Summer Camp 2020

Counselor & Summer Staff


Counselor & Summer Staff Updates

Hey y’all!

It’s Drew with Camp of the Hills. By now you’ve hopefully watched the video announcements explaining the changes in programming for 2020. It’s going to be really weird to not have traditional overnight camp this summer, especially since I’ve never seen camp miss a single week in my 20 years here. But even though it’s going to be different in a lot of ways, we still trust that God will do something amazing. Our staff has been working on new plans and I want to go into more detail with y’all about ways you can still be involved.

First off, we are hoping to bring on 8-12 returning counselors as volunteers for the summer to help with several projects. This will include contacting campers to check up on them, making videos to share with them through social media (like Worship times, Bible discussions, Talent Shows, a video of our Crucifixion/Resurrection Reenactments, and lots of other fun things to keep us connected with the kids we love so much). We are also looking to do “Camp in a Box” packages for our former campers, with encouraging notes, craft supplies, and pieces of camp they can hold onto. If restrictions are eased as the summer progresses, we may even make some trips to hand deliver these care packages!

These 8-12 volunteers will also be helping with some projects across camp. We’re going to cut new hiking trails, prepare a whole buncha future crafts, hit projects that have sat on the back-burner for far too long, and many other things that will benefit camp for years to come. 

If this was going to be your first summer as a counselor, we’ve got a way to keep y’all connected, too! During June, we are excited to invite some of the young applicants that we had hired or considered for summer counselor positions to join our volunteer counselors for two-week sessions. These volunteers will be jumping in on all the projects with our returning counselors and getting familiar with camp. It’ll be an important way to make sure we keep passing the heart of Camp of the Hills down from counselor to counselor, along with camp culture and traditions that we don’t want to lose. When these young potential counselors leave, we know they will spread the word about camp and help get even more great folks to join in our mission.

Even though we won’t be able to pay folks for these volunteer roles (An economic crisis isn’t exactly ideal for a nonprofit serving low-income families…), we’re going to provide housing for our volunteers during their stay, plus meals Monday-Friday. If you’re getting a bit tired of being cooped up with your family/your roomies, this is a great opportunity to work alongside friends, have a roof over your head and food in your belly, and help encourage our campers. Our Executive Director, Michael, is even working on some side jobs for folks who want to volunteer, but also need to make at least a little money.

We hope that as restrictions lift, we will be able to host two-week Poiema camps starting in July. The volunteer returning counselors will help mentor these high school age campers, working to support the counselors we’ve already hired to run the program (Our Immerse Interns, KT, Kayley, and Kevin, who’ve spent months planning Poiema). With the Poiema Discipleship program growing in importance as a step between being a regular camper and a future counselor, having more great counselors for them to get to know will be crucial to the success of the program in the long run.

Also, if you can’t make a volunteer position work for this summer, we completely understand. There will be no judgement from us if the changes in programming mean you can’t swing it for this year. If you’re able to reapply in 2021, know that missing this volunteer summer won’t be a mark against you.

Quick insight into what I’m looking for when it comes to these volunteer counselors: I’ll be prioritizing folks who I can trust to work hard and be responsible with more free time. The schedule will obviously be way different without 100 campers running around, so I’m looking for people who are going to make choices that don’t cause me to constantly facepalm. Additionally, on average a counselor will stick around for two summers. That means that Summer 2021 is already in danger of being short on Returning Counselors. With that in mind, I’m going to try to ensure that a lot of our volunteer returning counselors for this summer are folks who might be available to return in 2021, which means a lot of folks will probably skew towards being younger. Same with the new folks who want to come volunteer for two weeks in June. I’m not opposed to a more seasoned counselor, but I’m also going to be looking to camp’s future. Those aren’t the only factors for choosing who’ll get those spots, but they will weigh heavily in who we choose. Just a heads up!

The decision-making process is going to go pretty dang quick. There will be a short application available on the website by the time you watch this video. If you’re interested in being a volunteer counselor, fill it out as soon as you can. Deadline will be May 13th, which is in less than two weeks, and then we’ll have decisions out by May 15. Returning counselors chosen for these volunteer spots will be able to move in May 27th, and our new counselor two-week sessions will begin on May 31st and June 14th.

Last thing: Exactly ten years ago as of March, our camp family watched our main facility burn to the ground. Some folks thought it’d be the end of Camp of the Hills. When I arrived the next day, my mentor was standing next to the smoldering ruins. Mel said to me, “We can’t even imagine what good God will do with this.”

He was right. We have grown in ways we couldn’t have fathomed back then.

I know that today’s news is super sad, disappointing, and frustrating in a lot of ways. I get that because I’m feeling it, too. If you need someone to cry with about it, want someone to scream into the sky, or just someone to sit next to and be sad, I’m here. Grieving together is better than going it alone. It’s fine to mourn the loss of what we expected. But then, it’ll be time to do the best we can with what we’ve got. And while I can’t say what God’s going to do with this situation, I am excited to see how God makes goodness grow from these ashes. And, I’m excited to join in, hopefully alongside you.

Love y’all.

Drew Bowen & The COTH Camp Family

Join us this summer!

Thank you for your interest in serving deserving children from low income communities at Camp of the Hills. Here, our summer staff truly acts as the hands and feet of Christ in our efforts to reveal His love to each camper. Our desire is to love God’s children by noticing and praising the godly attributes they possess and devoting our time and attention to encouraging them in every moment. Through sacrifice for the sake of the campers we hope to live out God’s command to carry each other’s burdens and build each other up. Camp of the Hills brings together a unique and diverse group of believers, all of whom are sacrificing their summers to unite for a common mission. The culture of this place builds community among the staff that will continue after the summer and beyond camp grounds. You will find being a part of what God is doing here a rewarding experience.

Summer 2020 Staff Information

All applicants must be 18 or older by Training Week of 2020.

  • Staff Training Week: May 22 - May 30

  • Session 1: May 31 – June 6

  • Session 2: June 7 – June 13

  • Session 3: June 14 – June 20

  • Session 4: June 21 - June 27

  • Off Week: June 28 - July 4

  • Session 5: July 5 - July 11

  • Session 6: July 12 – July 18

  • Session 7: July 19 – July 25

  • Session 8: July 26 – August 1

  • Session 9: August 2 - August 8

Have a Question?

Contact our Program Director, Drew Bowen

Drew Bowen

Program Director

Drew has a long history with Camp of the Hills, serving as a volunteer, Camp Assistant, Counselor, and Camp Director before being hired as Program Director. He and his wife, Amanda, fell in love at camp and their wedding was the first event in our new dining hall. Despite run-ins with errant rocks to the head and almost-dead rattlesnakes over the years, there’s nowhere on Earth that Drew feels more at home. His passion for recruiting new counselors and staff stems from a love of sharing what God is doing at camp, and imagining ways for others’ talents and passions to join in that good work.