Nine Goshen College students participate in summer Camping Inquiry Program

GOSHEN, Ind. – Christian-based summer camps provide sacred places for young people to explore what it means to live faithfully in a Christ-centered community while realizing that care for the earth is an extension of Jesus’ ministry. This summer, nine Goshen College students are working at Christian-based camps and retreats throughout the country, leading young people on their faith journeys.

Goshen College’s Camping Inquiry Program (CIP) allows students to spend three months in service with a church-related camp/retreat center. The goal of CIP is to facilitate student engagement with a camping or retreat center and on-site mentor in a meaningful assignment, giving them the opportunity to test whether they might pursue involvement in outdoor ministry after graduation.

The 2011 Goshen College CIP participants are:

Alisha Bender, a junior elementary education major from Pittsburgh, Pa., is working at Camp Deerpark in Westbrookville, N.Y. Bender, daughter of John and Marilyn Bender, is a 2008 graduate from Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts and attends Pittsburgh Mennonite Church.

Emma Brooks, a sophomore art major from Littleton, Colo., is working at Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Mich. Brooks, daughter of Kevin and Susan Brooks, is a 2009 graduate of Littleton High School and attends Evangelical Covenant.

Hannah Grieser, a sophomore collegiate studies major from Goshen, is working at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mount Pleasant, Pa. Grieser, daughter of Mike and Elisabeth Grieser, is a 2009 graduate of Bethany Christian Schools and attends East Goshen Mennonite Church.

Brook Hostetter, a sophomore music major from Harrisonburg, Va., is working at Highland Retreat in Bergton, Va. Hostetter, daughter of Eric and Janet Hostetter, is a 2009 graduate of Eastern Mennonite High School and attends Harrisonburg Mennonite Church.

Aaron Kaufmann, a junior music major from Tiskilwa, Ill., is working at Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center in Tiskilwa, Ill. Kaufmann, son of Phil and Pam Kaufmann, is a 2008 graduate of Princeton High School and attends Willow Springs Mennonite Church.

Saralyn Murray, a sophomore American Sign Language major from Orrville, Ohio, is working at Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Mich. Murray, daughter of Randall and Amy Murray, is a 2009 graduate of Central Christian High School and attends Martins Mennonite Church.

Alisha Snyder, a sophomore elementary/special education major from Goshen, is working at Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Mich. Snyder, daughter of Dale and Anita Snyder, is a 2009 graduate of Bethany Christian Schools and attends Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship.

Alita Yoder, a sophomore nursing major from Elkhart, Ind., is working at Menno Haven Camp and Retreat Center in Tiskilwa, Ill. Yoder, daughter of Kevin and Sharon Yoder, is a 2009 graduate of Bethany Christian Schools and attends Olive Mennonite Church.

Emily Yoder, a junior nursing major from Bird In Hand, Pa., is working at Camp Hebron in Halifax, Pa. Yoder, daughter of Timothy and Brenda Yoder, is a 2008 graduate of Lancaster Mennonite School and attends James Street Mennonite Church.

Now in its 10th year, CIP is a collaborative effort by Goshen College, students’ home congregations and the host camps. With the help of endowments, CIP enables students to participate in a leadership internship and receive a $1,500 scholarship toward their return to college in the fall and students typically receive a summer staff wage.

CIP grew from a donor couple’s life-long interest in camping. Larry and Janet Newswanger, former residents of Goshen and friends of Goshen College, envisioned a camping internship program that would parallel existing programs in congregational ministry and church-sponsored voluntary service.

Participation in the college’s inquiry programs (Camping Inquiry Program, Ministry Inquiry Program, Service Inquiry Program) includes the opportunity to take a one credit-hour May term course that explored vocation, goals for the summer, prayer methods and a blessing ceremony.

– By Alysha Landis

Editors: For more information about this release, to arrange an interview or request a photo, contact Goshen College News Bureau Director Jodi H. Beyeler at (574) 535-7572 or


Goshen College, established in 1894, is a residential Christian liberal arts college rooted in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. The college’s Christ-centered core values – passionate learning, global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking and servant-leadership – prepare students as leaders for the church and world. Recognized for its unique Study-Service Term program, Goshen has earned citations of excellence in Barron’s Best Buys in Education, “Colleges of Distinction,” “Making a Difference College Guide” and U.S. News & World Report‘s “America’s Best Colleges” edition, which named Goshen a “least debt college.” Visit