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


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

How God Uses Camp to REMIND Us of His Character

I could have met Jesus anywhere, but He met me at camp.

It was late one night in high school under a blanket of stars that Jesus revealed to me He was my Creator and Savior.  I cried out in sweet relief seeing a billion little suns He knows by name and yet counts me more valuable. I’m hardly a fraction of their size and yet he chose to take my sin and nail himself to a cross for it.

This was at the camp I grew up at in the middle of the Midwest. Ever since that night I could never get enough of camp. It was a place of joy, community, laughter and I wanted to be like everyone I met there. I began to want to be like Jesus.

I went and staffed there the summer after my freshman year of college to find the gospel being put on the backburner.  The community was being poisoned by pursuing the work over Jesus, and I left that summer full of doubt.  Was anything I learned here about Jesus true? Was it His joy I had seen or an illusion? I was hurt and I was confused, but I went back to college and Jesus proved as faithful as ever in my puddle of doubt.

I began to see that I had associated Jesus far too closely to my good experiences at camp. Realizing camp was imperfect prompted my heart to feel that Jesus must be imperfect, too. As I worked through this lie, He revealed truth in His Word and surrounded me with close friends to speak truth to me: “Doubt your own doubts, because they are as empty as the grave He walked from.” Jesus is perfect, the world and its people are not.

I’m involved in Navigators at college, a ministry passionate about knowing Christ and making him known, and every fall we go to a big conference called Main Event. That fall in particular, a slightly obnoxious banner next to a booth caught my eye and I read the words Eagle Lake Camps.

I walked towards it and decided to apply.


Biblestudy fun


Life long friendships



Hammock time


Fun times


Life on life Ministry


You might be wondering why I would return to a place so similar to where I experienced such a negative impact on my walk with the Lord, but don’t forget my first encounter with Christ. Often, God takes our hurt and flips it over so we can see his healing. That is exactly what He did at Eagle Lake.

A woman named Abby Fennema called me for an interview. I immediately could tell she was for real about sharing Jesus at all costs and walking with the Lord herself. My eyes welled up with tears, and I knew that Jesus had a purpose for bringing me through all that doubt. I was to go back into a setting I’d been hurt by and put the gospel at the forefront of all we did, instead of wondering where it was at.

The summer of 2015 came and I walked onto property as a Crew Counselor, knowing no one and desiring to make Christ known.  It was a hard, growing, huge blessing of a summer. God rooted my trust in Him by giving me energy, love, and kindness when I had none left to give. I found myself faced with things I didn’t know how to do, like helping run the camp store, relying on Jesus for physical needs and swallowing desires of comfort for the sake of others. I didn’t think I could do it and I definitely couldn’t without the Lord and fellow believers that were right by my side, showing me how the entire way.

He healed any leftover hurt and doubt from the summer before and replaced it with abundant testimonies to His character by moving in the hearts of my campers, as well as in my own heart. I got to walk with campers struggling with the same lie I had previously believed. We concluded that God is the same God away from camp that we believe Him to be when at camp, and our faith isn’t based on experiences or people, but rather on the flawless Word of Christ.

That summer was full of seeing my fellow counselors seeking Jesus with everything they had and teaching their campers to do the same. Eagle Lake has challenge me to pursue the Lord deeply and trust HIM in whatever ministry He brings me into, not in a ministry itself (no matter how awesome).

This year I will going back on staff for a third summer at Eagle Lake and I am just as excited as I was to go to camp in high school.


Leadership team




Fun fun fun


The road to camp

How God Uses Camp to IMPACT Generations

Interestingly, the most impactful story I think of when Eagle Lake comes to mind didn’t happen at Eagle Lake Camp at all. Instead, it occurred at The Navigators’ collegiate ministry’s fall conference in Estes Park, CO.


Although this conference is typically only for college students, three of my former campers had asked for — and were given — permission from our regional director to join us. On the last night of the conference, I had the privilege to sit behind these three high school seniors. I had trained them in how to clean a toilet with excellence, led them in quiet times, and taught them how to share the gospel with little children. And now, as we sat praying over people the Lord had placed on our hearts and then began to worship, I watched my campers as they were pulled to their knees, their hearts broken for the sake of the gospel. Watching these teenagers commit their lives to Jesus not just for their own happiness but for the sake of others brought me to tears. 


Eagle Lake has made a lifelong impact on my walk with Jesus because it takes those who are considered “inadequate, inexperienced, or too young” and tells them that they are part of the army that the Lord is raising up for His Name’s sake. Eagle Lake empowers young children, high school students, struggling college students and even college graduates to experience the joy of giving up everything for the sake of Jesus: for the sake of knowing Him and making Him known to friends, families and peers.

Life long friendships


Life on Life Ministry


Canoe Fun

This past summer marked my twelfth summer at Eagle Lake as either a camper or a staff member. I have spent, in total, over a year of my life on an Eagle Lake property. To say the least, Eagle Lake has a special place in my heart that will never be removed. In those twelve summers, Jesus has taught me a lot of important, hard, and joyful lessons, but the lesson that I think ties them all together is that giving my life away for the sake of the Gospel is always worth it. Moreover, when I do, I experience the joy of being in my Savior’s presence most fully.


As a high school student, I was part of the Crew program. It’s a 5-week program where high school students come to Eagle Lake to clean toilets, serve food, and do the dishes. However, campers are also being poured into by college-aged counselors who give up their summers in the hopes that even just one high school student would begin or would deepen their walk with the Lord.


From my summers on Crew, one of the most impactful lessons I learned was that Christ is the cornerstone. I don’t know why I remember this so well, but as we were placing the tables in rows in the dinning hall, my hospitality counselor placed the first one of the row, and he called us all together and said, “this one is the cornerstone, just as ‘Jesus was the stone that the builders rejected, He has now become the cornerstone.'” I understood that passage for the first time as I saw a cornerstone be set, and everything else in the dining hall be affected by and oriented around it. Additionally, Crew gave me a hunger for God’s word. It was the first time I was really encouraged (and told) to read my Bible on a daily basis, and that I was responsible for my walk with the Lord, not my parents. I began to read the Bible that summer and by my last summer on Crew, I had made my way through the entire book.  I was eager and hungry for the Word of God.


That wetsuit lyfe


Blob fun


Hospitality Crew Strikes a Pose


Awkward Family Pic


In 2015 I came on staff as a crew counselor. My summer was really hard. I was overwhelmed by the amount of brokenness that is in our world today as I lived life with campers (some only 14) who had first-hand experience with heartbreak, suicide, depression and rape. My heart was heavy and my eyes opened to the effects of the fall. My heart longed for something that would come and redeem and bind up these broken souls. My heart was restless for eternity and zealous for the gospel.


The following summer, I came back on staff as a Day Camp Crew counselor. The summer was marked by two phrases, “Three things are eternal: God, His word, and the souls of man,” and “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” My sin of working for things that are not eternal, or not coming from a place of satisfaction in God and His Word, became evident in my life the first few weeks.


I struggled as two of my best friends were put in a position of leadership over me. In my head, I thought that I deserved that position just as much as they did, and fell into the trap of believing that I needed to prove to them and to my boss that I did. Constantly trying to prove I was enough was exhausting, because I’m not. And to put it bluntly, doing so is outside of God’s plan and provision, and so there is no joy in trying. But the Lord humbled me and quietly asked the question, “Do you believe that I am sovereign? Do you believe that if I want to bring you back to Eagle Lake it will be more glorious than if you do all the work and they ask you, apart from me?”


Through one-on-ones with a staff member’s wife, we talked through how much greater it would be if I was faithfully present where the Lord had me, in the moment He had me. It was His grace that placed me on Day Camp that summer. (And now I’m convinced it’s the coolest job at Eagle Lake!) I was put on a crew that allowed me to do what I love: develop kids into strong leaders, lovers of God’s word, and servants for the Gospel. I worked with eight high school students who were eager to learn. They worked with our Day Camp campers on our Glen Eyrie property. The primary goal of the program is to learn how to lead a Bible study, but these campers walked away with so much more.


Day Camp Crew


Spiritual Generations


Canoodoling Patrol


Crew Staff


One of my favorite stories from that summer happened with one of my quieter campers. I had been encouraging her to try and just be present, to play, and to interact in hopes of getting a chance to share the gospel with a camper. In the middle of one of our one-on-ones, she looked me in the eye, and asked, “Will you follow me around and tell me every time that I could have shared the gospel, but didn’t?” Even in questioning her ability to share the gospel, she still knew and believed that the gospel was worth it, and that her joy was to tell it to all those around her. 


The passion I saw for the gospel cultivated in these sixteen and seventeen year olds challenged me more than I could have imagined as I stepped back onto my own campus this semester. Each day at Day Camp we reminded our campers that they would not be promised a second chance to share the gospel, but only given the opportunities right before them, so go forth boldly! It’s easy to forget that in the midst of tests, events, and friendships.


However, through deep relationships with staff, campers, and other counselors in the midst of beautiful mountains, Eagle Lake has instilled in me that Christ is worth it, on the mountain and off. He is worth giving up your summer, your plans, and even your dreams, “for we count it all as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord” (Philippians 3:8). I could tell countless stories of how God has met me through relationships and time spent at Eagle Lake, but they would all tell one story: God is meeting his people in the stillness of Eagle Lake, to equip them to go off the mountain and share His story for His glory.

How God Uses Camp to REJUVENATE Our Spirits

Eagle Lake is a place where someone can experience God’s intimate love through genuine friendships, discipline in the Word and prayer, and selfless serving. And it’s all possible because Jesus died and rose again for our sin, and the people there know and live in this. 

I first discovered this truth the summer after I graduated from high school. Emotionally exhausted and ready for a fresh start after senior year, I ran away to Eagle Lake. I had lived the last few years seeking fulfillment and love from my church leaders and friends, but kept coming out empty and hurt. Although I didn’t realized it at the time, I was seeking God’s love through works and through the approval of man. The more discouraged in my faith I grew, the more I just wanted to get away. Thus, as plans for a summer at Eagle Lake fell in to place, I grew more and more excited.
Face painting fun
life-long friendships
Trash Days
Parking Lot Duty

Serving on Eagle Lake Crew exceeded my expectations.I quickly formed sincere friendships. My counselors provided constant accountability for disciplined time in the Word, and my leaders and the peers walking alongside me daily encouraged me to seek JESUS first. Waking up at 5am, cleaning toilets and sleeping on plastic mattresses with a dirt floor may sound terrible, but it created a full reliance on and desire for those sweet early mornings with Jesus.
The fellowship on Crew was also instrumental to my growth that summer. I had never experienced such a tight knit community working together to better each other in the gospel and strengthen each other to willingly serve. My heart began to overflow with precious love from Jesus for the people around me. I slowly realized that this had always been in my life, but had become fogged near the end of high school. I resolved to continue to allow Jesus’ love to permeate my feelings for the people around me when I returned home.
Cross Hike
Cross hike
Banquet Night Finery
God taught me through my summer as a crew camper to dwell in the word of Christ, serve willingly in humility, and to listen to and love others better. I need and still try to get daily time in the Word and time to study the Bible. And my husband and I pursue godly community who encourage us and whom we can encourage in return.
 Leaving camp was hard, but I started praying that God would allow me to live a Gospel-centered life. My summer at camp set a beautiful foundation for my soul to remember the importance of God’s Word and genuine community so that I can do so.
By Meredith, former Crew camper and counselor
Crew Staff Picture