Why HoneyRock



Another Summer of Video Games and the Mall?

More than ever kids need what HoneyRock has to offer. Today’s culture focuses on being better than others, having the best stuff, and looking good. As a result children are missing the character development they so desperately need. HoneyRock seeks to develop the whole person in a way that is permanent and life changing. At HoneyRock we are focused on building into children the character traits needed to be leaders, to serve others, and face the struggles and disappointments in life.

What is HoneyRock All About?

The HoneyRock commitment is to develop whole and effective people, equipping and empowering them for service in Christ’s Kingdom. At HoneyRock, participants experience growth at an accelerated pace through our experiential learning model and a high level of personal engagement. Participants learn to focus on others and not just themselves through service and discipleship. HoneyRock is a special place where relationships with God and each other grow deeper because of an environment free of distractions, a community that is authentic and supportive, and through programs that are focused on the development of the whole person.

What Will My Child Do?

The phrase "Explore. Learn. Serve." isn't simply a catchy slogan we put on our shirts. It's the essence of our goal for each camper who passes through HoneyRock. We design our programs intentionally to build on each other and match the stage of development and experience level of your child. Early in the camp experience the focus is on exploration--of what it means to know God through nature, to develop new friendships, and to try new things. As a child progresses, attention is given to learning new skills, both physical (kayaking, archery, riflery, etc.) and spiritual skills such as inductive Bible study and applying God's word to life situations. Finally, our goal is to develop individuals who, having recognized the gifts they've been given and developed, are ready to give back to others and to God in the form of servant leadership.

HoneyRock is a Safe Place for Kids

We live in a world that continually perpetuates fear and concern for the safety of our children, especially when they are far from home. We at HoneyRock and Wheaton College recognize the realities of our current world and have taken extreme steps, well beyond camping industry norms, to ensure that your child will not only be safe but have a life-changing, life-enhancing experience.

We believe that the camper/cabin leader relationship is where the most meaningful impact will take place. As a result, it is our desire to have the absolute best staff working with the campers of HoneyRock. The vast majority of our staff come from Wheaton College, which means that they have already been screened for admission from thousands of applicants and have been chosen based on character, leadership, intelligence, potential, and relationship with the Lord. We take this screening even further by requiring all staff and students of HoneyRock to complete a rigorous application, submit 3 written personal references, go through one or two interviews with a permanent staff member, and pass a national criminal background check. Because most of our staff and students are known at the College, we also submit our applicant list to the Student Development office of Wheaton College for an additional screen. Any concerns are immediately addressed with the potential staff member.

Once staff members have successfully completed the application process and are hired, they participate in one of the most intensive training programs in the country. Training for counseling staff begins in January/February with a weekend retreat at HoneyRock. This is followed by monthly large group meetings on campus and weekly smaller group meetings and prayer times throughout the semester. Our main areas of focus during this time and continuing throughout the HoneyRock experience are personal character and walk with the Lord, because we believe that strength in these areas translates into the most significant impact in the lives of campers. This spring training process also allows us to get to know the students individually and better prepare them for ministry.

Upon arrival at HoneyRock in May, our staff complete 4-5 weeks of additional training, led by Wheaton College professors in the Theology, Psychology, and Christian Education departments. Topics covered during training include the following: Bible study and teaching, development and specific needs of youth, camp and wilderness skills, and first aid and CPR. We have extensive policies for staff in their relationships with the campers because we strive to live above reproach and avoid all appearances of evil. Our specific policies include the following: all one-on-ones must be conducted in a public place, all staff and campers must abide by a modest dress code, staff and campers use separate bathrooms, physical touch must be appropriate, and suspected child abuse must be reported to authorities. Additionally, most years a representative from our county’s Children and Family Services Department comes to speak with the staff and students during training.

Even with all of this screening, training, and preparation, we recognize that there is no 100% guarantee of safety, whether at HoneyRock or at home. Safety is one of our top concerns and our faith that the Lord is in control gives us the confidence to do what we do—which is His work! Thank you for entrusting us with your children. We earnestly expect that their time here will bring about positive life changes like little else can. 

The Wheaton Connection – Ensuring Quality and Safety

Wheaton College, one of the leading Christian Liberal Arts colleges in the country, has owned and operated HoneyRock since 1951. Throughout its long history, HoneyRock has developed and trained young people and college students alike to impact the church and society worldwide for Christ. Being a camp that is also a college is unparalleled in Christian camping and offers many great benefits to our campers:

  • Counselors and group leaders are high-quality Christian college students passionate about working with young people. 
  • College professors who teach at HoneyRock each summer assess programs and guide staff in areas of Christian Education, physical education, and Bible and Theology.
  • Professional staff of Wheaton College also coordinate HoneyRock’s health services, risk management, legal, financial, and human resource departments. 

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