Echo Ranch needs volunteers

Posted: Sunday, October 04, 2009

What are you doing next summer? It's probably a little early to be asking, but May is going to be here before we know it.

Echo Ranch Bible Camp relies upon volunteers to make things happen. We believe it is God working through people that helps to keep camp running. You could be one of those people. The camp always has needs but sometimes we don't get the word out and sometimes I think people are afraid to ask. The first step is being willing to offer whatever talent or skill you might have and set aside the time and resources to be at Echo Ranch.

Before you volunteer anywhere it's important that you understand and agree with purpose of the organization. Echo Ranch Bible Camp hosts a variety of camps with the purpose of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We believe that human beings were meant to have a relationship with God. That relationship has been cut off by our sin. When a person believes in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their sins, they can turn from their sin and begin to live for God. Jesus is the only way to God and this good news is available to the whole world. The staff of Echo Ranch try to share this message and show our love for Christ by how we live. Campers are encouraged to examine this message and see if it something they desire for themselves.

If you agree with what Echo Ranch Bible Camp stands for, then the next step is determining how you might serve with us. What are you good at? What do you like to do? We need cooks to work in the kitchen and assist preparing meals for 200-plus people. And there is plenty of handy work to be done around camp. Perhaps you've got an interest in construction or know your way around a toolbox. There are tractors to be driven, boats that need operating, vehicles that need maintenance.

We could also use someone to answer the phone and organize the office. Or maybe you just want to help do the dishes and clean up the dining hall. There might even be something in Juneau like placing brochures around town. In reality, there are lots of jobs that need to be done but you need to let us know what your skills are and we'll figure out if there is a match.

Because of our unique location out past the end of the road, logistics is a serious issue. Our housing situation at Echo Ranch is somewhat limited and determining how long you're able to serve is important. At first it's probably best to aim for a couple of days to a week. There are some positions where we need someone the whole summer but special arrangements will have to be made. If you plan on serving with your family that will also take some planning as to how much room we have available. The crucial factor is the ability to be flexible and approach us early.

The camp is a nonprofit group and all volunteers must pay for their food. Currently the price is $15 per person per day. In addition we may ask you to fill out paperwork with Avant Ministries our parent organization that helps oversee certain aspects of Echo Ranch Bible Camp.

There is definitely something rewarding about serving others and volunteering your time. At some point it becomes less about the job and more about the people. The greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have and right next to that is to love our neighbors. When we serve we are finding ourselves close to the heart of God. Jesus Christ set the example when he said he came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Echo Ranch has always relied upon willing volunteers to help accomplish the work of sharing the gospel with the youth of Southeast. Please consider these things and what you might have to offer. Visit www.echoranch.org and contact us if you have any questions.

• Jon-Michael Gwinnell is a staff member at Echo Ranch Bible Camp. He can be reached at jonmichael@discoverechoranch.com.



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