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.

“I have learned to have a deeper understanding of myself and how I operate, and that has immensely helped me in school, work, and anywhere else where I am working with other people. I have learned to cooperate and get along with everyone, not just the people that I share the same views with.”

– ELI Participant

Become an ELI Leader

Use + sign below to reveal more info.

Apply by the next deadline for inclusion in the next round of applicants. $500 leadership awards are available to first 50 accepted applicants.

Applications Open: Sep 1, 2021

1st Round: by Sep 26, 2021
2nd Round: by Nov 14, 2021
3rd Round: by Jan 9, 2022
4th Round: by Feb 20, 2022
5th Round: by Apr 10, 2022
Final Round: by May 22, 2022

Schedule an interview and submit references.

1st Round: Oct 4-15
2nd Round: Nov 29-Dec 3
3rd Round: Jan 14-21
4th Round: Feb 25-Mar 11
5th Round: Apr 18-22
Final Round: Ongoing

Once accepted, register by deadline to receive award. Following deadline, unclaimed awards will be offered to other applicants.

1st Round: Oct 20-27
2nd Round: Dec 6-10
3rd Round: Jan 24-28
4th Round: Mar 14-18
5th Round: Apr 25-29
Final Round: Ongoing

Dates: Sun 5/29/22 to Fri 6/3/22
Location: Glisson
Discover your natural strengths, then learn about servant leadership theory, small group dynamics, and how to cast a vision.

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 ($850) reducing the ELI fee to just $350 for a summer of leadership coaching and experience.


“ELI not only helped me dive into who God created me to be, but it helped me realize my strengths and weaknesses and how I can use them to spread the love of Jesus.”

– ELI Participant


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. As Co-Director of Summer Ministries, Stephen’s role with NGCRM now includes coordinating all aspects of our summer programming. Stephen, his wife, Ellen, and their sons, Micah and Owen, live in Dahlonega and attend Dahlonega UMC.

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 Camper Coordinator in September 2021.

Some people collect baseball cards; Cameron collects camp job titles, apparently. After multiple summers as a Glisson camper and then counselor in ’05, Cameron came back to camp in ’08 and never really left: Challenge Course Director in ’08, Program Intern from ’08-’09, Day Camp Director in ’09, Project Manager from ’09-10, Worship & Media Coordinator in ’11, Director of Communication & New Initiatives from ’11-13, and Director of Emerging Ministries from ’13 to ’15. Cameron now serves as Director of Communications & Program Advancement for the NGCRM family of ministries (Glisson, Grow Day Camps, Experiential Leadership Institute, Shoreline Camps). Cameron is married to Britt who is a dietitian at Emory Decatur Hospital. They live in Decatur with their children, Eli and Callie, and are members of Decatur First UMC.

Stephanie joined the year-round NGCRM team in 2015 as Director of Grow+ELI+Shoreline after having served on the summer leadership team for ELI’s sibling ministry, Glisson Camp & Retreat Center (’09, ’10, ’12, ’13) and then as a program director for Grow and ELI (’14, ’15). As Co-Director of Summer Ministries, Stephanie’s role with NGCRM now includes coordinating all aspects of our summer programming. Prior to her role at NGCRM, Stephanie taught high school science and Spanish in North Carolina and Georgia. Stephanie and her husband Ian live in Dahlonega and attend Dahlonega UMC.

C. Russell Davis is Executive Director of the North Georgia Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries, Inc., in his twelfth 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 and for the newly launched Shoreline Camps. In 2018 these summer ministries served 4,486 children and youth.

In his twenty-six years in camping, he has served camps in Virginia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina prior to coming home to Georgia. He serves as Chairperson for the 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, has been a visitor for the American Camp Association for twelve years, and is 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 Chief Development Officer for Action Ministries. They have two children, Sam, a history major at Kennesaw State, and Libby, a second-year art teacher in Camden, SC.

(Updated – January 2019)