Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend your summer in Rock-N-Water’s Trainee program?  Each year at Rock-N-Water, six to seven individuals, who have applied for this program, are chosen to serve at camp as trainee’s.  Trainee’s are like baby guides, they come to camp and get to learn all about camp and what it looks like to be an adventure guide at Rock-N-Water.  They learn all about camp, serve in many ways (including doing lots of the dirty jobs that need to get done), and the best part, every day they go on many bonding adventures with the staff and campers.

Each year at Rock-N-Water we see so much growth in each of our beloved staff as well as in each new trainee that joins the team.   Being a trainee at Rock-N-Water will grow you, stretch you, push you, and challenge you in so many ways.  But don’t take it from me!

If you would like to learn more about our trainee program, below is an interview with one of our trainees from last year;  Isaac Craig. Isaac served as a trainee at Rock-N-Water in 2022.  We asked him to share his thoughts about his summer in Rock-N-Water’s trainee program.  And we hope that this will help give you an idea of what one might expect to take away from a summer of serving at Rock-N-Water. Here are his answers;

Why did you originally want to serve as a Trainee at Rock-N-Water?

 I used to come to Rock-N-Water as a camper. I saw how big of an impact the staff had on me, the other campers, and each other, and I wanted to be able to do that for other people. I absolutely adore everything that Rock-N-Water does! From the superficial things like crazy fun adventures and pushing people out of their comfort zones, to the relationships with God that are formed and renewed, lives that are changed, and eyes that are opened. It is a place and an environment that is so rare in our world, unplugged from the internet and plugged into God.

Being able to see His glory through His creation and show it to others is something I have always wanted to do, and God has given me the skills and passion for it. I feel like He made me for this job! It’s a feeling that is so hard to describe, yet feels so natural to me. I knew from my first day at camp that this was something I wanted to do for years and years to come!

How has your perspective or view of camp changed now that you have served a summer at camp?

I have so much more appreciation for what every staff member brings to Rock-N-Water. I always saw the staff working hard when I was a camper, but after being on staff for a summer I realize how small of a fraction of the work I actually saw as a camper. Every one of these incredible people are the hardest workers I have ever had the pleasure of working beside. Beyond their physical strength and skill, they bring a huge amount of spiritual strength, wisdom, and thought to everything they do. I also have so much more appreciation for the planning and forethought that goes into every adventure, meal, and campfire. The leadership and administrative skills of Eden, Aaron, and Joel is something that our campers do not see, but I am in awe every day of how much work and care they put into every part of camp, we would surely fall apart if not for them. Overall, seeing behind the scenes allows me to appreciate and cherish every member of our staff even more, and thank God for how he provides us strength every day.

What is your biggest takeaway from this summer? Why?

 My biggest takeaway from this summer is having constant faith and trust in God. There were many times when I was a wreck with worry, anxiousness, and perfectionism, but in the end it always worked out in a way that only God could be responsible for. Whether it was a dangerous situation, stressing about not having enough food for a meal, not having the right gear, or having a hard conversation with a camper, I could always look to God for guidance and help. Without fail He was there for me in everything I needed! When it had been a hard week and I needed strength just to get out of bed or fill up water babies I could always turn to Him, and he would pour his strength into me. There will always be hard days, but every night as I went to bed, I could look back and see so many ways He had worked that day. 

What’s been your favorite part? Least favorite part? Why?

 My favorite part of camp is the community, not only among the staff but among every person in camp. The staff are all God’s people first and foremost. I still look up to every one of them in how sold out they are for Jesus! In everything they do they look to God, this mindset creates a community full of love, excitement, kindness, and warm invitation. I have never felt so welcomed by any community I have ever been a part of. I seemed to click with every staff member right away! Such a community that loves God and one another so much is one that I am inexplicably overjoyed to be a part of! I would happily call any and every one of them my good friends! And this close knit community extends to the campers as well. The love that the staff shows for one another overflows to everyone in camp. There is little sense of separation between staff and campers. The ease and joy with which every trip leader and guide becomes a part of the group is a connection that has to come from God. Often, within just a few days campers are pouring themselves out to God in front of us. This community is something that is so special and unique to places like Rock-N-Water, and it is the thing that keeps me yearning for that patch of dirt by the South Fork of the American River.

My least favorite part of camp is the physical strain on my body. It’s hard work no doubt, but it is worth it. The Lord gives me strength every day at camp, and I can feel myself getting stronger every day.

What are you most looking forward to next Summer? 

 Next summer I’m most looking forward to trip leading! As a trainee I got a lot of experience with doing the tasks that are helpful in the background running of camp, like packing lunches, cleaning bathrooms, and washing cars. I realize how much this helped camp to keep going, but I cannot wait to be with a group guiding for entire weeks at a time! The connections that you get to form with campers and the conversations that you get to have are something that I am really looking forward to.

Are you planning on coming back? If so, in what new ways are you hoping to see God grow you?

I plan on coming back for sure! I am hoping and praying that I will be able to grow more in my interpersonal skills. I have always loved the outdoors, the ways that I can see God are so incredible. The skills I have learned from this love are what we would call the “hard skills”, the abilities we need to do our job as a guide; however, I find myself lacking in the “soft skills” category, or the abilities to talk to people well and have meaningful conversations. I also am hoping that I can have more of a “lead from the bottom” mindset, rather than just taking charge of a situation that I am not super experienced with. Seeing what I can do for those in charge of a situation and helping them how I am able is something that I can grow in.


Interested in joining Rock-N-Water’s mission to impact people through God’s creation? Learn more here.
Did you like this interview-style post? Check out more staff interviews here.