Baylor Hosts Second Annual Camp Counselor Commissioning Ceremony

April 26, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter, Baylor University Media and Public Relations
WACO, Texas (April 26, 2019) – With more than 450 students dedicating at least part of the summer to impacting young people across the country through ministry camps, Baylor University demonstrated its gratitude for their commitment at the second annual Camp Counselor Commissioning Ceremony April 24 in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. At the ceremony – which included remarks from former camp counselors Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., and First Gent Brad Livingstone – students represented dozens of camps from coast to coast and across the globe.

“Baylor has incredible students that consistently pursue opportunities to live out our Christian mission in service to others,” said Matt Burchett, Ph.D., director of student activities. “Camp ministry is a tangible expression of this calling as students use their time and talent to invest in the lives of young people. We hope, in this small way, to express our gratitude for their service and the University’s commitment to supporting our students.”

President Livingstone and the First Gent spoke to students about their experiences in summer camps. President Livingstone said she spent time at various summer camps, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes camps and Kanakuk’s family camp. She also was a camp counselor for three years at Soaring Hawk, a former sports camp which is now Camp Barnabas, a Christian camp for individuals with special needs or chronic illnesses.

“We are so excited you have chosen to do this this summer,” President Livingstone said. “Our mission at Baylor is to prepare men and women for worldwide leadership and service by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment in a caring community. What you’re doing this summer is living out our mission at Baylor at camps all over the country and around the world and being a leader and a servant and changing the lives of others, and frankly, changing your own life.”

Each student received a “swag bag” including Baylor hats, T-shirts, laundry bags, stickers and silicone bracelets. The ceremony ended with students praying in groups, and leaders praying a benediction over them to send them out to their camps.

Several students shared their testimonies during the event. Nacogdoches, Texas, junior Ben Nortch said he didn’t know what to expect as a camp counselor during previous summers, but he learned that kids come to camp not only to have fun, but also to grow in faith.

“Over the time you have them and over the time that you get to start imparting wisdom on kids is when you get to start seeing kids work with Christ,” Nortch said. “You get to see them get to know who Christ is and mature in their relationship with Christ at such a young age. They’re figuring out who they are and who they want to be, and you get to be a catalyst to set that relationship with Christ in motion, and it’s honestly an amazing opportunity.”

Representatives from various ministry camps also attended the event, including Geoff Todd, director at Kanakuk Kauai Family Kamp and director of marketing for Kanakuk’s AfterDark and Pure Excitement programs.

“I would hope that wherever you scatter to this summer, whatever camp property you land on, as you faithfully pursue Jesus and as you faithfully serve others, that when you get back here next year, that this campus will look different because of what the Lord did in and through you this summer,” Todd said.

Other individuals who helped plan the ceremony were:

• Sam Davis, senior accounting and finance major from Portland, Oregon.
• Dale Connelly, Ph.D., professor and assistant chair of the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.
• Kristen Richardson, associate chaplain and director for pastoral care.
• Jonathan Hill, senior marketing communications specialist.
• Karen Kemp, associate vice president for marketing communications.
• Mia Casey, executive assistant to the president.
• Kim Scott, Ph.D., director of campus recreation.
• Kelli McMahon, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.