…both kids said their counselors were amazingly awesome! – 2018 Camper Mom

It’s no secret – the power of camp is captured best in the impact that exceptional staff role models have on their campers during a week of “faith, fun, friends (and food)” here at Frontier Camp. We have a saying that is reiterated often to underline this point – “It’s not the stuff, it’s the staff!”

So, how does Frontier Camp ensure that we continue our long legacy of great camp staff?  Meet our Summer Staff Director Dusty Stone and the Assistant Summer Staff Director, Ashley Higgins.  It is their full-time mission to recruit, screen, vet, hire, train, supervise, and disciple our summer staff.  Of course the whole full-time Summer Camp Department plays an important role in completing that mission, but Ashley and Dusty represent the “point of the spear”.

As a youth-serving organization, we know that children are their parents’ most prized possession.  Therefore we take the responsibility entrusted to us most seriously.  We want to make a child as protected here at camp as they are in their own home. That starts with our staff recruiting process. We look for young but mature Christians who have a visible, close walk with the Lord Jesus, have a desire to learn more about His Word, know how to serve others, and love working in children’s ministry.

All our staff candidates go through a very intense application process including a lengthy, in-depth application and job interview.  The application asks many questions about their history, social involvement, spiritual background, and moral beliefs and behavior. We train our interviewers to use questions to screen out candidates who do not meet the standards we set. We require three references and a pastoral recommendation for each new applicant. A follow up phone call to the person who supplied the recommendation ensures that we get verbal confirmation of their impressions.

Applicants must also submit a Voluntary Disclosure statement.  Additionally, all staff members sign a commitment to adhere to our Code of Conduct. We even go so far as to look at social networking sites to check that our candidates conduct themselves appropriately even in their personal lives. A criminal background check and a check of the National Sex Offender database are conducted on every staffer who is 18 years of age and older prior to the start of camp.

We know that background checks are not comprehensive, and we don’t put any more trust in them than is warranted. Therefore we follow an extensive multi-layered Child Protection Plan which addresses all aspects of our ministry.  It outlines screening, training, educating, supervising, and monitoring strategies and procedures that extend beyond Frontier Camp staff to campers and parents. Stay tuned – more on staff training in a future Frontier Camp 101 blog!

Finally, our full-time staff and board regularly pray for the recruiting of our summer staff throughout the entire year.  God has faithfully provided 50 years of gracious blessing on the ministry of Frontier Camp.  And we believe that He will continue to protect and bless us as we continue to seek to serve Him!  Won’t you join us in praying for the summer?  Oh –one more thing – if you know of a mature young Christian who needs a fantastic place to make a lasting spiritual impact with their summer…

Hans Meinardus

Author Hans Meinardus

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