Collaborating with Impact: The Eagle Lake Summer Training Program

Courtney Sabo — the Day Camp Operations Director for Eagle Lake Camps — was sitting in a meeting at the end of a long day at Eagle Lake’s Glen Eyrie Day Camp. The team was going over what went well that day when a counselor jumped up, excited to share that one of her campers had accepted Christ!

A group of kids from Eagle Lake Camp stand with their camp counselor.
A group of campers from Eagle Lake Camp take a selfie with their camp counselor

“The whole room erupted with cheers,” Courtney remembers. “She told us the story of what happened and her conversation with the camper. The counselors’ genuine joy that another camper came to know the Lord was at a level that I had never seen before. It brought me to tears.”

This story is just one of the many that came out of Eagle Lake’s Glen Eyrie Day Camp this past summer — a 10-week experience that was not only a fruitful time for campers, but an experimental ground for a new Summer Training Program (STP) for college students.

How the Eagle Lake Summer Training Program Began

Earlier in 2023, the staff of Eagle Lake were looking for counselors to serve over the summer. Similarly, the upper midwest Navigators Collegiate ministries were hoping to start a new STP for the region’s students. Thus, a partnership was born — the 2023 Eagle Lake STP, where 12 college students served for the summer as day camp counselors, gaining additional disciplemaking training after camp hours. 

“This plan of blending the two programs was the best way to combine forces and be unified in how we are building college students over the course of the summer,” Andrew Brown, the Eagle Lake Director of Talent Acquisitions and Marketing, says.

How a Summer Job with the Eagle Lake Summer Training Program Equips Generations

From singing silly songs to slip-and-slides, the campers — ranging from 6 to 12 years old — would rotate each day through fun activities, all while being taught the gospel. The counselors had the unique experience of walking with the campers week after week, forming strong and meaningful relationships.

“These kids felt known and seen,” Jenna Booth, the Assistant Program Manager for the Eagle Lake STP, says. “At the end of the summer, some of the kids were distraught watching their counselors leave, and you could see the close relationships that were built.”

When camp was done for the day, counselors were given discipleship and biblical training that they could apply with campers throughout their week, growing in their own confidence as disciplemakers in Life-to-Life® relationships.

“One student named Leah* was a counselor this summer, and she has a heart for serving others,” Jenna continues. “I could see when she went back to college after the summer that she was so much more confident in talking about Scripture and the gospel. And now she’s pursuing others in discipleship, and it’s been amazing to see her growth in just a few months.”

The Eagle Lake STP will not only be coming back this year, but it will be expanding, growing to a second day camp at The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs with eight additional counselors for 2024. To help run the camp, some of the students from last year will be returning to lead the new counselors, embarking the collaborative program on another year of successful impact — for campers and counselors alike.

“I’m convinced that we won’t know how to uniquely serve the world as Navigators until we’re working better together across the organization,” Andrew explains. “We can’t be shy of trying new things. And sometimes, like with this year’s STP, we stumble across gold.”  

*Names changed for privacy

College Students Needed: Work for Eagle Lake Camps!

Know a college student looking for a fun summer job that makes a difference? Being a Counselor at Eagle Lake Camps gives you a summer that makes a difference in the lives of kids and in your life, too! Eagle Lake Camps has positions at their rustic, overnight property in the mountains above Colorado Springs and on their traveling Eagle Lake On Location Day Camp teams, who travel across the country to partner with local churches to bring the fun and experience of camp to communities across the U.S.

Click the link below for more information about a summer job you’ll love with Eagle Lake Camps!

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