Be part of a ministry team committed to fostering Christian community and spiritual growth while ministering to children across the state.


Be a counselor and young Christian role model as part of a team reaching out to hundreds of day campers at local churches this summer.


Be challenged as you discover your God-given strengths and learn servant leadership theories, small group dynamics, and how to cast a vision.

“ELI helped me gain confidence in who I am and who God made me to be. It helped me gain confidence in my ability to lead.” – 2022 ELI Participant

“Being a part of the ELI program the last two summers I’ve gotten to experience definitely the best Christian community I’ve ever been in.” – 2022 ELI Participant

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Become an ELI Leader


Applications for ELI 2024 are ongoing!

Apply as soon as possible for inclusion in the final round of applicants. $500 leadership awards are available to the first 50 accepted applicants.


Schedule an interview and submit references.

Final Round: Interviews will be scheduled as applications are received.


Once accepted, complete registration to receive leadership award credit toward ELI fee.



Sun 5/26/24 to Fri 5/31/24 @ Glisson

Explore who and how God created you to be and lead alongside a cohort of your peers and guided by ELI coaches.


Be commissioned for a summer of ministry.


Practice servant leadership as a counselor at one or more Grow Day Camp sites.


End-of-summer celebration with fellow ELI participants to commemorate leadership growth and ministry impact.


Continue to practice servant leadership at your home church.


Before you leave for ELI Leadership Week, please be sure to print out a Packing ListCheck-In Form, and, if needed, Medication Administration Form.


The first 50 accepted ELI participants receive an automatic $500 leadership award toward the actual cost of ELI ($925) reducing the ELI fee to just $425 for a summer of leadership coaching and experience.


“ELI is a great experience that allows you to understand yourself and others and God even more and bring all that together to lead in a better way…” – 2022 ELI Participant

“I would personally say that ELI is one of the best things that I have ever done for myself.” – 2022 ELI Participant

Watch Testimonial Video


For questions about ELI, contact Stephen. For questions about the application or registration, contact Autumn. Their emails are listed below or call the North Georgia Camp & Retreat Ministries office at (706) 864-6181.

Stephen’s first experience with the NGCRM family of ministries was serving multiple years on summer staff at ELI’s sibling ministry, Glisson. After graduating from Kennesaw State with a Bachelor’s in History 2012, he began a year-long internship with Glisson, then joined the year-round team as our first-ever Program Director focused on our expanding Outpost program. Stephen’s role with NGCRM now includes coordinating all aspects of Glisson Retreats, Grow Day Camps, and ELI. Stephen, his wife, Ellen, and their sons, Micah and Owen, live in Dahlonega.

Autumn began her camp ministry journey as a Glisson camper in 2005. She went on to participate in ELI and Crew. In 2016, Autumn served on Summer Staff as a Village counselor and a Site Director for Grow+ELI+Shoreline from 2017-2019. Autumn graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership and Psychology. She returned to North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries in 2020 as a Program Intern focused on Grow+ELI, then joined our year-round team as a Retreats Coordinator and Grow & ELI Administrator in September 2021.

Will’s first experience working with camp ministry came as a Glisson Crew Member in 2018. He returned in subsequent summers to serve as an Outpost Counselor (2019) and an Outpost Team Leader (2021). After graduating from LaGrange College with a bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership (2022), Will served as a Site Director with Grow and ELI. As part of NGCRM’s 15-month internship, Will reprised his role as a Site Director in 2023 before transitioning to the role of Program Intern this fall with focuses on Retreats, Sparrowwood, and Outpost. Beyond his time at camp, Will loves to learn and write music.

After multiple summers as a camper and then counselor at ELI’s sibling ministry, Glisson, Cameron came back to camp in 2008 and never really left. What began as an internship has since morphed into various roles and an amusing amount of job titles. His latest is “Director of Communications & Program Advancement” for NGCRM’s family of ministries. It’s a bit long-winded, but so is Cameron. He’s hoping this title might last longer than the others since it captures what he’s been up to all along: sharing camp’s story and dreaming up ways to help make camp even more impactful and possible for more people in more places. Prior to his full-time role at camp, Cameron served in youth ministry and worship leadership roles at United Methodist Churches while studying at UGA (Psychology & Religion), and then later Georgia State (MPA). He and his wife, Britt, live in Decatur with their two kiddos, Eli and Callie. When not working or parenting, he’s probably making music somewhere.

Stephanie joined the year-round NGCRM team in 2015 after having served on summer staff with Glisson’s summer leadership team (’09, ’10, ’12, ’13) and then as a program director for Grow and ELI (’14, ’15). Stephanie’s role with NGCRM includes coordinating all aspects of Glisson’s Village, Outpost, and Sparrowwood programs. Stephanie and her husband, Ian, live in Dahlonega, and enjoy every opportunity to get out and explore God’s Creation.

C. Russell Davis is Executive Director of the North Georgia Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries, Inc., in his seventeenth year serving the churches of our conference. He leads a team responsible for the ministry and facilities of Glisson Camp and Retreat Center, for Grow Day Camps and the Experiential Leadership Institute, ministries that have the capacity to provide life-changing experiences for the more than twelve-thousand children, youth, and adults they serve each year.

Now in his thirty-first year leading camping ministries, Russell has served camps in Virginia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina prior to coming home to Georgia. He has served as Chairperson for the national Association of United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries, has led and designed workshops and events for a variety of United Methodist and American Camp Association regional and national conferences, was been a visitor for the American Camp Association for twelve years, and served as a representative to the ecumenical Outdoor Ministries Connection. He attended Georgia Southern College in Statesboro during the Erk Russell national championship years and attended seminary at the Candler School of Theology at Emory.

He is married to Rebecca who is an ACFRE-certified fundraising professional working with Hope Atlanta. They have two adult children, Sam and Libby, and two dogs, Merry and Pippin.

(Updated – October 2023)