Introducing ELI: A new leadership opportunity for youth and young adults


“Practice makes perfect”... and yet when teaching critical life lessons to youth and young adults about faith and leadership, we often forget that the classroom isn’t where most of us learned how to follow Jesus or be a leader. Whether as campers or staff campers, camp offers an experiential setting where we can try out what we’ve learned.

Conference Camp & Retreat Ministries offers a range of leadership opportunities for rising 11th graders through college seniors. These experiences comprise what we’ve come to call our Experiential Leadership Institute, or ELI. Based on the story of the priest, Eli, who helped Samuel hear God calling him in the temple, ELI is designed with the intent to help youth and young adults hear God’s call on their lives to Christian leadership.

ELI begins with the Day Camp Program, where rising 11-12th graders have the chance to receive high quality leadership training during a week at Glisson. They learn leadership theories and explore their own styles based on their personalities and natural strengths. After a week of training, participants get a chance to use the skills they’ve learned as volunteer counselors at minimum of one and maximum of eight Day Camps hosted at a local church.

ELI also comprises the staff experience at Glisson beginning with the Crew program for graduated seniors. Crew have an opportunity to observe and participate in the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making Glisson possible for over 300 campers each week. Counselors must have completed one year of college. As the primary contact and leader of campers, counselors are the lifeblood of Glisson’s ministry. And finally, veteran counselors comprise a Support Team that supervises counselors and the various processes and activities that go on each day.

So as the leaves begin to turn, remember that a life-changing summer begins now. Encourage the youth and young adults you know to consider applying for a leadership position with Camp & Retreat Ministry. Details for Day Camp Counselors (rising 11-12th) can be found at Information about being on the summer team at Glisson (graduated seniors and older) can be found at Or call program director Kim Bell at the Glisson office at (706) 864-6181.