MEET THE STAFF
Kevin Van Brunt,
Since 2005, Pastor Kevin Van Brunt has served as the President / CEO of Sentinel Ministries. He oversees the operation of Camp Sentinel in Center Tuftonboro, New Hampshire. In his previous experience, he served the Young Men's Christian Association in Goffstown, New Hampshire as the Associate Branch Executive, overseeing branch operations and coaching 8 full time and 150 + part-time staff. He also served at Faith Baptist Church in Manchester, New Hampshire as Associate and Youth Pastor. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Recreation and Leisure studies with minors in Youth Ministry, Outdoor Education and Special Education from Gordon College. Kevin's vision for the camp and retreat ministry is to use the stillness of God's Creation as a vehicle to build relationships and change lives for Christ. He resides year-round at Camp Sentinel with his wife Traci and children Tucker, Abigail and Owen.
Traci Van Brunt,
Traci has been at Camp Sentinel since 2005 with her husband, Kevin and their 3 children, Tucker, Abigail and Owen. Traci serves at camp in many supportive areas including administration, registration, and kitchen support. She has a heart for mentoring the staff and enjoys watching them grow in their personal faith journey. Traci is a homeschool mom, and her hobbies include writing, reading and soaking in the sun on the beach.
Since 2009 Rafe Longver has served as the Facility Director of Sentinel Ministries. He oversees facility maintenance operations and improvement projects. Rafe earned his degree in Diesel Hydraulics from Northern Maine Community College. Rafe grew up coming to Sentinel as a camper and has been at camp every summer since 1997. In the community, Rafe serves on the Tuftonboro Fire/Rescue Department as a Firefighter/AEMT. Rafe lives on the grounds year-round with his wife Anne Longver who also grew up coming to Sentinel. His favorite activity at camp is playing disc golf.
Brandon serves Site Director. He is responsible for hosting group retreats and oversees food services for 4000 guests each year and over 700 campers in the summer. Brandon began as a camper in 2005 and joined the summer staff team in 2011. During his time at camp, he served as a Maintenance coordinator, counselor, lifeguard, Boys Unit Leader, and Ministry Intern. While serving as the Ministry Intern Brandon completed his degree in Business Administration through Southern New Hampshire University. He joined the full-time team in fall of 2017. He also serves as the Chairman of the Tuftonboro's Parks and Rec Committee, a deacon at Wolfeboro Bible Church, and leads a local community youth group. Originally from North Carolina, Brandon enjoys hiking, kayaking, and woodworking.
Joseph Wasson, Program Coordinator
Joseph Wasson has been serving as Camp Sentinel staff since 2017, but has been part of Camp since clear back in 2007 as a day camper. As is the case with many campers, when Joseph was a kid, he had a dream of becoming a camp counselor someday to be able to share Jesus with campers just like his counselors had done for him. This dream became a reality in 2017 when he signed on as swing staff, responsible as a day camp counselor throughout the summer. Joseph returned to staff in 2018, and it was that summer that Joseph received his call to ministry from the Lord while serving at Camp (if you see him around, be sure to ask him about it!). He continued working at Sentinel all through high school and college, and graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Christian Ministries, with a concentration in youth ministry, from Gordon College. Now, Joseph serves Camp as the Program Coordinator as well as serves the youth and young adults of the area at his home church in Ossipee, New Hampshire. Joseph is an outdoor enthusiast through-and-through, and especially enjoys exploring God’s forests, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
HISTORY OF SENTINEL
The Sentinel Story
Beginning in 1949, Camp Sentinel was owned and operated by the American Baptist Churches of Vermont and New Hampshire. The challenging decision was made to establish the independent nonprofit organization “Sentinel Ministries” that, while still supported by the ABCVNH region churches, would operate as its own entity. A new Board of Directors was chosen to help guide Sentinel Ministries into the future while staying true to core values and traditions.
In 2005, the Board of Directors appointed Rev. Kevin Van Brunt as the executive director whose job is to oversee the development of Camp Sentinel. Through God’s grace, the efforts of Sentinel’s staff and volunteers Sentinel Ministries has seen tremendous growth and impact in the region. Camper enrollment has steadily grown from 200 campers in 2005 to over 700 campers going into our 70th season. Year-round group service has increased from 147 guests in 2005 to over 2500+ guests served each year.
The purpose of Camp Sentinel is to continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment for relationship building with God and others. The mission continues to be accomplished on a daily basis because of the support from individuals, churches and other local organizations. Camp Sentinel has a rich history full of tradition and great memories and it strives to continue to create memories and life-changing experiences for each guest who visit the campus.
Those of you who enjoy history and the story of civilization know that each generation lays the foundation for future buildings in generations to come. This is true of Camp Sentinel's history. We begin our story as we tell it to the campers.
Eons and eons ago when God was creating his world, He caused a volcano to erupt, and from that upheaval, the Ossipee Mountain Range was born, and nestled in the base of Mount Shaw was a beautiful little lake we call Dan Hole Pond.
The first inhabitants, once the earth had healed, were Indians. Their impact on the land was in accord with their oneness in spirit with nature and their respect for the creativeness of the Great Spirit. Their respect for all the works of His hands made them excellent environmentalists. They used only that which was needed to provide for food and shelter and considered the animals as brothers.
In 1760-1770 events occurred to change the pattern of life for the Indians. The white man began to enter his territory. History tells us that two Grant brothers, tiring of their lives as sailors, came to the place we call Sentinel. One brother chose to build on what we call now the main campus of Sentinel. The other brother went through the valley to the other side of the lake and built his home there. In both areas, cemeteries bearing the names of parents and children mark their time on the land. One of the cemeteries is in the middle of the girls unit, and the other is over in McDuffie's field. During their lifetime they cleared forests to create fields for grazing of cattle. Stone walls remain to mark their endeavors at farming. It had to be a hard life, for rocks grow faster here than any known crop.
Following the Grant family, there were others...unknown by name...who tried their luck at farming. One venturesome individual decided to raise turkeys but lost all of his flock in the bitter cold of winter.
History took a new slant in the early 1900s. A Judge Brackett from Massachusetts purchased the land to use for a summer vacation spot. He called it Brachett's Claim. He lived at first in the old farmhouse while he was building the Lodge. A summer thunderstorm set the farmhouse and the attached barn on fire, so he moved into the lodge, adding on to make it sufficient for his needs. He also built the building in the field, which we call the Hobby House.
He used it for a theater and imported actors from New York and Massachusetts to put on plays for the entertainment of his guests. He hired gardeners, and laid out garden fountains, making quite a showplace of the old farm. It is interesting to note that although all his use of the land was only for his pleasure, God was working through him and his wealth to lay the foundations for camp which was to come; already two main buildings were built, a road to the Lodge was opened, and a water system pumped water from the lake. In 1930 Mr. Brackett died and his property was auctioned off.
The next owner was Alfred Avery. His purpose for buying the property was to open it in the summer for children from the Home for Little Wanderers so that they could have an experience of sharing country living.Â For many years he kept this project going. Then he decided that the youngsters would profit from a farm experience. So Sentinel Lodge...Mr. Avery's name for the camp...was not being used during the summer.
But the finger of God was pointing to a group of New Hampshire Baptists who in 1948 had asked Myrtle Auch to be their Christian Education Director. They gave her the task of finding a camp for our young people. Word got to them that Sentinel was available and in time the committee came to Sentinel and fell in love with its beauty and its possibilities. They met Mr. Avery and were given permission to use the land free of charge for summer camp. The lodge had a kitchen, a large dining room, and a large meeting room, which provided space for the first few years. The fishbowl served as the girls sleeping quarters divided into two sections by curtains.
The Hobby House moved from being a theater to being a craft shop and an indoor recreation hall for rainy days. The first summer of camping in 1949 Myrtle Auch had a budget of $600 for operating funds. She ended the season with $3 in the black.
The fundamental emphasis in our reason for being is to introduce children to the worlds of God's creation, to encourage them to live together in Christian fellowship, to share in Bible learning and worship experiences, and to lay the foundations for a firm Christian faith.
Since the beginning of the Baptist witness through Sentinel Baptist Camp, under the able leadership of Myrtle Auch, and until this day over 25,000 young people have experienced the outdoors adventure and the love of Christ. New buildings have been built, new programs tried, but our reason for being here remains the same.
STATEMENT OF FAITH
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament in every word to be the complete, God-breathed (inspired) Word of God without error in its original manuscripts (inerrant and infallible); and are therefore the final authority for Christian life and faith. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man and shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Matthew 4:4, 5:18; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Ephesians 3:2-5)
The Person and Work of Christ
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2,14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8) He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate. (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5, Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2)
The Universality of Mankind's Sin
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam's sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is morally corrupt, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. The results of sin are manifested in physical death (bodily degeneration) and spiritual death (alienation from God). (Genesis 1:26-27, 3:1-24; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19; 1 John 1:8)
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances (remembrances in symbols) to be observed by the church during the present age. The Lord's Supper is a memorial in symbols helping us remember the death of Christ. Baptism is an identification symbol demonstrating a desire to be recognized as a follower of Jesus Christ. These symbols are not to be regarded as means of salvation. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each eternal in being, identical in nature, equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 14:10,26)
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Eph 1:13-14)
We believe that He is the Divine teacher, who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that He indwells all who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20,27).
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry. We acknowledge that some spiritual gifts, such as tongues, are viewed differently by various churches and individuals. It is our practice not to encourage the use of such gifts in any public forum associated with this church. It is not our desire to judge any church or individual, based upon the use or non-use of such gifts, but rather, to provide a consistent, unified, and orderly arena for worship throughout our body.(Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12 4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12)
We believe that Christ's sacrifice of His life for ours ("substitutionary" sacrifice), satisfies God's holy anger against sin and provides intercession before the Father on our behalf. As children of God, we therefore experience a restored relationship with God (salvation) because of His unconditional love for us (grace) whereby God has declared us innocent (justification) so that we might become more like him (sanctification) until glory (glorification). We believe that only those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God. (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 10:9-11)
We believe that the universal Church of Jesus Christ is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. (John 14:6; Colossians 1:18; Romans 12:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:25, 5:30)
We believe that only those who are thus members of the universal Church of Jesus Christ, as evidenced by a personal relationship with Jesus, shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs. (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18)
The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ
We believe in the personal, bodily, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this event has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. (Matthew 24:30-31; Titus 2:11-14; Philippians 1:6,10; 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, 5:1-3)
The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment. (John 11:25; Matthew 22:30-32; Luke 23:43; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:12-57)
We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all people so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to bring the gospel first to our own community, then our region, country, and finally to the foreign nations. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20)
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support their local church financially. We believe that God has established the principle of regular, consistent giving based on a percentage of our income. This giving principle is regarded by God as a basis for giving, but every Christian should consider giving other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to support the ministry, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17; Malachi 3:10)
Since 1949, individuals dedicated to serving God have provided the backbone for this camping ministry to flourish. Staff and volunteers act as the vehicle to bring individuals, families, and groups closer to Christ.
Summer staff applications are welcomed for the upcoming summer camp season!
“Often people ask me, how could you "give up" your summer to work at camp for 9 weeks, and I suppose that could be a valid question. I guess it's because camp is my home away from home, where my second family is. I get to spend my summer not only with amazing people but in a bubble that protects against all the world throws at me. I wake up to constant love, fun, and smiles and most importantly my summer is devoted to helping kids find their relationship with Christ. Life outside camp is just so boring in comparison. Simply put I would miss it” – Claire, staff member
At Sentinel we consider Alumni to be anyone with a connection to camp. Past campers, parents, grandparents, and supporters all make up the Sentinel Alumni Association. There are thousands of alumni scattered across the world. We want to hear from you! Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey to help us better connect with you.
Driving to Sentinel
Off Route 16 onto Route 171 for about 8 miles to Camp Sentinel sign, turn right on Cannan Road. Turn right at the top of the hill into the camp.
Bear left off Route 28 onto Route 109A to Tuftonboro School (8 miles), then right on Ledgehill Road for 3 miles to Route 171. Turn left on Route 171 for 1/4 mile. Look for the Camp Sentinel sign and turn right on Cannan Road. Turn right at the top of the hill into the camp.
Travel towards Meredith. Go East on Route 104 to Route 3. Left on Route 3 to stop lights in Meredith Center. Right on Route 25 to Route 109. Right on Route 109 to Route 171 (Left at fork). After 6-7 miles look for the Camp Sentinel sign, turn left on Cannan Road. Turn right at the top of the hill into the camp.
29 Sentinel Lodge Rd
Center Tuftonboro, NH 03816
Tue - Sat: 9am - 6pm
Sunday: noon - 6pm
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