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Internships

Equipping and Leading

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Ministry Leadership
Camp ministry has always intrigued Doug because he describes himself as “a ministry nerd.” You may have seen him around camp where he is often working behind-the-scenes. Doug is the Ministry Lead at Miracle Camp, a position involving many aspects. With a main objective of ensuring the health and sustainability of the staff that lives and works year-round, he ministers to the staff while working with the Experience Team in responsibility for the guest experience.

In 2009, he finished his Biblical Studies degree while working with a janitorial business and helping church plant where he would eventually join full time staff as an Executive Pastor. He says that “through my years serving and learning at Christ the King Church, I was able to see a bigger vision for ministry than I previously held.”

When Miracle Camp created the new Ministry Lead position, this seemed like a job right down his alley. He was already familiar with the camp as a guest and FEC pastor, and he knew of Miracle Camp’s reputation of quality and hospitality to guests. As another facet of his role, Doug is building the intern program – recruiting, training, and equipping the interns to prepare them for the direction God has for them.

Vision
The purpose of the internship is to give students who aspire to do ministry a year to set a course for their life’s work. Most of the training experienced in college or the field is useful and specific. Many times, students need time to practice, get feedback, learn some basic 21st century life skills and set a course for work and ministry that will sustain them for the long term, which is where the internship comes in. This means discovering gifts and developing a life plan, but it also involves practical aspects like budgeting and calendaring.

In a sense, the internship philosophy is to learn by doing, which means plenty of opportunities for growth, feedback, and discovery. Doug acknowledges that camping ministry is extremely broad, so “we have a huge ministry sandbox to play in here,” offering students who are pursuing vocational ministry the chance to develop their gifts and translate those into a role with experience under their belts. Gaining confidence planning events, working behind the scenes, and working with our wide range of guests here is the perfect environment to learn and grow. In turn, Miracle Camp hopes to be a resource to local churches and ministries who are looking for qualified interns ready to transition into positions of leadership.

The MCRC Summer Camp Staff Alumni include more church leaders across the Midwest than we can keep track of—our Executive Director being one of the many. Our internship, similarly, has a lineage of people who are in cross-cultural missions, local church leadership and para-church ministries. We want to see God grow leaders through our ministry pipeline here at Miracle Camp, and building the internship is a huge part of that happening.

Miracle Camp and Beyond
Each of the intern roles involve some common opportunities such as emceeing an event, coordinating the young adult weekend, taking out trash, cutting grass, snow removal, cleaning, organizing, and completing administrative tasks. Additionally, each internship has an area of focus where they will spend their time working within one of the three teams on the Miracle Camp staff.

Do you or does someone you know have a desire to gain experience in camping ministry? Check out the positions below to see if one of these areas may be a good fit for you!

  • Guest Service & Administration
  • Digital Design
  • Camping & Hospitality

Check back to our website in mid-late March for more information about the intern program!

Doug Shell is a former summer camp prankster like any good church kid. God called him to ministry in high school and he proceeded to spend a decade attending three Bible colleges, earning one degree and a lot of stories to tell as a result. Some of the more fun ones involve being on a team that started a coffee shop and planted a church. He and his wife Melissa have three boys and their family moved to Michigan about a year ago from their hometown of Cincinnati.

A Recipe for Discovery

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They both came to Miracle Camp with a desire to learn about culinary arts, hope for direction for their next steps, and with the same name. While they share these qualities, Katie and Kaity ended up here in unique ways, each bringing their own strengths and abilities to the team.

The Details
Although Katie Rice is from Idaho, Miracle Camp was a large part of her history because her family lived in Paw Paw for eight years when her father was the Youth Pastor at Lawton Evangelical Church. Because she came to Miracle Camp for youth group retreats and her family’s close connection to the FEC, her mother discovered the internship from a Facebook post.

Kaity Renzema, on the other hand, grew up 20 minutes away from Miracle Camp in Vicksburg, MI. She came to summer camp as a camper in 2009, and some friends told her about the internship opportunity. At the time she applied, she was looking to obtain culinary skills to use in an overseas mission setting.

The Draw
Katie was finishing high school when she knew she wanted to pursue cooking and baking. As she neared her graduation date, she decided to apply for the internship. Besides the draw to the Christian aspect and positive environment of camp, she knew this internship would be a great opportunity to determine if she truly wanted to pursue cooking and baking.

Due to Kaity’s interest in culinary arts, she prayed about the Miracle Camp internship opportunity after some prior plans did not transpire. Believing the Lord provided this opening, she applied to gain more of a culinary perspective. She knew she needed basic culinary skills, and especially wanted to discover the behind-the-scenes of cooking for large groups of people.

The Discovery
The culinary arts internship has been a beneficial opportunity for these two. Under the direction of the Dining Services Director, Katie says she “increased her knowledge of culinary arts and learned a lot from Beau.” For example, Kaity mentioned gaining knife skills and realizing its necessity to being in the kitchen. Their main responsibilities included but were not limited to preparing and serving guest meals and learning how to lead meal shifts.

Beyond culinary skills, this internship focuses on areas of personal and spiritual growth. As part of the team, the interns learn together in a weekly morning meeting to discuss biblical content, life application to current and future roles, and the status of personal and work-related growth. These conversations enable good dialogue and provide positive challenges in a multitude of areas. Additionally, Katie and Kaity’s participation in a women’s discipleship time brings much value to weekly studies. Kaity notes, “I’ve learned a lot not just about culinary, but about myself and my relationship with God. Plus, I’ve made some really good friends.”

The people at camp play a large role in the internship experience. Guest interaction as well as the staff who are like family have impacted both Katie and Kaity, making the people and the atmosphere of Miracle Camp their favorite parts of the internship. “It’s a joyful and powerful place,” Katie emphasizes.

As the end of their internship nears, Katie and Kaity are in the process of applying to other camps. Kaity always knew she wanted to be involved in ministry, but this program helped her discover her excitement for camping ministry. In addition to camp possibilities, Katie hopes to find a position at a bakery.

Check back here in mid-late March for more details about our 2019 intern program!

Katie Rice is from Nampa, Idaho, and graduated high school just 17 days before moving to Miracle Camp for the internship program. She plans to pursue other camp opportunities or find a position at a bakery closer to home. Katie finds joy in coloring books, reading, baking, and experimenting with new recipes.

Kaity Renzema grew up in Vicksburg, Michigan. Prior to interning, she finished high school and worked in the custodial department at her local library. She plans to pursue other camp ministry opportunities or a job in the area. Kaity loves everything involving musical theatre, playing instruments, reading, board games, and knitting.

The Right Timing

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What may have seemed like a delay in plans turned into a perfectly timed adventure. Margaret had eagerly just begun her first summer on Summer Staff in 2017 when three days after arriving to training, she broke her leg. Though she assumed her chance to serve at camp had come to an end, the Lord had different plans. As He continued to place thoughts of camp on her heart, some friends strongly encouraged her to look into the intern program.

Passion

Growing up in an FEC church, Margaret has been coming to camp since 3rd grade. Her love for Miracle Camp and its mission was rooted in her since she first attended and grew deeper through her years as a camper and then Camp Aide. Now, “the intern program has given me the opportunity to serve a place I deeply love,” she says. Most importantly she loves being “a part of the mission of furthering the gospel at camp throughout all seasons.”

Growth

The intern program was the next right step for Margaret in a variety of ways. After graduating from Taylor in 2017 with degrees in Christian Ministry and Biblical Literature and working at Upland Community Church for a year, she was not sure of her next steps. The opportunity to join the intern program supplied possibilities to explore different potential career areas while also working a job that she loved. Gaining experience in various areas is a significant component of the program. Specifically, Margaret has grown in her hospitality skills through working in the office, with guest groups, programmed events, and running activities. She loves “being able to help further the overall mission of Miracle Camp by taking care of the smaller, behind the scenes things.”

The Right Timing

Breaking her leg appeared to be a devastating turn of events; little did she know what awaited her only a year later. Margaret stepping into the intern program was a matter of God’s timing. In this setting, she is gaining experience in ministry with people and various kinds of work. In addition, she says, “I’m learning more about myself and my Savior. I’m surrounded by people who truly care about me and how I’m growing, both as a person and in my faith.” Growing in these ways aided her in the decision to stay for a second year in the internship. Staying for a second year is beneficial for multiple reasons. She adds, “Rather than facing another learning curve, knowing how things already work frees you up to grow deeper in the skill sets you’ve already started developing.”

Margaret’s story is a testament to how God works despite circumstances and uses them in ways even better than we can imagine.

Check back here in mid-late March for more details about our 2019 intern program!

Margaret Gruendyke is from Upland, IN, though her family currently lives in Whittier, CA. She graduated in 2017 from Taylor University with degrees in Christian Ministry and Biblical Literature. Before beginning the internship program, she worked as the Youth Ministry Associate at Upland Community Church. Margaret plans to complete a second-year internship at Miracle Camp. She is passionate about American History, all things British, books, baseball, and baking.

Saying “Yes”

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“Say yes,” was a piece of advice I received from a friend, and it was the one thing that made all the difference as I moved from Texas to Michigan and adjusted to life at Miracle Camp. When transitioning into a new place, say yes to dinner or game night invitations, yes to meeting new people, yes to uncomfortable situations – because eventually, it will be worth it.

Through a series of events and God’s timing, I discovered Miracle Camp online and the opportunity to be a Guest Services intern. My undergraduate degree is in Christian Ministry, and I had just completed my master’s degree in Professional Writing. I was interested in camping ministry, and after setting foot on campus for my internship interview, God made it abundantly clear that this was my next step. As I said yes to living in a new area and taking on a new role, I formed lasting friendships, made great memories, grew in my relationship with God, and much more.

Yes to the New

I was drawn to the different facets of camping ministry this internship provided, but I knew this experience would prove useful whether I ended up in camping ministry or a different field. Saying yes to this internship did not simply mean gaining a new job. It meant being open to the new direction God was taking me, learning what it means to be fully present in a place, no matter how temporary. Through encouragement from others, I decided to dig in to everything this opportunity held, even if the newness was uncomfortable.

Yes to the Challenges

One of the hardest, yet best, challenges in this internship was getting out of my comfort zone. Before this, I would not have imagined being able to run every position on the zipline, lead groups through initiatives, host guests, and write blog posts for Miracle Camp on a weekly basis. For my internship experience to be the most effective, it was critical to step outside my box of familiarity. Even when I was uncertain, I said yes to being open to learn from expertly trained staff, and through specific training, critiques, and learning experiences, I gained a confidence I previously lacked.

Yes to the Rewards

Various challenges and these new experiences have led to a multitude of rewards. You not only build an amazing community amongst the staff, but you form friendships and connect with guests. This internship equips you with skills to prepare you for the future. The staff took my education and experience into consideration, and they gave me projects that fit my interests and abilities while simultaneously challenging me.

Following this internship, I will begin working at a women’s ministry called Revive Our Hearts, using my knowledge of writing and hosting events, as well as a multitude of other skills I gained during my time at Miracle Camp.

I’m glad I said yes. “Yes” opened the doors for friendships, opportunities, fun, and a new career. “Yes” gave me a passion for the ministry of Miracle Camp and they will be a forever family for me. More than anything, I said yes to following God’s lead, and that is the best kind of “yes.”

Be sure to check back here in mid-late March to find out details for our 2019 intern program!

Micayla Greathouse grew up in Hays, KS and lived in the panhandle of Texas before moving to Michigan for the intern program in Spring 2018. She graduated in 2014 with her bachelor’s in Christian Ministry and completed her master’s in Professional Writing through Liberty University’s online program in April 2018. This spring she will join Revive Our Hearts, a women’s ministry located in nearby Niles, MI as a Publishing & Events Project Manager. She has a deep love for all things Michigan, donuts, sunrises, and road trips.

Meet Our New Interns!

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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!

Culinary Arts Internship Opportunity!

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For over fifty years now, Miracle Camp has existed to facilitate life change by helping people draw closer to God. While the year-round events we facilitate for our guests are designed with this in mind, Internships also provide a meaningful avenue for us to facilitate life change for transitioning students. Interning with us provides opportunities for personal growth while serving alongside our full time staff in a specific area of interest.

Knowing how to choose a career path without the benefit of much work experience can be a challenge even for the most prepared students. While schooling can enlighten us with new ideas, the classroom doesn’t often provide opportunities for practical application. An internship, on the other hand, provides specific opportunities to gain valuable experience in a field before committing to a future course.

Your vocation represents the biggest time commitment in life, and the place we have the most opportunity for relationship with others. For our interns, this means we equally value the work that happens behind-the-scenes and on the stage; no matter what type of career path you are preparing to take, our program will give you the tools to see your workplace as a mission field for you to creatively pursue your God-given purpose.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts “the demand for head chefs, cooks and other culinary specialists is on the rise. The agency has gathered the numbers and determined that the field will grow by an estimated 9 percent between 2014 and 2024.” Here at Miracle Camp, Chef Beau Graf has been faithfully serving our guests since 2014. As a trained chef with over 16 years of experience in commercial kitchens and working with vendors, Beau is excited to share his knowledge and help prepare interns with skills for ministry in culinary arts.

Applicants for the Culinary Arts Internship will be eager to learn basic cooking principles, knife technique, baking and grilling, as well as more restaurant management skills like ordering, inventory and production planning.  In addition to team-based training and individual career coaching, the Culinary Arts intern will receive ServSafe Certification and attend the CCCA Cooks Advance Retreat.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018 Culinary Arts Internship, in addition to accepting 2019 applications for our other areas of emphasis. For more information, click on the button below!