The GPS Christian Camp Internship spiritually Guides, Prepares, and Shapes
ministry-minded individuals. Many people see the value in, and feel a calling into
camp ministry; however, they lack the experience and guidance to
follow that calling. The GPS camping internship program is a yearlong apprentice experience
that equips students for their ministry mission. If you have a passion to serve in
summer camp, youth, or outdoor leadership ministry, and desire to gain invaluable
experience— meet GPS.
At RVR we desire to develop the next generation of ministry minded Christ-followers.
Our goal throughout the duration of the GPS program is to disciple the GPS students in four areas:
The main goal of GPS would be to guide you spiritually. We achieve this by the following means:
Book study —
Each semester, interns will work through a book
offering sound spiritual insights that challenge the reader to grow in wisdom.
Weekly Bible studies —
Interns participate in a weekly small
group with other staff members. A mix of a pre-formed curriculum (Firm Foundation)
and staff planned classes will form the topics.
Biblical classes —
We believe II Timothy 3:16, and use God’s Word to profit the GPS students.
Studies may include doctrine, OT and NT surveys, and book studies.
Scriptural memory —
Interns are challenged to memorize portions of Scripture throughout the year.
This apprenticing division of the GPS program is huge! In addition to attending a
training conference, Interns are able to work within the different departments at RVR,
and gain hands-on experience. The areas of learning are:
Camp interns will spend the majority of time shadowing staff in the programming
department in every season of ministry: outdoor education,
retreats, and summer camps.
We desire each guest at RVR to have an unforgettable experience.
Interns will learn to deliver “WOW” moments as we serve our guest. This
learning will include: hosting guest groups, facilitating high-adventure
activities, planning programs for our
Winter Meltdown Retreats, preparing the property for guest groups, summer camp
planning, and leading teenage staff (TNT Program) during weekend retreats.
Marketing & Staffing —
GPS students will participate in classes that communicate RVR’s marketing
strategy and staff hiring philosophy. They will also join the staffing
coordinator on recruiting trips, and will take part in camp fairs as RVR
seeks to serve more families. Interns with a special interest in this area
may be asked to plan trips, gather marketing materials for campaigns and
events, as well as write content for the RVR social media and web presence.
Interns will have the opportunity to apprentice RVR’s skilled operations team
as they maintain existing facilities to meet the RVR standard. GPS students
will also be trained in preparing the RVR grounds for events and in safety
procedures. This experience may include housekeeping tasks, lawn care, and
RVR vehicle training.
All interns will be exposed to RVR’s administration tasks. Interns showing an
interest in this area may learn RVR’s registration database and assist in the guest
experience through email and phone interaction. Administration shadowing may also
offer experience in customer mailings, event planning, and our retail store.
The development team offers training to all interns in regard to raising support.
For those interns wishing to further their experience in development, they may
join an event committee (i.e. River Valley Run),
and volunteer for a 95.1 SHINE-FM
concert. Whether at events, writing to donors, or one on one visits, those who
apprentice in this area will gain the crucial experience needed for work in a non-profit.
Christ not only grew in favor with God (spiritually), he also grew in favor with man
(relationally). Ministry is primarily people centered, and the GPS camp internship offers
countless ways to grow in this area. Guest services is a big part of what we do at RVR
(and with 15,000 annual guests, that’s a lot of people-interaction), and we share our
methods and caring culture with GPS students as they gain skills to better relate to guests.
In addition, with a full time staff of 40, interns will grow relationally as they work
side by side with camping professionals. As part of a team of 8-10 interns, the
community of students quickly become tight-knit. Interns learn conflict resolution,
as well as skills to affirm and love their fellow interns.
At RVR, we work hard and we play hard. This pillar stems from an
RVR Core Value – Life To The Fullest.
We believe that recharging is necessary and can be a lot of fun. Interns will experience
at least one group trip per semester as a time to “get away” and have
fun as an intern family. Past trips have included: kayaking/canoeing camping trip,
escape rooms, Assateague Island, and white water rafting, to name a few. Interns help to
plan/program the trip as another intentional hands-on learning opportunity.
Additionally, GPS students are encouraged by full time staff to get involved in
activities during non-work hours.
The camp internship year is broken into four semesters.
Each semester builds on the previous one, moving interns through a process; from
“learning” to “assisting” to “leading”:
During this semester interns learn the ropes. Each area of learning (spiritual, vocational, etc)
will be geared toward laying the groundwork on which to build the rest of the year.
Interns are trained on all adventure activities, support weekend retreat host, get
a feel for the outdoor education program, and
choose the area in which they will apprentice. The RVR staff retreat is during this
phase and helps begin solid relationships between interns and RVR full time staff.
The second portion is designed to hone the skills learned in semester one. Interns
help plan and implement a winter camp program, continue Bible study, participate in RVR’s
New Years Revolution party, and attend a CCCA
sectional conference. Interns go through a summer camp interview process and are
assigned their summer camp role at this time, and there is a Christmas break
during this semester.
During this phase interns begin hosting weekend retreats, putting into practice all
they have learned until this point. They now facilitate outdoor education school groups,
and begin to plan their area of summer camp. Interns attend camp fairs with RVR’s
marketing team, as well as visiting colleges to recruit summer staff with our
Summer camp is an exciting time, and is the main reason many interns take part
in the program. Interns have had several months to help plan their area of summer
camp – it’s time to make it happen! Over 2500 campers enjoy our camp program, and
we desire to see an excellent program. The GPS culminates during this awesome experience!
RVR offers an array of benefits to provide for and meet the needs of
our GPS Camp Internship participants during their year of service & learning with us. Click
on each of the following to learn more:
Room and board is provided for all interns.
Interns are on RVR’s meal plan. When RVR’s kitchen is open to serve guest
groups, interns are welcome to join. When no groups are here, food is made
available for interns to prepare.
RVR interns receive a small bi-monthly stipend for the duration of the program.
They are encouraged to raise support if additional funds are needed.
GPS participants receive the following time off: Winter Break, Spring Break,
Major Holidays, and 5 Vacation Days to use at their discretion.
Students participate in RVR’s staff retreat, a camping conference,
and intern outings/trips.
The goal of many of our students is to gain knowledge of summer camp.
Not only do you receive these skills, but have the opportunity to implement
them during an RVR summer.
Most of RVR’s full time staff have worked as a camp professional for 10 or
more years. The training and experience they offer is second to none and is a
huge benefit to interns.
Short answer: YES! Longer answer: Many interns have worked with organizations that
partner with Colleges and universities to earn up to nine college credits per semester.
There are many options out there, but we recommend Pilgrimage Educational Resources.
They work with and offer credits through Clarks Summit University. Interns are
encouraged to explore this option if college credit is an end goal.
There are two separate dorm style housing units; split between male and female
interns that include a sleeping area with privacy, bathrooms, and living area.
Both groups use a shared kitchen for meals.
RVR provides a meal plan for students. Whenever RVR’s kitchen is serving a guest
group, interns are welcome to join that group. When there is not a group on property,
interns work with our Food Service Director to create menus, purchase food, and prepare food.
There is no typical week. Interns schedules revolve around our guest groups.
A week will consist of these elements: classes, serving guest groups, preparing
property, general leadership opportunities, apprentice time, and Bible study.