Posts Tagged: staff

Redwood Summer Staff Highlight: Nathan Higuera

Posted by & filed under General, Stories of Ministry, Youth.

Nathan Higuera Photo

Nathan Higuera (Sharkie) is a valued summer staff counselor who has been a huge blessing to so many kids at Redwood Camp. We wanted to stop and introduce you to Nathan and a brief snippet of how he feels about camp:

What is your past experience at the Herm? How did you hear about us? What inspired you to come and work on staff?

My past experience at Mount Hermon has been being a counselor at Redwood. I heard about Mount Hermon through my best friend and a desire to be around kids and learn more about myself, as well as learn more about God motivated me to work on staff.

  • Nathan Higuera Photo
  • Nathan Higuera Photo

A lot of staffers mention that it’s the “people” that make camp as special as it is. In your experience, what about the people make camp so impactful?  Do you have any short anecdotes about specific campers or staff members you would like to share?

The people totally make camp special! Sure, I have good memories with campers; however, my favorite memories involve my fellow staff members. It is an AMAZING community that is there for you at every high and more importantly every low. You literally don’t have to go through anything alone, the vulnerability is contagious. I had the opportunity to bond with so many amazing people over fun, difficult, and hilarious memories. I had the opportunities to share parts of my life I had never before and learned new things about myself. There is nothing like a camp setting. Being a camp counselor is not always easy, but being surrounded by so many amazing people makes it 110% worth it.

One week during the summer I heavily emphasized the feeling God gives us. My campers didn’t quite understand what I meant by this until the last night. One of my campers told me he was able to feel God in a way he had never experienced before and what I had been talking about all week long now made sense. I still get chills reflecting on that story.

If you could encourage anyone to join our staff, what would you tell them?
Nathan Higuera Photo

COME TO MOUNT HERMON, specifically Redwood (I might be a bit biased). You will literally, and I mean literally, have the best summer of your life, and you will grow in so many different ways. God is present here, and it can be felt. You will feel so loved, and so special. The friendships you develop with your fellow staff members are totally unique, and cannot be put into words; you will just have to experience it all for yourself to fully understand.

Has your time on summer staff provided you with any tools (professionally or personally) that have been applicable post camp life?

Summer staff taught me the importance of vulnerability. It was something that I had always had trouble with, and now I understand why it is so important. The opportunity to be vulnerable with people in my life arises very frequently and without my summer at Mount Hermon I would still shy away from it. Spending a summer at Mount Hermon has taught me how to love people better and what it means to be loved by God.

Apply for Summer Staff

Meet Jonathan Bates

Posted by & filed under General, Kindling, Staff News.

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We want close friends of Mount Hermon, to meet our staff “up close and personal.” If you’ve stepped foot on our grounds in the last ten years, you have been blessed by the ministry of Jonathan Bates!

Jonathan started as an assistant in Child Care while still a teenager and has been at Mount Hermon ever since. While working as a paintball instructor ten years ago, our landscaper asked if he might like to try his hand at gardening. He was game, and within a couple of years had changed his college major to this new area of passion. Now, having completed a degree in Landscape Horticulture and certificates in Landscape Design and Construction, both with honors, he has recently been promoted to the full-time position of Head Landscaper.

Jonathan says, “My favorite part of the job is looking at a bed and imagining what I want it to look like, the colors, the textures, the forms. But the reward isn’t finishing the project. It’s seeing the guests enjoying the finished project. I don’t have that many opportunities to talk with guests and to minister to them face to face, so for me gardening is how I feel I can help them to connect with their Creator.”

Before stepping up to his new position, where Jonathan will oversee an assistant gardener as well as volunteers, he served in a part-time role as the Middle School Youth Leader at his church. It was a difficult decision to step down from this role, as he loved the opportunity to be a part of direct, relational ministry with his students.

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“It felt like God was letting me know it was time to be done, so I would appreciate prayer for peace of mind for this decision and also that the kids will continue to grow in Christ.” He also asks for prayer to deal with the demands of his new role, overseeing all three camps in the Santa Cruz Mountains and being a representative of Jesus with his co–workers, volunteers and guests.

Perhaps his leave of absence for three months this summer was good preparation. He was honored to be selected to lead summer programs for Tauernhof, a Torchbearer Bible School in Austria. For five weeks he led an international team of students on backpacking tours in the Alps that included leading daily small group Bible studies and team building activities. The remainder of his assignment allowed him to lead shorter backpacking experiences as well as camps for couples and families.

“My time this summer at Tauernhof was a summer of a lifetime, and three months that I won’t forget. I felt God working in my life and through me in real and tangible ways. I came away from my time there feeling changed and stronger in my walk with God and knowing that He is with me in every step that I take.”

Jonathan is a great example of the depth, breadth and maturity that exemplify our staff, including those who serve behind the front lines. Please pray for stamina and rest as he steps up to a new challenge.

Redwood Staff Reunion

Posted by & filed under Alumni, LOG.

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You would be hard-pressed to find a family more in love with Redwood Camp than the Martins! Susan and Lee met while on summer staff in the 1980’s, their daughters Grace and Hannah counseled for several years each, and their son Kendall was a Camper in Leadership Training (CILT) in 2010.

They told us, “Redwood Camp has given us an avenue to experience God’s grace. In that process, He put in our path some of the most amazing Christians we have ever met. To this day many of them remain very close friends.”

For years, Susan and Lee have wanted to bring their “camp friends” together for a Redwood Camp reunion, to reconnect, share stories, and relive the wonderful memories of a summer spent at camp. When they approached Mount Hermon about doing a reunion this year we were thrilled, and we quickly began working together. What transpired this August was a truly amazing experience, with former directors Dick Dosker and Ron Taylor, as well as more than 80 former Mount Hermon summer staff spanning 60 years of ministry, attending the event.

“What we experienced at the reunion was what makes Redwood Camp unique,” the Martins reflected. “A common purpose of changing kids’ lives for Christ, within an intentional, vibrant community. Even after many years, that characteristic was evident as we gathered together.”

If you have participated on the Mount Hermon staff and would like information about future Staff Alumni reunions, please let us know. We’d love to have you join us!

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Andrew Summers is the Program Administrator, whose life was forever changed at Ponderosa. As an alum, he revels in how God continues to reveal Himself at Mount Hermon throughout the years. 

 

Meet the Staff: Carrie Luther

Posted by & filed under Kindling.

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Over the years, God has brought together a unique blend of staff to Mount Hermon; we’re blessed to have a talented team working side by side. Since you’re our extended family, we’d like you to know the “in- house” family the Lord has brought together. Here is a little insight into Carrie Luther, Director of Human Resources. Carrie joined the Mount Hermon staff in May 2013.

Tell us a little about your family and how the Lord brought you to Mount Hermon?

CARRIE: My journey to Mount Hermon started in 1996 when I started my career in human resources.  After 16 years as a HR professional with Granite Construction, a change in leadership ultimately led to a reduction in force and my employment was terminated in February, 2012. It has been an amazing experience and a blessing to watch God orchestrate all the details, including using all the years I spent at Granite, to enable me to come and serve at Mount Hermon.

Give us a sound bite of your ministry philosophy and personal mission within your departmental world.

CARRIE: We are called to demonstrate Christ’s love through our actions.  This applies even when difficult conversations may be required; or in giving feedback, whether it is positive or developmental. The way we treat one another in our day-to-day work speaks volumes about how well we love one another.

What’s new on the horizon for you and your team this year?

CARRIE: I am passionate about the opportunity to deliver a wide variety of training to our employees. We are in the process of improving our recruitment processes by updating our job opportunities website and application process. We’re reviewing our current annual performance review process and forms to ensure that employees are receiving pinpointed expectations and meaningful performance feedback.

How can we pray for you and your team?

CARRIE: We would love your prayers for guidance and discernment as we strive to serve Mount Hermon’s staff and guests with excellence.  We are excited to be participants in Mount Hermon’s role in bringing people one step closer to Jesus.

As you think of them, please take the time to pray for these important departments and these two team members who head them up.

Meet the Staff: Doug Cline

Posted by & filed under Kindling.

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Over the years, God has brought together a unique blend of staff to Mount Hermon; we’re blessed to have a talented team working side by side. Since you’re our extended family, we’d like you to know the “in- house” family the Lord has brought together. Here is a little insight into Doug Cline, Conference Center Food Service Manager. Doug joined the Mount Hermon staff in March 2011.

Tell us a little about your family and how the Lord brought you to Mount Hermon?

DOUG: Lisa and I have been married for 18 years and have three lively daughters; Marla 14, Rosemary 11, and Lillie 9. We met while working at a camp near my hometown in Virginia.  God called us out of that ministry and I fell in love with restaurant foodservice.  Eight years later we got the itch to go back to camp life.  Since our family has an adventurous soul, we started looking out west.  After prayer and searching, Mount Hermon became the target for our adventure.

Give us a sound bite of your ministry philosophy and personal mission within your departmental world.

DOUG: Food and mealtime are important parts of the day.  Our goal is for guests to leave the dining hall happy, full, and ready to hear what God is teaching them.  We view it as a joy to serve our guests with great tasting local, fresh and healthy meals.

What’s new on the horizon for you and your team this year?

DOUG: We really love where we work and get to live!  Not just Mount Hermon, but Santa Cruz County.  We want to show the community what we do and where we live.  We are planning to get involved with more local growers and welcome local schools for culinary field trips.

How can we pray for you and your team?

DOUG: The food service team is a joyous one that loves to serve our guests.  Pray that we keep the main goal of sharing Christ through our spirit service during the busy growing times here at Mount Hermon.

As you think of them, please take the time to pray for these important departments and these two team members who head them up.

Met, Married, Missionaries!

Posted by & filed under Alumni, Kindling.

Cody & Katie Rogers

 

We see it all the time: young adults who work as interns or summer staff at Mount Hermon who are then launched into a life of ministry. Things are no different for Cody and Katie Rogers!

Cody and Katie met at Mount Hermon as interns in 2011. Several months later, they began dating and the next year they got married (this seems to happen a lot around here). Katie worked in our adventure and recreation department, using her passion for sports to run Mount Hermon’s youth and adult basketball leagues and facilitate activities for Family Camp. Cody spent his internship in our creative services department, designing themes and creating videos for both youth and family camps.

Shortly after their wedding, Cody and Katie felt the call to pursue overseas missions. As a college student at Azusa Pacific, Katie had spent time in South Africa, working with a local missions organization called Walk In The Light. After weeks of prayer and consideration, they decided to return to South Africa to, once again, work with Walk In The Light.

“The timing and money we needed for the trip could not have worked out better. We felt like God had been blessing us so much, but not just for our own comfort and pleasure. We believe that he blesses us so we may be a blessing to others, and the best way to do that is to get out of our comfort zone, out of our security, out of the familiar.”

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Together they have been using their skills and experience to serve both Walk In The Light and the local population in Haniville. “Haniville contains about 10,000 people living in extreme poverty. 60% of people are HIV positive and 39% are unemployed. While living at Walk In The Light, we helped transport people to clinics & hospitals, delivered food, & played with children.” Cody is also using his graphic design and video skills to build a website for the ministry to help them gain visibility and more donations.

As newlyweds, they are enjoying both the joys and challenges of serving in the mission field in a foreign country. “God is teaching us how to work together, and trust in him. Our first month was a bit different than we had anticipated but as we experienced things, we reminded each other (often) that just because it’s not how we planned it, doesn’t mean it’s not how God planned it. We have had to adjust and adapt, all the while trusting that he is in control. This has brought us closer as husband and wife, and is continuing to build a foundation for good communication and spiritual encouragement.”

Please join us in praying for Cody and Katie as they continue to serve in South Africa through the month of April!

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Mount Hermon Youth Summer Staff 2011

Posted by & filed under Youth, Youth Pastors.

Are you looking to do something big this summer?

Check out this quick interview with Brian, one of our youth summer staffers last summer.  Let him convince you to apply for one of our many summer staff jobs at Mount Hermon!

You can find more information and fill out an application by clicking here.