Read below a few testimonials from staff who have spent summers serving at Shepherds Camp, whose lives have changed for the better.
Looking to apply? Apply for summer staff here.
"I first worked at camp in the summer of 2017 as a counselor. I had previously never worked with individuals with developmental disabilities. That summer the Lord used each camper to show me more about Him and I learned what it truly meant to survive sacrificially. Every early morning, every slow walk up from the cabins, and every exhausting yet energetic day made me rely on God more than I ever had. I knew that Shepherds Camp would be a place I’d call home for as many summers as I could! I continued to serve at camp every summer while in college. I had the opportunity to lead campers through Bible lessons and times of worship, during which God showed me that salvation is not dependent on our abilities but only dependent on the fact that we are all broken sinners in need of a Savior.
These days, I’m working for a non-profit organization where I get to work with and care for clients at their home and programming sites! Caring for those with disabilities humbles me everyday, not because of the challenges that come with the job, but because it is a privilege to care for those God calls chosen but the world often forgets about. I’m so thankful for this wonderful camp in little old Brackney, PA!"
“To be honest, I still can't believe this next step in my life is a true one. I am about to embark on a journey to lead a therapy center for children who have special needs in rural Nicaragua.
Have I ever done anything like this before? Not really. Do I feel prepared? Nope. Do I know what to expect? Absolutely not. Hmm... Feels kind of like when I signed up to be Head Nurse at Shepherds Camp - and that was one of the best experiences of my professional career.
Working as a nurse at Shepherds Camp was one of the most challenging experiences. Anyone who has experienced camp should understand. Yet, at Arrowhead Bible Camp this past summer, God revealed to me the beauty of the human soul made in His image. I met so many beautiful people and I was challenged by my perception of the world. Jesus gave me a picture of humanity's spiritual reality. Spiritually, we are weak, disabled, delayed, misfit, and broken. Yet, in that condition, Jesus chose to give up His perfect life to have relationship with us. He chose us to love, care for, and heal - in our need. So many of the campers I interacted with had truer souls then many of the broken and lost I interact with everyday. I truly count it a privilege to love, serve, and learn from the individuals I will be working with in the 'different ability' community.”
“Honestly, when God led me to Arrowhead in 2015 to serve on James Project, I was not thrilled about it. But within minutes of being there, I felt this sense of belonging and peace, and that is with me to this day. Shepherds Camp has developed a passion in me for people, specifically those who have different needs than my own, that I would have never discovered if it was not for God’s persistent heart with me. It has taught me to love gently and deeply.
Now, I have not only spent three summers at Arrowhead on seasonal staff, but I was also a part of the first year of their gap year program: The Launch Initiative!
I never would have imagined myself here when I graduated high school, but here I am; and I could not be more thankful that God’s plans are far greater than anything I could dream. My time at Arrowhead is not over and it will continue to impact my life in every positive way possible. It’s taught me things that I can carry with me no matter where I go.
Loving people and serving people with a joyful heart is not a conditional thing.”
“I’m so blessed and excited that what started out as a summer job in 2014 has become my life! In September 2018, I came on full-time with Arrowhead as Program Manager and I am thrilled at what God is doing in my life and what He has in store for me. It’s crazy looking back at the road God has taken me down these past few years, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m most looking forward to serving our campers, investing in our staff, and partnering with the care providers who trust us with their loved ones year after year.”
“From the moment the room filled with each camper during my first Fall Retreat, I knew my life was about to be forever changed. There is something about the atmosphere Shepherds Camp creates that is beyond words. The love that fills the room, the inclusion found in everyone’s embrace, and the sheer exuberance that explodes from each person’s heart make Shepherds Camp a haven I will always return to.
Over the past seven years of coming to retreats and summers, the Lord has cultivated in me a deep and undying desire to connect with and advocate alongside individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I have finally found a full-time career that allows me to do just that. As the Program Manager of Volunteers at a local non-profit called Best Buddies, I am finally getting to take the joy I have found at Shepherds Camp and spread it in my own community and through my own career. Who knew that one trip to Shepherds Camp years and years ago could lead to a changed life in so many ways.”
"God used the campers and the staff at Shepherds Camp to help me grow closer to Him and have a better understanding of life. He used this camp to make me see that I had a passion for people with developmental disabilities. Shepherds Camp made me feel at home and at peace with life. It gave me a sense of belonging and a feeling that I was right where God wanted me to be. I have learned to look at the world through the eyes of a camper. Campers don't see flaws, or scars, or faults. They see the heart, and they see that you love them no matter what. It has taught me to see everyone as equal. When I see people, now I don't see differences, I see another person that needs love just like the rest of the world.
Because of Shepherds Camp, I did Arrowhead's gap year program when I originally had the plan of going to college. My original plans for life never included anything with people with disabilities. Shepherds Camp has impacted me in so many ways and I am so excited to see what God is going to do through this gap year program."