Posts Categorized: Volunteer

For My Father’s Glory: Life & Service

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

What is Echo? Echo is a two-week program at Mount Hermon where students, grades 10 through Super Senior, learn and experience what it means to live the resounding life of abiding in Jesus Christ through prayer and obedience. Also, within the program, students work with the accommodations department. While working in accommodations, students learn what it means to humble themselves through service.

This year was my second year attending Echo but my 14th consecutive year coming to Mount Hermon. Out of all the years I have attended family camp, I strongly believe that Echo helped me grow one step closer to Jesus.

However, my first year at Echo was different compared to my second year growth wise. In my first year, I came in with a negative mentality about Christ. I grew up in the church but at that point in my life, I did not make my faith my own. In fact, I was far from believing in Christ. For the first two years of high school, I wanted to “do life” on my own terms and be the leader of my own life. Doing life on my own resulted in developing depression, becoming suicidal, trying to find acceptance and love through guys and becoming a chronic liar. I was self-conscious about what I looked like not only on the outside but the inside as well.

These things of my past are what drove my desire to not attend Echo. My parents, however, strongly encouraged me to go. During my two weeks; I learned that it’s more important to focus on God than on the past.  I also learned that “[Jesus Christ] is the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” (John 15:1–2). Because our Father loves each of us so much, He prunes our imperfections away. When something in our lives is distancing us away from our Father, He cuts it off saying, “I love you my child; this part of you is no more.”

Natalie Loo Photo

Learning these things my first year at camp was beneficial. I came back home with a new perspective on life and God. However, this last year was particularly hard because I did not know how to continue my relationship with Christ at home. We did learn some tools that could help us, yes, but, the material did not fully sink in until my second year of doing Echo. For my second year of Echo, I knew that I had a relationship with Christ. However, it was my parent’s faith and not my own. Echo, this year taught me what is means to trust, love, and be patient with God and how God will love us despite all of the sins we have committed.

While in Echo, working in accommodations has helped with my relationship with Christ. I learned that it’s not about serving yourself but about serving our Heavenly Father in everything that we do.

It even says in Galatians 1:10, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” I remember one day in accommodations during my second year of Echo there was this cute family we encountered. They had a friend that was in surgery that same week they were at family camp. After my team was done with our accommodations shift for the day, we took the time to pray over that family and over the families at family camp. We were obeying God’s command of prayer for one another in brotherly love. Praying for the families wasn’t to boost anyone’s self-pride, it was about serving the people at Mount Hermon in our Father’s Holy Name.

Coming out of Echo a second time, I know that my faith in Jesus Christ is real and I want to keep pursuing Him for the rest of my life. I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I am praying and hoping that He will reveal his plans for me soon. Echo has helped me realize with school, taekwondo, or any extracurricular activity I participate in is for my Father’s glory.

Learn More About Echo!

The Claussens—Volunteering is a Family Affair

Posted by & filed under General, Kindling, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

kidder-volunteers-1200x726

Volunteers—what would we do without them? At Mount Hermon our volunteers make an extraordinary difference in the day-to-day, season-to-season rhythm of life here. The gift from a financial viewpoint is beyond measure. Their service creates not only financial blessing, but the manpower needed to complete so many jobs at Mount Hermon.

One of the unexpected benefits of serving is when the servers experience abundant blessing in return—that is priceless. They know they are making a difference, but most importantly they are modeling the qualities of Jesus—our Savior.Such is the case with the Claussen family. Mark and Angel, along with four of their kids, Katie (17), Ruthie (14), John (11), Lorelei (7)

I asked Angel to share some of their story with me.

What started the Mount Hermon story for the Claussen family?

When Mark was 12 years old he came to Redwood Camp at Mount Hermon for the first time. He had attended another camp the previous year which had not been a good experience. His mother convinced him that he only had to go to Redwood Camp one time, and if he did not like it, he never had to go to another Christian camp again. Well, his counselor was Ken Harrower, and Mark can tell you something from every day that week. He loved it!

Now our kids have grown up attending Mount Hermon Family camps. We look forward to it all year long.

So what took you to Kidder Creek?

Our oldest son Markey, went to Kidder Creek horse camp in 1990. Katie and Ruthie started going in 2009 and they all loved it! When we came to see the “Showdeo,” we met a family that was volunteering at Kidder and so the idea began to grow.

In 2014, Mark retired and we all could spend a large part of the summer together at Kidder Creek, serving as a family.

What do you do when you are at camp?

We help wherever we are needed, mostly with the horse camp. Maintenance, repairs, cleaning, kitchen help, rounding up horses, helping the wranglers, helping Amy with the horses, and trail rides, teaching horse science when needed, making kids feel welcome, lifeguarding—a little bit of everything.

Often we help the kids from Camp Hope (a camp for children who come from domestic violence). Even Lorelei, our youngest, was able to just be with them and help them feel safe and loved.

What’s been the impact on your family?

We love the relationships we have formed with the year-round and summer staffs. What a blessing for us!

We came to Kidder Creek to help, support, and bless the campers and staff, but in reality we are the ones that have been blessed by the wonderful people we have met and served.

Kidder Creek is a place to meet Jesus and where He shows what He is capable of….

We asked the kids what they like most about Kidder Creek and they said, “But Mom, it is our second home! God is sooo present there and we love all the people!”

The Claussens are a special part of our Mount Hermon Volunteer Partners, along with many others. If you’d like to share the gift of service, please contact Don Broesamle at don.broesamle@mounthermon.org.

Volunteers Help Make Camp Happen!

Posted by & filed under Giving, Kidder Creek, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

KC-volunteers-600x400

As summer approaches, there is much to be done to prepare for the arrival of summer staff and campers. Our site requires hours of cleanup from the harsh fall and winter weather and each year we focus on several large facility projects to continue maintaining and improving our structures and site.

Our facilities manager, Tim Lloyd, does an incredible job coordinating these projects and ensuring that the camp looks better than ever on day one of the summer. We are tremendously grateful for the groups of volunteers who come and give hundreds of hours to help us prepare for the summer.

Recently, we have had volunteers from Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Southern California, Servants on Wheels Ever Ready (SOWERs), and the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program (MMAP) helping with projects ranging from slash clearing to window and siding installation. As we get closer to summer, Heavenly wheels from Redding, Calvary Bible Church from Grass Valley, and Flood Student Ministry from Colorado will come to volunteer their time and talent to make Kidder Creek better than ever.

In addition to these groups, a number of faithful volunteers from the Scott Valley help with site maintenance throughout the year. We are beyond grateful to them all!


If you would like to know more about ways you could get involved in supporting the ministry of Kidder Creek as a donor or volunteer please contact us at office@kiddercreek.org.

Volunteers Play Vital Role in Lives Transformed

Posted by & filed under Kindling, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

BOB---Volunteers

Lives Transformed. We see it happening over and over at Mount Hermon through many different avenues. Two of those avenues, investing in the youth of local churches and investing in volunteering, are merging together in a new program that has Bill Fernald sending off sparks of enthusiasm as he shares the “whys” and the “hows” of this exciting new ministry.

“Great leaders are shaped out of service; they learn how to serve and care for the needs of others.” —Bill Fernald

“Great leaders are shaped out of service; they learn how to serve and care for the needs of others”, Bill said recently as he explained the vision behind the Mount Hermon Youth Work Crews program. This new avenue is designed to be a precursor to the popular and impactful Mount Hermon Youth Intensives: CILTs, Echo, Amata, and the newest intensive, Band of Brothers, which got off to a great start last summer.

Youth Work Crews are designed to give youth pastors a place to bring their student leaders to learn the power and value of service and to experience the impact of service on building group unity and community. Not to mention the fun that’s to be had in serving together! There’s something profound that can happen when kids work hard together toward a common purpose and goal. To help someone else out can bring a boost to the individual and give a touch of the Kingdom of God.

So what are Youth Work Crews and what do they entail?

Youth pastors from local churches put together teams of students to come to Mount Hermon for work retreat weekends held during the fall, winter, or spring. There is no cost for this working weekend. Leaders and students work side by side three to six hours each day, assisting the kitchen staff with meal preparation and clean up. The staff provides all the training and a safe service environment for the group.

The work is easy to learn and fun to do as a group. It provides an essential service to enhance the ministry to the hundreds of guests who come to Mount Hermon with the opportunity of growing one step closer to Jesus.

Once students get a taste of the personal value of service and experience the unity and team building that can result from serving together, the next natural step is to return in the summer for participation in either the Echo or Band of Brothers youth intensives. Those students who complete one or more full service weekends are eligible for up to a 25% scholarship for their intensive program.

What a win–win! Students grow in their experience and understanding of servant leadership while connecting in a very literal way with the truth that living out your faith means living into service. The staff benefits from a wonderful assist that allows an enhanced dining experience for our conference guests. Mount Hermon is supported by the local church as the local church is supported by Mount Hermon. And, once again, lives are transformed.

Volunteer Partners (A Treasure of Trust)

Posted by & filed under LOG, Volunteer.

6D_CC_20150809_0108-web

 
Every year, a theme verse is displayed on the large redwood plank hanging in the auditorium. Back in 2002, it read: “God is our refuge and strength” –Psalm 46:1

That was the year we first came to Mount Hermon with First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley on our annual All Church Conference. As a young married couple from Cal, busy with our careers and becoming new parents, our marriage and family unexpectedly came under attack. But God knew what we needed, and led us to a safe haven, into the sanctuary woods that is the magical Mount Hermon.

We come every Memorial Day weekend with our church retreat, a tradition for more than 65 years! Spending time at Mount Hermon with our congregation each year has been a blessing to our family and a great time of fellowship, learning, reflecting and retreating with hundreds of our First Pres friends.

For years, we noticed the friendly and hardworking staff serving our big guest group from Berkeley. Then when we started coming to the summer family camps and sending our kids to Redwood and Ponderosa, we soon realized that the programs and people of Mount Hermon were top notch and truly amazing!

This Heavenly place is where we come and feel safe, secure and strengthened by God, who always shows up in the big redwood trees, the gentle streams of water, the powerful worship music, the sound Biblical teaching, through the loving service of the staff, the laughter and joy of people, with peace and beauty abounding everywhere!

Since our first time here 13 years ago, we have found “refuge and strength” every year and have each grown spiritually stronger and closer together as a family. It is always a blessing to be with God here at Mount Hermon and meet so many wonderful folks from around the world right here in our favorite place on earth!

Life-Service Legacy Lives On!

Posted by & filed under Kindling, Volunteer.

Volunteer_Coordinator_blog

Mount Hermon counts generations of providential “legacy” relationships, among countless beneficiaries of God’s transformational work. Those who the Lord has affected here in this “holy place” know how the Spirit tugs on our souls to return again and againto participate, to give, and to invest with life-service.

This is most wonderfully seen in the many selfless lives of consistent, front lines Volunteer Partners. They serve in significant roles, moving this ministry forward nearly every day throughout the year. Our camp and conference effectiveness is directly attributable to the 20,000 hours of service these dear friends give each year.

They serve, not just to fill a spot, or do a task, or meet a need. They’ve found in their own lives the grand blessing of being at the center of the drama the Lord unfolds here through Christian camping! Volunteers fill vital roles, enabling, supporting and sustaining the very core of what God accomplishes at Mount Hermon. Unless you squint to see “Volunteer” on their name badge, you’ll think they’re on our staff.

Well…they ARE!!

Linda Pyle, our new Volunteer Partner Coordinator, leads this committed team. A graduate in International Ministries from Moody Bible Institute, Linda (with husband Randy) ministered for 25 years in Albania and Kosovo. Linda has a sensitive servant heart and winsome leadership skills that bless Mount Hermon.

We’d all be blessed to partner with you as a volunteer too, to help you build your own legacy of service at Mount Hermon.

Volunteer Partners — Shared Benefit

Posted by & filed under Kindling, Volunteer.

1st-Presb-27

 

Mount Hermon has hundreds of Volunteer Partners, serving here each year in many ways. Wherever they’re involved you can catch their joy and teamwork in unforgettable experiences that exemplify our mission of “Lives Transformed.” They are committed friends and true Partners with us. Each year their hours contributed at Mount Hermon, Whisper Canyon and Kidder Creek are the equivalent of ten full-time staff! What a blessing!

Mount Hermon Volunteer Partners often come as groups, for a day or even a week. They join in building projects, with landscaping, even clearing invasive plants – where ever their interests and skills best fit.

Craig Blodgett, Youth Pastor at First Presbyterian of Fresno, brought his Junior High and High School groups last year for their Spring Break trip.  “Both groups had a terrific experience working together at the camp,” said Blodgett.  “A natural bond occurred within the group as we pulled weeds, cut branches and worked side by side.”

IMG_0723

 

What these volunteers gain is never limited to Mount Hermon. We often hear their excited stories of ministry impact that extends well beyond their time here.  “Our time serving together provided us the setting for meaningful conversations to happen among our adult volunteers and students, that most likely would not have happened otherwise.”

With so many “missional” options today for youth and adult groups, why would they choose to come to Mount Hermon for a week? Well, let’s have one youth leader answer that: “It’s a blessing to arrive at Mount Hermon without any concern for bringing equipment or food, and to simply focus on the spiritual lives of the students, and to enjoy being together.”

IMG_0728

 

We would love to host your group, to offer your church the space to minister together outside of your normal arena. We invite you to come, to be part of the remarkable Mount Hermon ministry. Let us facilitate a special way for you to create a memorable experience for your youth group, your small group or even your family.

Find out more:  Don Broesamle, Director of Volunteer Partners  –  at 831.430.1240   -or-   volunteer@mounthermon.org   -or-  mounthermon.org/volunteer

IMG_0744

Volunteer at Your Own Risk!

Posted by & filed under LOG, Stories of Ministry, Volunteer.

volunteer at your own risk

 

Mount Hermon is a special place where God dramatically interacts with people and draws them closer to Himself. Many of you know this, and continually thank the Lord for His grace poured into you through your seasons at Mount Hermon.

Many also express your gratitude to God through vol unteering selflessly as partners who are essential to keeping this ministry humming so effectively. It is impossible to consider operating at such an edifying level without their investment.

One volunteer’s Mount Hermon history spans over 60 years. As a young girl, Nelda Olson roller skated INSIDE the WWII-vintage water tank, then being installed up on Madrone Ave. With her family she enjoyed many conferences and camps, and still stays in the “family cabin” while serving as one of our many outstanding volunteers.

This summer Nelda did a “risky” thing. Though 50 years separate their ages, Nelda joined with the Amata Girls, mentoring, encouraging and modeling for them a spirit-led, Christ-dependent, and humble servant life. Face-painted and unselfconscious, Nelda won their trust and hearts, joyfully and tangibly demonstrating the love of Christ to these young girls. The goal of our Amata Program–the very heart of the Lord for them–is that they know they are indeed “beloved” of God. Nelda said, “These girls are so precious. I am having the time of my life!”

Nelda embodies the intentionality of all of our volunteers, to “find a need and fill it,” making the gospel both heard and seen in every area of Mount Hermon. Now it’s your turn. Take a risk and become a volunteer too!

Building Volunteers

Posted by & filed under Volunteer.

Volunteers_field_house
In May 2011 Mount Hermon was blessed to have Michele Izor come on board as our Volunteer Coordinator. I spoke with Michele recently about her position here and am delighted to share with you our conversation.

Michele, share with us about your history with Mount Hermon.

My husband had been coming as a single dad for about 5 years before we started dating and he was hooked. We were married in the small chapel and attended camp as a new, blended family for 15 years before we moved to Mount Hermon to live.

How did you become involved with the volunteer program?

My husband, Paul, was volunteering almost full-time for the Mount Hermon Facilities Team after he completed building our home. Years later I accepted the position of volunteer coordinator. I have a long history of volunteerism, and I’m very interested in maximizing the benefit both to Mount Hermon and the volunteers themselves.

What are some of your favorite volunteer moments?

There was a specific junior high group here with their leaders that prayed over their work project, as well as gave financially from the cinnamon rolls they had baked to make the trip possible. Our faithful, local teams that work year-round are also special. They are humbling to me and the staff with their levels of commitment and heart for the ministry.

Share with us some of the ways our volunteers helped make 2012 such a remarkable year.

The mail room & bulk mail processing are 100% volunteer. Volunteers also provide critical help to our dining services by setting tables, hosting, and serving donuts and coffee. Many individuals help with Facilities and even assisted with building sets for summer camp, including a castle and a massive pirate ship. Groups work on a number of projects including trail maintenance, clearing the new meadow, painting and gardening, to name just a few items.

When you’re not coordinating volunteers, where might we find you and what would you be doing?

Paul and I attend Twin Lakes Church in Aptos; have 3 wonderful children and 5 grandchildren. We raise & train Guide Dogs for the Blind. In May 2013, I’ll complete my BA in Music. I enjoy conducting both vocal and instrumental groups and sing in a number of different venues. I’m looking forward to where God may lead with my passion for music. I also love to cook, read and travel.

As you look into the future, what do you see or what would you like to see for our volunteers program?

I understand the value that volunteers bring to the Mount Hermon mission; both in the monetary realization of what they accomplish but also with the human contribution each of these people bring to the rest of our staff and our guests. The need and opportunities are really limitless and allow our staff to leverage themselves and their teams to accomplish more for our guests.

We have some new summer assignments that we hope will enhance the experience of every guest, and are also looking forward to increasing our number of volunteer groups. We have focused a lot in the last year on our organization skills so that all aspects of a group experience are excellent, from sleeping and eating arrangements to the actual volunteer projects.

Mount Hermon Sign Keeper Volunteer Needed

Posted by & filed under Volunteer.

Do you love Mount Hermon? Are you looking for a way to get involved with Mount Hermon? Volunteering with our facilities department is one way you can contriubute your time and skills. Currently, the Mount Hermon facilities department is looking for an individual interested in assisting with sign maintenance. Painting and general upkeep of all street signs, parking signs, and building signs is an ongoing need and the Mount Hermon facilities staff would greatly appreciate the help. The job would be ongoing. If you are interested in this volunteer position, please contact the Facilities and Property Manager Mark Lilley at 831.430.1203.