Monthly Archives

July 2018

The Framework of Summer Camp

By | Staff, Summer Camp | No Comments

Planning details is both necessary and important, but when you work in an environment like Summer Camp, flexibility is a key part of the job description, especially for Olivia Gramling. She is one of two Assistant Program Directors for Summer Camp, serving alongside 11 other Program Office (PO) staff members. Her role is difficult to describe because essentially her job is to make everyone else’s job easier. She works to pick up the pieces to make sure the other staff can accomplish their jobs.

The PO is responsible for running Summer Camp. With this team, leadership is the focus as they plan Summer Camp along with Eric Rupp, the Program Director. Additionally, they serve by helping other staff members, coming up with ideas, and more.

Planning Summer Camp is no easy undertaking, and while the groundwork begins months in advance, much of the preparation takes place onsite. Officially, the PO members spend a week of intensive training before the rest of Summer Staff arrives for two weeks of training. Orientation is a large part of this time, as well as getting familiar with the team and the flow of camp. During this week, the brainstorming begins to form the big picture. “It all comes together when you’re together,” Olivia says. “You work off of each other.”

A typical day for the PO varies depending on the circumstances, but there is a general structure. They meet every morning to get on the same page and determine who needs help with what activities. The day is a mix of planning schedules for the next week, facilitating the current week, setting up and tearing down, and being available for any changes that arise. These regular assignments create a routine for the PO.

Olivia describes Miracle Camp as her “second home”; she began attending as a second grader and never missed a year. She heard about Camp through her friends and her church that is affiliated with the FEC. After participating as a camper, she became a Camp Aide, then a Summer Staff member before joining PO, making this her second year serving as Assistant Program Director. Olivia’s position fits her well because she enjoys the behind-the-scenes work and her love language is acts of service: “I get to minister to the staff, who ministers to the kids, and that’s what I want to do in life.” After this summer, Olivia will begin a year-long fellowship at Sky Ranch in Texas.

“When you’re hired at Miracle Camp,” Olivia goes on to say, “you know that everyone is here for the same reasons, especially on PO. We’re all in similar walks of life, figuring out our faith together, and I value that a lot.”

The other Program Office staff members are:

Tanner Young – Activities Coordinator
Gabe Short & Olivia Gramling – Assistant Program Directors
Natalie Hoffmire & Jason Kimball – Head Male & Female Cabin Leaders
Lyndsey Rupp – Videographer
Jacie Smeltzer – Photographer
Annie Niedeck & Brett Holder – Camp Aide Coordinators
Mallory Tyree – Chapel Coordinator
Ellie Rupp – Health Assistant
Sarah Faivre – Head Lifeguard

If you would like to find out more about Summer Camp employment, click the button below!

Not Your Average “Camp Food”

By | Dining, Food for thought | No Comments

A line of energetic campers files out the door, awaiting the signal for dinnertime to begin. They stir with anticipation as the word gets out about tonight’s menu. Someone shouts, “It’s barbacoa night!” followed by a chorus of cheers and applause.

The made-from-scratch barbacoa taco meal with homemade queso sauce is just one of the favorites at Miracle Camp. Unlike a week of grilled cheese and chicken nuggets every day, we value variety, high quality, and nutrition, redefining the stereotype of “camp food.” Every meal, campers are provided an array of options: a different main course and sides, along with a salad bar and selection of desserts. Breakfast includes differing main meal options and features a regular oatmeal and yogurt bar. Menu plans are designed accordingly for each week’s age group, implementing unique ideas, such as the bread bar during Senior High camp.

A large amount of planning is required for the 50,000+ meals served between May and September. Not only do we strive for accuracy in quantity and excellence in taste, but accommodations for allergies are a high priority. Once the kitchen staff is aware of an allergy, they deliberately provide alternative food options for those who need gluten-free, dairy-free, or other selections.

We are privileged to have Beau Graf as our Director of Dining Services. Previously working in our kitchen for three summers (from 1997-1999), Beau joined our full-time staff in May 2014. He works diligently along with 24 part-time employees to ensure that our dining exceeds expectations.

Good food is a significant component of the camp experience. We are delighted when campers and guests are pleased with the cheesy potatoes, glazed ham, or carved pork loin with apple-cranberry chutney. And who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie mallow-bar?

We desire to provide excellent food to enhance your stay with us. If you would like to find out more about our dining services, click the button below!

Meet Our New Interns!

By | Internships | No Comments

We are excited to introduce you to our seven current interns in the Miracle Camp GAP Year Ministry! This program is a great way for exiting high school and college students to gain practical experience and discover their purpose. It provides interns with hands-on opportunities to grow in their vocational skills, knowledge, and the calling Christ has placed on their lives, whether it leads to a career in Camping ministry or simply the next place God is directing. Each of them has a unique story of how God led them to Miracle Camp and what they hope to accomplish in their time here.

Katie Rice
Katie is from Nampa, ID, and is one of our Culinary Arts interns. Her dad used to be the youth pastor at Lawton Church for eight years before they moved to Idaho. She heard about the internship and decided to come because of her familiarity with Miracle Camp. Over the next year, she hopes to learn more about cooking and different techniques in the kitchen, and she is excited for building strong friendships while she’s here.

Kaity Renzema
Kaity is also a Culinary Arts intern and the most local of the bunch, coming from Vicksburg, MI. She found out about Miracle Camp from a friend during a time when she was unsure about her next steps in life. After praying about this opportunity, she believes God very clearly led her here. Through this new experience over the next year, she hopes to grow both spiritually and in knowledge of culinary arts.

Margaret Gruendyke
Margaret is from Upland, IN, and very familiar with Miracle Camp as she grew up as a camper and camp aide. Camp has a large place in her heart and she wants to give back in the way that it has given so much to her, crediting it for making her who she is today. Margaret graduated from Taylor University in 2017 with a degree in Christian Ministries and Biblical Studies. She is one of the Guest Services interns, and in her time over the next year she hopes to learn more about the behind-the-scenes of camp, gain more business experience, and discover how to serve guests by giving them the best possible experience.

Micayla Greathouse
Micayla, originally from Hays, KS, is the other Guest Services intern. She felt God leading her to Michigan and has always been interested in Camping ministry. When she discovered Miracle Camp’s GAP Year ministry online, she knew He provided this opportunity. Micayla has her bachelor’s in Christian Ministry from Southwest Baptist University and recently completed her master’s online through Liberty University in Professional Writing. She is excited to discover more about Camping ministry while learning how to better serve people, further her writing skills, and grow in community with others and relationship with Jesus.

Caleb Kroeker
Caleb, from Bellefonte, PA, is no stranger to Miracle Camp. He started coming to Family Camp at age 10 and has since come nearly every year. Caleb graduated from Penn State in May, and he is here for the summer as a Shake Up Kalamazoo intern. During this season, he is excited to help serve the people of the Kalamazoo area. Additionally, he looks forward to growing personally in his faith and knows that this is a great place for that.

Michael Boyd
Coming from Illinois, Michael began the GAP Year Ministry a year ago in Guest Services. He has been on Summer Staff since 2014, and the opportunity for the internship arose after last summer. Since then, he has switched over to the Health Officer internship. He believed God called him to the program, while also knowing if he didn’t pursue this possibility, he would regret it. Michael will finish his year this August and then move to Chicago, where he hopes to adjust well to city life. He is excited to stay open and see what God has in store for the next season.

Wyatt Gulick
Wyatt, our Maintenance intern from Montpelier, OH, is well acquainted with Miracle Camp. He began his time here as a camper in the third grade and has been coming ever since.  Wyatt was then on Summer Staff for two years prior to becoming an intern. He began the GAP Year Ministry shortly after, and has already spent a year with Miracle Camp as an intern. Wyatt will be completing another year in the program, and we are excited to have him here a second year.

The three main purposes of the Ministry are: 1) Discovering gifts; 2) Building vocational skills; and 3) Exploring calling and life plan. If you would like to find out more about our intern program, click the button below!