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Northern Light Summer 24

Chrouser Center at HoneyRock

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In This Edition of the Northern Light

A Note from Executive Director: Matt Erickson  |  Vanguard Gap Year: 9th Cohort Concludes  |  Class of 2024: M.A. Outdoor & Adventure Leadership  |  Summer 2024: Join us in Prayer |  Faculty & Staff Accolades: Dr. Karianjahi Receives Dr. Kenneth Gieser Award  |  Facilities Update: Staff Cabin, Chalet Renovation, Trip Locker, Arts and Crafts, Tent Cabins  |  HoneyRock is Hiring  |  Save The Dates: Northwoods Adventure, Volunteer Work Weekend, Donor & Vision Meetings 

A Note from the Executive Director

Over the past month we have made the big transition from school year to summer. We had a wonderful opportunity in May to celebrate our graduating Vanguard Gap Year students as well as our graduate students who have earned their master’s degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Many of these students are now working and serving as we prepare for the arrival of campers. 

Also, through a very big team effort over the past 6+ months, we have recruited a wonderful group of college students to work and serve this summer. Given the number of campers coming (over 1,000!), we targeted 156 high-character student leaders, and we just recently filled the last position to get to 100% staffing! This includes the largest number of returning students which will be very helpful as we train and invest in this group.  I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting with and speaking to these student leaders as they start training, and I am really impressed with the Christ-centered character of this team and their commitment to serve a bigger purpose than themselves. 

Our summer staff theme is Psalm 95:6-7. “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

Please pray for our summer program teams, our activity staff, along with our Kitchen, Health Center, Guest Services, Site & Facilities, Media teams, etc., as they complete their training and preparation, and move into this very busy season, knowing they are the flock under his care. Please pray for the work that God has planned for them, being the hands and feet of Christ!

God Bless,  
Matt Erickson, ‘95  
Executive Director 

HoneyRock Volunteer Weekend

Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6, 2024
HoneyRock - Three Lakes, Wisconsin

Join us for our adult volunteer weekend this fall at HoneyRock and support our ministry as we tackle key annual projects that help steward our site and facilities. Click the button below to complete the short form and show your interest in joining us!

End of School Year Updates

Our 9th cohort of Vanguard Gap Year students wrapped up their time at HoneyRock at the end of April. We celebrated with a naming ceremony and dinner for family and friends. The naming ceremony is a HoneyRock tradition, giving the mentors and staff that work with Vanguards throughout their gap year the opportunity to name the growth and unique giftings they see in their students. We are excited to see where our Vanguards will end up and how the Lord will use their year at HoneyRock to continue shaping and forming their lives!

Pictured below: Vanguard students and staff

We are accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year's Vanguard Gap Year. Perhaps you know someone who should consider a gap year after high school! Please help us by sharing the info linked below. Thank you!

Congratulations to our HoneyRock Graduate student class of 2024

As our Outdoor & Adventure Leadership (OAL) students complete their master’s degree, we are filled with immense pride and thankfulness for their commitment during their time in the program. It’s spectacular to see their growth occurring firsthand; their dedication and hard work have been integral in the year-round programming and operation of HoneyRock. We eagerly anticipate witnessing how the Lord will continue to shape and guide their paths, using their experiences to touch the lives of others and draw them closer to Him. Congrats OAL Grads of 2024! Job well done.

OAL students have the option of serving as graduate assistants through a residential work experience at HoneyRock while they complete their degree, or gaining work experience through another camp or organization.  Each student invests significant time honing their leadership skills both in theory within the classroom and in the field.

We are accepting applications for our incoming class of the 2024-2025 school year. Perhaps you know someone who would consider a graduate program at HoneyRock! Please help us by sharing this information or the pages linked below. Thank you!

Summer 2024 Just Around the Corner

As we enter into this sacred and joyful summer season, we invite you to join us in prayer!

Our summer staff will be rooted in Psalm 95, focused on worshipping the greatness of our God as the reigning King and our Good Shepherd.

First, you can pray for our staff. We pray that our staff teams will accept the invitation to "come, let us worship and bow down" as we seek to partner with the Spirit in fulfilling our vision of seeing generations alive in Christ.

Second, pray for our campers. As Matt mentioned, 1,000+ youth and young adults will be coming onto HoneyRock's grounds this summer, and while we are confident the Lord has blessed and set this space a part - we are still seeking His protection and expectant that His name will be known and worshiped this summer. While praying for our campers, please pray for camper's families and those who care for and send their campers to HoneyRock. 

Finally, please pray for our 27 international Christian camping leaders serving with us this summer. Our international staff leaders have traveled from around the world to partner with us in ministry this summer, we are thankful for the ways they are already influencing HoneyRock's ministry! 

Ashley Paige Kiley, Camp Programs Director

HoneyRock Vision & Donor Dinners

Thursday, October 24th OR Friday, October 25th, 2024
Wheaton, Illinois

Matt Erickson, Executive Director, will provide a behind the scenes view into HoneyRock, along with a summary of priority investment opportunities and a vision for HoneyRock's future. Thomas Wiley, HoneyRock's Head Chef, will prepare a classic HoneyRock meal.

Interested in joining us for one of these meetings? Click the button below to complete the form, letting us know that you're interested! 

Dr. Muhia Karianjahi Receives the Dr. Kenneth Gieser Award from Wheaton College

On Friday, April 19th, during Wheaton College Chapel, Muhia Karianjahi, one of our graduate faculty for the M.A. in Outdoor & Adventure Leadership, received the Dr. Kenneth Gieser Award. 

The Dr. Kenneth Gieser Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member serving above and beyond outside of the college to reach and contribute to the lives of those in underserved communities. In offering the award, President Ryken noted Muhia’s volunteer work in the Vilas County Jail and at the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Reservation.

Dr. Kenneth Gieser, the award’s namesake, was a Wheaton College Trustee who founded the Wheaton Eye Clinic. He was a key player in helping Harve “Coach” Chrouser start HoneyRock and also founded the HoneyRock Doctor’s program, which provides volunteer doctors on-site during summer camp.

The award was presented by Ken’s son Dr. Richard "Dick" Gieser, who and the extended Gieser family have long been a very important part of HoneyRock, which gives this award a special place in the heart of HoneyRockers.

Having Muhia on our team, contributing to Wheaton College and HoneyRock’s mission, and the local community surrounding HoneyRock is genuinely an abundant blessing. Congratulations, Muhia! 

Cabin Rentals at HoneyRock: Your Summer Getaway

Rent one of our cozy waterfront guest cabins. Step away for a week of rest, adventure, and quality time at HoneyRock! Each of our summer guest cabins gives you access to beautiful views of Long Lake and plenty of opportunities to explore HoneyRock and the Northwoods with your friends and/or family. 

Secure your rental for Summer 2024 now while limited spots remain. 

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

We seek a discipleship-minded, hospitality-oriented individual to join our year-round professional staff team as our Sous Chef. Food service experience is preferred, along with an interest in or experience with working alongside youth and emerging adults in a leadership development environment. 

team of summer staff at picnic bench

Paid Graduate Assistantships at HoneyRock

Graduate Assistants/Program Coordinators

Seasonal, 2 years, Location: HoneyRock or Wheaton College

Graduate Assistants serve as Program Coordinators for our Summer Camp Programs, Retreat Programs, and Vanguard Gap Year. We're looking for high-caliber, discipleship-minded, forward-thinking graduate students who are eager to integrate academic theory and learning with hands-on leadership experiences. 

HoneyRock Fellowship

HoneyRock Fellowship Program

Seasonal, 9 months, Location: HoneyRock

One year of purposeful vocational discernment, spiritual formation, and leadership development for college graduates at The HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development of Wheaton College. HoneyRock Fellows are integral in facilitating Wheaton College's Vanguard Gap Year program at HoneyRock.

HoneyRock Advisory Board Meeting Highlights

Earlier this June the HoneyRock Advisory Board made the trek to HoneyRock for their yearly meeting with Matt Erickson and the HoneyRock Leadership Team. 

HoneyRock’s Advisory Board is a fantastic group of leaders with a wide range of professional experience and gifts that offer terrific support to HoneyRock and our Executive Director.  The board met in early June at HoneyRock and we greatly appreciate their ongoing guidance and support.

Below are a few photos from the weekend they gathered together at HoneyRock!


Back Row (Left to Right): Gary Hopwood, Cyndi Parker, Saranell Hartman, Kermit Ellison; Middle Row (Left to Right): Matt Erickson, Chris Trout, Liz Robertson; Front (Left to Right): Kirk Weaver, Theon Hill [Not Pictured: Tiffany Kriner and Noah Toley


Members of the HoneyRock Advisory Boards, Liz Robertson and Kirk Weaver, are thanked for their time on the advisory board with a historic HoneyRock [Camp] paddle. This is a token of their appreciation for the time they've invested in HoneyRock as members of the advisory board. 

Facilities Updates from around HoneyRock

The Staff Cabin, located in The Village where Residential "Res" campers live, is home base to Unit Leaders and cabin leaders throughout the summer. The two bedrooms pictured here typically house male and female Unit Leaders; these spaces were in great need of updating and refreshing. Now, our Unit Leaders have a much more comfortable and practical place to call home! 


This spring, the renovation of the lower Chalet (lower level of the main office building) was completed. In the Winter 2024 Northern Light, you can view progress photos. Here, you will see the project in its completion. We're excited about the improved use that comes with this space, creating a meeting space, office space, and a reimagined mailroom/mail sorting system.

Over the last several decades, the Trip Locker has been a hub of activity for campers, staff, and students preparing to go out on their wilderness trip or return home to HoneyRock after their trip. After much planning and renovation, last summer, the Trip Locker was moved to what used to be The Boat House. In an effort to open up our waterfront, provide better views of the lake from Chrouser Dining Hall, and expand upon our available green outdoor spaces, the historic Trip Locker was razed this spring. While it's bittersweet to see our older buildings come to an end, we are grateful for the opportunity to be creative with our buildings, spaces, and resources. 

Below there are two photos of the historic Trip Locker prior to it's being razed this spring and two photos of the new Trip Locker. 


The crafts area, which was housed on the backside of the old Trip Locker, has been removed. The Arts and Crafts Studio has been given a refreshed space and updated furniture. You can now find Arts and Crafts in what used to be called "The Education Center" or "The Ed Center" which is situated just off of the Lagoon shoreline near the iconic HoneyRock bridge. We're eager to see what campers, staff, and students will create in this freshly reimagined space!

Updating the Platform Tent Cabins required our team to rebuild the platforms and craft semi-permanent frames for the canvas tents. During the summer, the male campers and staff of 2:22  life in the Tent Cabins, colloquially referred to as "The Tabins." These new platforms, frames, and canvas tents significantly upgrade an iconic HoneyRock cabin experience. Below is an in-progress shot of the frames being installed.

overhead photo of honeyrock in the fall
HoneyRock Northwoods Adventure 2024

Join us in the Northwoods for our yearly retreat for friends and alumni of Wheaton College and HoneyRock (ages 50+)!

Full Week Option: Monday, September 23 - Saturday, September 28, 2024
New! Long Weekend Option: Thursday, September 26 - Saturday, September 28, 2024

To learn more about Northwoods Adventure at HoneyRock, our new long weekend offering, or to register for the retreat, please click the button below.

We hope to see you this fall!

Contact Us

HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development

8660 Honey Rock Rd.
Three Lakes, WI 54562