Dozens of summer camp recruiters on campus for ministry conference 


Nathaniel Hendry

Recruiters from Christian summer camps and ministries stretching from New York to California came to recruit students. Photo by Nathaniel Hendry

Although camp work often includes long hours of labor in the summer sun, emotionally and spiritually draining tasks, and little to no pay, those who have ministered at camps in the past wholeheartedly recommend the experience, and some have come to campus to recruit more students for next summer. Representatives from 34 summer camps and ministries across the U.S. are gathered in the Davis Room for the Summer Ministry Conference. The displays were open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday and will be open again on Wednesday from 11:45 a.m. until 7 p.m. 

Most of the recruiters come from summer camps while a few represent other summer ministries in New York City and Indianapolis. They are looking for both camp counselors and people to fill support roles and internship positions. 

The ministry representatives also gathered with students on Tuesday night, Sept. 27, at 6:30-8 p.m. in the Student Mall for a summer ministry meet and greet time. Students enjoyed nachos as they talked with the representatives. 

Recruiters talk to students at the Summer Ministry Conference, Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, September 27, 2022. (Nathaniel Hendry)

Several BJU alumni returned to recruit for the camps they served at during college. Steven Platt, a 2022 engineering BJU graduate and current grad student at Clemson University, came back to recruit for Camp Infinity in Kentucky, where he worked for several summers during college. “It’s a great, great opportunity to serve the Lord with the gifts that he’s given you, and the summer is really one of the main times that we as college students are free,” Platt said.  

Platt, who majored in computer engineering at BJU, said working in a STEM-focused camp allowed him to reach teens using their shared interests and help them through the same choices he faced only a few years ago. “Summer camps really hold a special place mainly because of how you’re serving others and counseling others in ways that God has already led you,” he said. 

Another 2022 graduate, Isaac Albert, who interned with Camp Joy in Wisconsin this summer after working as a counselor there the two previous summers, also came to recruit students. Albert, who graduated from BJU in May 2022 with degrees in Business Administration and in Ministry and Leadership, said the investment of the camp staff helped him lead in his discipleship group. “It was kind of cool how that got to build on each other; I learned these things at camp and I did it during the summer and then I came back for the school year and kept doing it,” he said. 

Craig Lawson, the program director for Ironwood Camp in southern California, also emphasized how camp can prepare students for ministry. “Counseling is just two people talking and communicating biblical principles to one another, and so that happens throughout life and college,” Lawson said. 

Working camp also allows students to practice sharing their faith daily, said Joel Calfee, the director of Camp Eagle in Virginia. “So you get poured into by your staff members, and then you’re pouring out daily to the campers that you’re with,” Calfee said.  

Although summer camp work often includes long hours and daily struggles, past volunteers said the experience was worth the work. “It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be new, it’s going to be hard work,” Albert said. “But it’s going to be so rewarding. And the harder you work at it, the more rewarding it is.” 

Referring to President Steve Pettit’s remarks during a chapel announcement about the conference, Platt encouraged all students to work at camp at some point during college: “do it at least once.”