Our Mission Statement
Working with South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC) churches to evangelize, disciple and mentor the next generation through summer camps, retreat hosting and missions education.
Our Core Beliefs
At McCall, we have four core beliefs, four guiding principles, that guide everything we do. We believe strongly in these and they influence everything we do. Camp McCall is guided by the following beliefs:
1. Everyone Needs to Experience God.
We are all unique individuals, but regardless of where you live, your personality, your background (or any of a thousand other variables), we believe that everyone needs to experience God. Perhaps St. Augustine said it best: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. "Camp McCall exists to provide opportunities for people to encounter and experience God, and we know experiencing Him comes in many different ways. We seek to provide a variety of experiences, from adventure-based activities to quiet contemplation that will help people experience God in a new or renewed manner. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity in our hearts, and we want to help prepare people for that eternity. Everything we do springs from a basic conviction of helping people connect with God.
2. Camp Is Preparation For Life.
Camp is an important time of preparation for the rest of your life. The experiences, the relationships made, the lessons learned, the spiritual growth and character development that occurs at camp plays a significant role in the person campers will become. Multiple studies have shown that camp experiences have a tremendous, formative impact on child and adolescent development. Sometimes the learning is simple (how to clean up a table after a meal or how to paddle a canoe) and sometimes very profound (how to take care of yourself away from home or the importance of missions in the life of a Christian), but the potential for learning is practically unlimited. As a former camper and Staffer, I frequently identify important habits, lessons, and truths that I learned during my time at McCall. At Camp McCall, we want to help campers prepare successfully for life.
3. Being Outside is Good.
Recent studies reveal that the average American student daily spends over SEVEN HOURS using electronic media while spending just FOUR minutes outside. In today’s high-tech, plugged-in world, reconnecting with the natural world provides significant benefits. Increased exercise is just the beginning--improved physical and psychological health, decreased emotional issues, better peer relationships, and a whole host of other benefits result from time outside. We want to encourage young people to spend more time outside.
4. Everyone (especially men) needs adventure, adversity and accountability in their lives.
We believe that every person has an innate need for adventure--a sense of risk and challenge of the unknown. When you look at the history of mankind, you see a pattern of people wanting to know what’s over the horizon, or the next hill, or to go where no one has ever been. Unfortunately, in today’s society, many young people satisfy that need through a variety of unsafe and unhealthy options: drugs, alcohol, sexual exploration—just to name a few. We want to provide healthy alternatives to satisfy the need for adventure.
The best things in life aren’t free. The best things in life aren’t easy. They take work, and effort, and discipline. God often times uses the hard, challenging, difficult times to encourage growth and spiritual development. It's not always fun, but we believe adversity is vital to life.
We're optimists, and we try to be positive, but we know that ultimately, if left on our own, we will all fail. It will be different for all of us, but we all make mistakes. Jeremiah 17.9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is exceedingly corrupt: who can know it?” We strongly believe that most of the really high profile failures we see—in the news, in our churches, in politics—occur because those people had no accountability. Especially as Christians, we need accountability.
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Meet the Staff
Camp McCall was established in 1960 with 12 Staff members. We currently employ over 50 seasonal Staff each summer. Here's a quick look at the current McCall leadership.
DIRECTOR & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR:
Matt “Spinner” Allen is a product of Camp McCall, attending as a camper and serving 9 years on Staff during his college years. After serving as a Staffer, Program Coordinator and Assistant Director at McCall, Spinner served as the Program Director at Wilderness Encounter Program (Grapevine, Texas) and as the Program Director at Summit Adventure (Bass Lake, California).
Spinner is a graduate of Presbyterian College with a BA in History, the National Outdoor Leadership School (Outdoor Education Certificate), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MA in Religious Education), Eastern University (MS in Non-Profit Leadership) and the National Intelligence University (MS in Strategic Intelligence).
Spinner joins the staff at McCall after most recently serving for 10+ years as a Naval Officer, in and alongside the U.S. Military, Department of Defense, and Intelligence Community. He continues to serve as a Naval Reserve Officer.
He works alongside Ginger, who also serves at McCall as the Operations Director, overseeing business operations of the ministry. Ginger graduated from Appalachian State University (BS in Commercial Recreation Management) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv).
After being gone from McCall for 18 years, Spinner & Ginger are excited to be back in South Carolina. and they are both fortunate to live at Camp McCall year-round. Contact Spinner at [email protected] or Ginger at [email protected]
Phillip “Snoball” Jewell serves as Camp McCall’s Associate Director, involved with all aspects of the ministry, but especially focused on marketing and promotion of McCall, coordinating our missions efforts and assisting with music & worship. He is a graduate of North Greenville (BS in in Computer Science and Business) and is currently working on a graduate degree (MA in Christian Ministry). Snoball has 20 years of experience in ministry, serving in a number of local churches, including Hampton Heights (Greenville), FBC Norris (Norris) and Mt Carmel (Easley). Snoball and his wife Caroline have 5 children and live just down the road near Table Rock State Park. You can contact Snoball at [email protected]
Ben “K9” Reed serves as the Facilities Director, responsible for all aspects of the buildings and grounds at Camp McCall. K9 grew up attending Camp McCall and served three years on McCall Staff in the early 2000s.
After earning his Business Management degree at Anderson University, K9 spent 8 years as a Certified Master Technician at REI and Trek, additionally earning an electrical wiring certification at Tri-County Technical College. For the last five years, K9 was District Manager of Sales at Coca-Cola Consolidated. No matter his occupation, he’s always working on his collection of diesel engines and rental properties. He’s looking forward to using these skills for the camp mission he has been passionate about his entire life.
Joining K9 to live at Camp McCall is his wife Charity—a writing instructor at Anderson University—their twin sons Raz and Jesse, and their miniature schnauzer Dolly Jo.
ASSISTANT SUMMER CAMP DIRECTOR:
Johnny "Pinto” Cooley serves as Camp McCall’s Assistant Summer Camp Director. A native of Columbia, Pinto has been teaching at the Middle School/Junior High level for over a decade, specializing in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) subjects.
Pinto has a BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, a Secondary Science Certificate from Clemson, and a Master of Arts in Education from Southern Wesleyan University.
He’s married to Cheryl (widely known as the “best Camp LaVida Staffer of all time”), who also works in the Office during her summer vacation (she is employed by the school system as well).
When they aren’t at Camp McCall, Pinto and Cheryl live in Irmo with their three boys.
Amanda Cox serves as Camp McCall's Ministry Assistant & Registrar. She is a graduate of Converse College (BA in Art Education) and Clemson University (M.Ed in Counseling and Guidance) and joins the staff after thirteen years in the event planning industry. She has a long connection to McCall: her son, husband and father-in-law all attended Camp McCall as campers and Amanda came many times as a participant on Fall Retreats. Amanda and her husband, John, have three children and reside in Greenville and attend Brushy Creek Baptist Church in Taylors.
The heart of Camp has always been our Program Staff: 30+ college-aged young men who spend their summers working with boys and young men here at McCall. They are an incredibly hard working, energetic and enthusiastic bunch--but more importantly, they provide a tremendous, positive male Christian role model.