A Letter from the Director
Since 2005 I have had the privilege of serving as the director at Camp Sentinel. “Privilege” because I get a "front row seat”, to see relationships being built and lives being changed.
My wife, Traci and I met at Gordon College and were married in 1997. We have three children who grew up at camp, and each help serves in various roles of the ministry. Sentinel is a special place for our family, and we love seeing God at work in people’s lives. In addition to camp, I have served as a local pastor since 2016 at a traditional, 1837 New England church.
Sentinel is a Christ-centered, Bible-based camp, which means that the ministry is a vehicle to tell people about God and remind them that God loves each of us individually. At Sentinel, we strive to meet people where they’re at while providing a safe environment for growth in their personal relationship with God and others.
The Benefits of Camp
Temporary Community: The temporary outdoor environment allows youth to be free from distractions and engage in the unique outdoor environment and learn new skills and activities.
New Friendships: Making new friends allow youth to develop their self-esteem and feel better about themselves.
Adult Mentors: Through the guidance of the staff, youth are given opportunities for positive reinforcement and taught personal responsibility. Staff help instill hope in the lives of those in their care.
Positive values and strong character: Campers engage in character development activities that help them become stronger leaders: personal responsibility, respect for others, care for themselves and others, honesty in words and actions and thankfulness.
Sentinel is Mission First, which means that everything we do is rooted in the purpose of why we exist. Our mission is to create a welcoming environment for Christian relationship building and spiritual renewal. Within the stillness of God’s creation and through the guidance of the staff, people are moved from discovery into authentic relationships with others and with Jesus Christ. This happens through summer and winter camp, year-round group experiences and personal and family retreats in Sentinel Pines Camping Area and the Wixson Ministry Cabin.
I am blessed to work closely with people who love to serve. The staff we hire to supervise and mentor your children at Sentinel are a top priority for us. As mentioned, my wife and I have been at Sentinel since 2005, our children have attended camp, and two of our older children currently serve on the staff team. I tell you this because your child's safety is very important. I often look through my, "dad glasses" when hiring and training new staff.
Our staff training is purposeful and intentional. We begin the process with an application requiring 3 references, and candidates undergo a national background check. Staff training begins in late winter with "Staff Summit” where the staff meet each other and start building a strong team relationship. In June, we have an intentional week of training. Our staff are trained in First Aid and CPR, and many are lifeguard certified. We "grow our staff" which means that many were campers themselves, attending LEADERS, Aspire and Mentor programs as teens.
I have seen positive life transformation happen through the stillness of the grounds when we quiet our lives before God on the mountainside. At Sentinel young people are given an even playing field to make authentic lifelong friendships. The staff and mentors provide the opportunity to learn good social skills and resolve conflict in a Biblical way in the sandbox of life. Sentinel provides a safe place for youth to grow in personal relationship with Christ and are given the opportunity to foster their connection with who God is and understand the importance of His unconditional love for them.
We hope you will consider spending some time with us. If you have questions, please call (603) 539-4839. Your child's positive experience at camp is important to us.
See you on the mountaintop!
Kevin Van Brunt "Pk"
Executive Director, Camp Sentinel