faithfulness. Even further, when I was not faithful, God still wanted to show that he loved me.


Two weeks later I received a care package from a few of my campers from the second week of camp full of candy, glow-sticks, and bubble gum. Buried beneath it all was a framed picture of our cabin group, Shoshone, along with personal letters from each of them. One camper wrote, “God+Eagle Lake Camps=AWESOME!!! I told my mom about what I learned and now our whole family is going to church! You showed me how much God loves me, I decided to follow Jesus.” It’s hard to describe how floored I was after reading these letters. In the midst of my sin and faithlessness, God showed himself to have an all-surpassing power that permeates all circumstances and hearts (2 Corinthians 4:7). While I was busy reaching for my own glory, God was busy taking it for himself (Isaiah 42:8).


After learning more of God’s heart throughout my first summer, He called me to come back to the mountain for the next two summers serving with Crew – the high school camp focused on service and discipleship. High school is such a formative and fun time in life; to commit 5 weeks of your summer is quite a decision – props to all who’ve done it! Anyone who has spent time serving with Crew, camper or staff, can attest to the amazing community formed over just 5 weeks. However, more than any other lesson, Crew has helped me see the value of discipleship. Somehow, in the midst of the busyness up at camp, campers and staff prioritize and find time to meet together and encourage one another to grow to maturity in Christ. The messiness and chaos of life is met by the truth and peace of the gospel as the term ‘life-on-life’ ministry comes alive. God uses Eagle Lake as a greenhouse for growing His children into laborers for the kingdom of God. The training I received at Eagle Lake prepared me to continue to labor for the kingdom as a brother, son, mentor, and friend. As I drove down the mountain to be with those I love, God worked through me to not only share the gospel of God, buy my life as well (1 Thessalonians 2:8).


Camp Bros


Life long friendships


Adventures in Colorado


One of the beautiful things about Eagle Lake Camps is that it creates margin in your life for God to make big moves. Whether you’re deep in the Rocky Mountains, 10 minutes down the road at the local church, or in your bed at home God wants to talk to you and show you He loves you. Doesn’t it make sense that when the volume of the world is turned way down and the voice of God is turned way up, you hear Him? Take one walk around any Eagle Lake Camps property and around every corner you will find another opportunity to participate in how God is making big moves. Eagle Lake Camps has forever transformed the way I view God and helped me understand how God views me. God is not a distant and uninvolved king on his throne; He hears our cry for mercy and answers with a new heart and abundant life (John 10:10) offered through Jesus Christ. Further, He invites us into His ministry as ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). We’re on a co-mission with God to reconcile the world to himself in Christ.


God is using Eagle Lake to impact eternity. Eagle Lake Camps empowers young children, high school students, all kinds of college students, and even college grads to live lives transformed by the all-surpassing power of God – to live lives marked by knowing Him and making Him known among their families, friends, and peers.


Crew Leadership