Our summer leadership and volunteers are a very important part of our story at Haven on the Rock. Every summer, one outcome of our ministry is that we have approximately 150 experienced youth workers who can continue to do God's work in their local communities and churches after experiencing an awesome summer with us.
We recruit people who have a passion for working with youth, have camp counselling experience, or who are interested in serving God's Kingdom in a new way. Our staff and counselors come from all walks of life. Our leadership staff has consisted of full-time professionals, full-time college students, high school students, full-time retirees and all sorts in between. God is on the move at Haven on the Rock and we want you to consider joining Him and us!
THE HISTORY OF HAVEN
A Tale of Two Campgrounds
It’s very easy to see the hand of God working in the lives of the two ministries that came together to form Haven on the Rock. In the early 1980’s He was working in two areas of Wyoming, speaking to leaders and youth alike to tell them that a camp was in His plan.
For the parents and grandparents of Lingle, Wyoming, God’s plan became evident as they watched many of their children go to summer camp and be transformed. During a local church service one evening, an old rancher stood up in the back and said, “I don’t know what happened to all these kids at that camp – all I know is I want what happened to them, to happen to me.” With that, he marched down to the front of the church and got on his knees, where he was soon joined by half the congregation. Some of the lives that were changed that night included a local ranching family, who were so moved that they dedicated some of their land to the building of a camp designed to fulfill the calling God had given them. They called their camp Rim Rock, and dedicated its use to the community that had inspired them to open it.
Just up the road, a local church in Casper established a children’s church camp. As more and more children came and the camp began to grow, the church’s leaders turned it into a Christian community camp called Adventures in Christian Kamping, or ACK, with the goal of helping children “ACK”nowledge Christ in all their ways.
In the early part of each camp’s ministry, they actually did camp together – Adventures in Christian Kamping used the facilities at Rim Rock to run their camps. This arrangement ended as both camps grew and eventually parted ways to continue to serve the Lord and the children that came summer after summer in their own ways. But in 2010, Adventures in Christian Kamping returned to Rim Rock to rent their facilities and perform their ministry, working around Rim Rock’s own schedule. It was in 2012 that the leaders of each ministry got together and asked the question, “Could we do this ministry together? Not side by side, but as one?” Following the Lord’s direction, they decided to give it a try, forming what is known today as Haven on the Rock.
God has been with each ministry every step of the way, changing lives and bringing people to Himself through dedicated counselors, selfless volunteers, and countless hours of fun and teaching. In turn, He has asked both Rim Rock and ACK, “Will you follow me in this?” We answered proudly and boldly with “Yes!”, and are following Him to the place He will lead us – to His Haven on the Rock. As we follow God’s leading, we are excited to see the incredible things that He will continue to do with this new and unified camp, and look forward to sharing our journey with you!
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
Haven’s Base Camp Discipleship program is an all summer adventure for young adults. A true base camp is one that hikers might head to for supplies, direction, encouragement, and nourishment before they head out on their expedition. True to that definition, Haven’s base camp is designed for adults ages 18 and over to have a staging place where they prepare themselves and their equipment for their journey. Excursion team students will come and receive prayer, counseling, discipleship, mentoring, training, and other resources to get them equipped for their walk with Christ and their ascent to the summit, with Christ as the leader.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In addition, Haven’s Excursion team students will have the chance to choose from some camp jobs and gain hands-on ministry experience. Some camp jobs include Kid’s camp Counselor, Activity guide, Kitchen aid and Farm care. Lodging and Meals will be provided and a weekly stipend will be awarded.
To be part of this program, young adults must fill out an application and be able to commit to 8 weeks of the summer. However, if a student is unable to participate the whole summer, numerous volunteer positions are available for shorter time frames.
2021 Summer Schedule:
Training: June 9th-June 12th
Camp: June 13th-August 6th
Break: July 2nd-July 10th
Staff Debrief: August 7th
Beginning this year, Haven will welcome a group of passionate and spiritual young adult interns to serve as leaders and learners. Haven will offer A 12- week long internship designed for college-aged participants pursuing careers in Christian camping, outdoor leadership, education, or any ministry related field. The internship runs from the last week in May until mid-August. Interns will form a camp leadership team under the supervision of Senior staff members. Our interns are paid, receive room and board, and gain extensive spiritual and professional development in a rewarding environment.
jr. discipleship program
Haven’s Base Camp Jr. Discipleship program is a 3-stage training program geared for students ages 14-17. This program is a dynamic training track that combines biblical studies, real life element of working at camp, support from a Christian community, friendship, and mentoring from staff leaders. The three stages of Haven Base Camp Jr.: EMBARK team, EXPLORE team, and ELEVATE (L.I.F.T.) team.
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
This is a 2-week program designed to help introduce life at camp. During this program, the student will be introduced to the importance of living a Christ-like life. In this program. Students will request to work in one of these areas: Maintenance, Farm, Hospitality, Dining Hall, or Office Help. For the 2-weeks, each student will be assigned to a crew who will all be supervised by senior staff member. Each member of the team will learn to joyfully follow, serve and work for the Lord. They will also be discipled and take part in a bible study with other team members.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
After completing the EMBARK team, and upon approval, students can apply for the EXPLORE Team. This is a 2-week program that allows a student to explore other areas of camp. The student will choose 2 areas of camp in which they did not serve in as a EMBARK TEAM member. These areas include Maintenance, Hospitality, Farm, Dining Hall and Office Help. This allows the student to expand their serving skills by working in different areas of camp. The student will also explore their identity in Christ and continue to be discipled and mentored by senior staff members.
ELEVATE Team (LIFT: Leaders in Further Training)
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
After completing both the EMBARK team and the EXPLORE team, and upon approval, students can apply for the ELEVATE team. This is an intensive leadership through discipleship program that will last 3-4 weeks. This program is designed to train students to be leaders and counselors at camp and how to be a humble servant leader just as Christ was. This training will include classroom training, individual study as well as in-cabin experience as a Jr. Counselor.
2021 Summer Schedule:
Training: June 9th-June 12th
Camp: June 13th-August 6th
Break: July 2nd-July 10th
Staff Debrief: August 7th
One of our values at Haven on the Rock is to involve as many people as possible in what we do. We love working for Jesus, and we want to spread the wealth. One way we do this is to offer a wide-range of volunteer opportunities for both our summer programs as well as our off-season program. Without the short-term hard work of our volunteers, we would not be able to share our camp experience with hundreds of young people every year. Simply click the icon below and email Zach with the volunteer role you'd like to participate in.
We offer a diverse selection of volunteer positions for our summer programs. Check out the list below to find an area to volunteer in that you’ll not only have fun doing, but that you have a passion and talent for that you want to share with us and our campers!
Our weekly counselors are the heart and soul of our summer ministry. These are the week-long warriors that lead our campers through their camp experience, playing hard, praying hard, and working hard to make sure that each of their 4-5 young people are safe, having fun, and learning about God through the different activities in which they take part.
JR activity staff
Junior counselors share many of the same responsibilities as regular counselors, they’re just younger and (usually) shorter. A Junior Counselor is responsible for making sure their group is having a fun, safe, and meaningful experience, while also receiving the added benefit of having an experienced Counselor available as a teacher, mentor, and leader.
Inevitably, camp comes with scratches and bruises. Nature can be tough, and our camp nurse makes sure that everyone goes home with the best medical treatment possible, so they can live to play another day. If you have medical experience, fastidious attention to detail, and a compassionate heart, being a nurse at camp might be the most fun you have all year.
OFF SEASON VOLUNTEERING
We have tons of fun in the summer, but we also keep busy during the off season! Without all the work that gets done during the autumn and winter months, we would never be able to have such a great time during our summer camps. Not only do we have several ongoing work projects throughout the year, but we also offer space and activities for retreats year-round. If you feel more comfortable swinging a hammer, digging up cacti, or spreading paint around, our off-season work projects were planned with you in mind.
In addition to physical work at the camp grounds, there are always administrative and logistical volunteer opportunities – we have and continue to utilize volunteer accountants, lawyers, organizers, party planners, van drivers, web developers, print designers, and more. If you have a skill and you want to expand God’s kingdom with it, let us know! If you don’t have a particular skill, we also need help with projects such as mailings, distributing marketing materials, and whatever else may pop up throughout the year. If you are ready and willing to give your time in some capacity, we’d love to work with you.
MEET THE LEADERSHIP STAFF
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & FACILITIES
Zach & Karisa Bennett
Zach originally met Adventures in Christian Kamping (later Haven on the Rock) when he worked together with them at another camp in Wyoming called Lone Tree. After Zach and Karisa were married in 2009, they continued to work with Adventures in Christian Kamping, and in 2010 they became the Activity Staff Directors for the summer staff. In the spring of 2012, they stepped into full-time camp ministry with Adventures in Christian Kamping at Rim Rock. Camp has always been special for both Zach and Karisa, and they bring a lot of experience to the table. As a youth Karisa attended and worked for another summer camp and is able to bring that experience – and her degree from Grace University in Intercultural studies – to this ministry of which they are an integral part. Zach has had a number of years of experience as a ranch hand and a construction worker, as well as working for another camp. In January 2020 Karisa became the Executive Director, she is excited about her new role and to continue to be apart of all God is doing through Haven on the Rock. They are excited to have the opportunity to help create a special and safe place for youth to find their true identity in Christ while teaching them what it means to be His follower. They are also grateful that their children Daniel, Hope, James and David get to see first hand what it is like to be part of a Christian community and to see lives transformed week after week.
Growing up, Julie Christensen never missed a year at summer camp, attending various camps throughout the years. Once she was old enough to work at them herself, she followed some friends out to Wyoming to volunteer at Haven on the Rock, and she’s worked here every summer since 2014. She accepted the Staffing Coordinator position in 2021 and is very excited to lead the staff in teaching kids about Jesus. Julie has held various volunteer positions pertaining to children’s ministries and is confident going into this new role. In the off-season, Julie works as a Sign Language Interpreter at a middle school in Omaha, Nebraska.
Melita Quinonez has four amazing kids, Jordyn, Cambell, Elliot and Emerson, whom she homeschools and travels with on educational adventures throughout much of the school year. Melita and oldest daughter Jordyn are involved in a missions program in Thailand through Shepherds Staff of Colorado. They occasionally go in the Fall but Melita’s main focus for the past 5 years in Thailand has been the Spring trip in which she does the activities coordinating for a youth camp. The family loves serving, outreach, and any opportunity to use the gifts God has given them and share Jesus’ love with others. Melita and her kids first came to camp in 2019 to serve for the summer as a family- and they were hooked! Melita is really excited to join Haven and be a part of what God is doing through them.