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Northern Light Fall 2023

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In this Edition of the Northern Light

Note from the Executive Director  | We're Hiring! | Giving to HoneyRock | A Closer Look at Vanguard Gap Year | Meet our School Year Community: Vanguards, Fellows, and Graduate Students | Professional Staff Retreat Review | Summer Camp 2024 Registration Update | Meet our New Staff!: RJ and Anne

A Note from the Executive Director

Listening and Learning... 

Listening and learning have characterized my first month as Executive Director. I have been focused on getting to know each member of the HoneyRock team. As I prepared to step into the position, I knew I would need to set up and initiate a structured planning process to use as a guide as we define our priorities. That process started with the Professional Staff Retreat, which proved to be a gold mine of valuable input and insight. In the months leading up to officially starting this position, I had the opportunity to meet many HoneyRock camper parents, students, alumni, donors, and Wheaton College faculty. Through all this listening and learning, it has been made very clear to me that HoneyRock holds a very special place in many people's hearts, and it has an incredible network of support!

As I consider where we are as a team, community, and organization, I am particularly grateful to Dr. Rob Ribbe for all the work he has done to build into HoneyRock over the last 30 years. Most recently, I am grateful to have benefited from his thoughtful planning and preparation for this transition in leadership. The team and I are pleased that he will be staying with HoneyRock in a key role as our Academic Programs Director.

As I look forward to the coming months, I am excited to see our staff serve campers, students, families, and ultimately, Christ through the important but challenging call that HoneyRock has set out for it. We have critical work in front of us. Critical work that will require us to strengthen and re-invest in HoneyRock in order to advance its incredible mission, one person at a time. I look forward to sharing more as we progress in our planning!

God Bless,

Matt Erickson, Executive Director

We're Hiring!

Tap the photos to see the job description(s).

vanguard cooking in the kitchen

Employment at HoneyRock

Sous Chef

Full-time, Year-round, Location: Three Lakes, WI

team of summer staff at picnic bench

Summer Employment & Paid Internships at HoneyRock

We're hiring for Summer 2024!

Recruiting high-quality summer staff is critical for our summer programs, and we need your help. Learn more about summer employment opportunities and share them with someone you know!

Blanchard in Fall

Employment at Wheaton College with HoneyRock

Donor Care & Operations Coordinator

(Part-time, Year-round, Location: Wheaton, IL)

Partner with HoneyRock this Season!

While there are myriad ways to support HoneyRock's ministry, our monthly giving program, Cornerstone Partners, is one of those ways to support the mission and efforts of HoneyRock in a consistent and recurring way.

During this holiday season, we invite you to take time to consider how you can support HoneyRock's current and future ministry!

Working, Coaching, and Community: The Unique Blend between Vanguards and Fellows

Vanguards, recent high school graduates taking a gap year between high school and their next steps, receive intentional coaching and vocational discernment as they walk alongside our Fellows, recent college graduates and mentors who are just a few steps ahead.  

During the school year, Vanguards and Fellows live in an intentional community while at HoneyRock. Over the course of the year, they have the opportunity to engage with a number of practices and habits that are designed to help explore the value of work and service. This happens naturally in the communal responsibilities like dishes, chores, and all-community work days. These practices and habits happen purposefully as well through vocational tracks, local ministry involvements, and coursework that Vanguards participate in.  

In vocational tracks specifically, Vanguards learn the value of working and serving alongside one another and our Fellows in various operational areas of HoneyRock, ranging from working the barn to guest services to the kitchen. Through these experiences, we hope that students and staff see the value of working and serving one another and how that improves our community and the work we seek to accomplish. 

Our Fellows program is designed to give individuals interested in relational ministry the opportunity to mentor and coach Vanguards.  Over the course of the year, Fellows work alongside Vanguards in vocational tracks, serve as residential staff in community life, and help facilitate programming over the course of the Vanguard year.  Through these experiences, Fellows develop deep meaningful relationships that create space for mentoring and coaching to happen as the live and work side by side with one another.  The conditions created by the school year at HoneyRock are a valuable learning ground for both Fellows and Vanguards to grow. 

Charlie Goeke, School Year Program Director

Explore more Stories about Vanguard  Explore more stories about Fellows


Get to Know our School Year Community!

The school year is an ever-growing community within HoneyRock's ministry - meet our current community of Vanguards, Fellows, and Graduate Students!

Professional Staff Retreat in Review

Every October, the full-time and part-time year-round HoneyRock staff (Professional Staff) gather together for a time of reflection, relaxation, and planning. 

The HoneyRock year-round staff team takes time to pause every fall. The focus this year related to slowing down to speed up. 

With Matt Erickson's transition into the executive director role, the team reviewed HoneyRock's mission, vision, and culture. The team celebrated ministry highlights from the past year, strengths of the organization, key challenges, and the related opportunities the team looks to overcome or capitalize on. The input from the collective team is important, it kicks off a strategic planning process that is now well underway.

This year the team gathered at Expeditions Unlimited in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The fall colors around Devil's Lake State Park were stunning, and, per usual, the Expeditions staff were wonderful hosts for our short 3-day, 2-night retreat!

Summer Camp Registration

Registration for HoneyRock's 2024 Summer Camp programs opened on November 15 at 9:00 am CST with record-breaking registration numbers! We are incredibly blessed to have such a vested interest in our summer camp programs. By the end of the week, our summer programs for Summer 2024 were 85% full!

We have some remaining spots in our high school summer programs for Summer 2024, but they will fill quickly. Register today!

Meet Our New Staff: RJ

RJ Boyle

Youth Camp Program Manager & Staff Recruiter

Originally from the Wheaton area, RJ first got connected with HoneyRock while he was a student at Wheaton College. As the Youth Camp Program Manager and Staff Recruiter, RJ works alongside Ashley Kiley, Camp Program Director, to lead HoneyRock's summer programs. RJ will play a key role in managing WIN [Wheaton in the Northwoods], Residential Camp ["Res Camp"] programs, Northwoods Passage, and seasonal staff recruitment.

Learn More about RJ!

Meet Our New Staff: Anne

Anne Eppler

Business Operations Assistant

Anne is originally from Mequon, Wisconsin, but has lived in the Northwoods for the last 21 years with her husband, Scott Eppler, and their three children. Anne's work as the Business Operations Assistant focuses on managing and maintaining the various administrative responsibilities, tasks, and projects that are generated through HoneyRock's year-round operation. In multifaceted ways, Anne also works closely with the many visitors and staff who make their way into the main office throughout the year.

Learn more about Anne!
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HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development

8660 Honey Rock Rd.
Three Lakes, WI 54562