Camp Bighorn's full-time staff are committed to the ministry year-round. Much like overseas missionaries, each staff member raises support for their 100% of their salary. If you'd like to contribute to one of the staff, click on their picture and follow the link.
Executive Director -
Luke and Andrea Underhill. Sydney, Matthew.
I (Luke) grew up the oldest of five children in eastern Washington. I have a BA in Ministry with an emphasis in Wilderness Leadership from Prairie Bible College. I joined the Camp Bighorn staff in May 2003.
In March of 2009, I accepted an offer from the Bighorn Board of Overseers to become the Executive Director. That decision, while steeped in uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy, has shown God’s faithfulness to me and my family in ways we never imagined. My wife Andrea was an eXplore student and intern at Bighorn from September 2003 to April 2006. We built a wonderful friendship during that time and were married in October 2006. Andrea and I have two children: our daughter Sydney and our son Matthew. Our desire as a family is to encourage and support our staff, keep the ministry on mission, and be innocent as doves and wise as serpents as we continue to understand and engage the culture of today and tomorrow.
Food Service Director -
Rob and Kendra Silva. Aiden, Kylie, Isaiah, Rhett
Originally from Lynden, WA, Rob and Kendra joined the Staff team Jan 2018. God has filled them with a love for youth and children and a desire to minister to them as well as a heart to reach the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Rob loves cooking meals for his family, which they love and devour. He is looking forward to learning how to cook for larger groups. Kendra and the kiddos are also looking forward to helping out in the kitchen and wherever they can at Camp Bighorn. We as a family are excited to be here, and are looking forward to feeding hungry campers so that they can go and have their souls fed by the Bread of Life (John 6:35).
Administration Director -
Garrett and Anna Boon. Teslyn, Warren.
Garrett graduated in April 2011 from Prairie Bible College with a Bachelors in Ministry and Outdoor Leadership.
Anna, looking for education in Christian camping, also found Prairie Bible College. She attended from 2008-2009, completing the one year certificate program. We met during that year and became engaged during Garrett’s senior year.
After getting married, we moved down to Georgia. We began working at a resort and conference center. Anna worked as a receptionist and waitress and Garrett helped build, maintain, and train their staff for the World’s Largest Zip Line Canopy Tour.
This job was a change from the Christ-centered atmosphere at Bighorn, and we struggled a bit. While we were doing our best and prospering in the job, we started longing for a more meaningful reason for our labor (something other than pure entertainment).
Around this time the Administration Director position opened up at Bighorn, and after some prayerful consideration, we made the move in January 2013.
Camp Bighorn is an excellent place for children to grow up and we look forward to our kids, Teslyn and Warren, growing in this environment. We also love to work here because of the ability to engage students, campers and staff in a purposeful way, being able to share joys and sorrows with them. Even as we are learning how to be better leaders we know God is using us in this ministry to train and mentor Christian leaders to go out to share the Gospel.
Program Director and Graphics Designer -
Reuben and Sarah Stratford. Robyn, Holly, Boone.
I (Reuben) take joy in being able to facilitate environments where people can step into new experiences and do more than what they thought they could do. When possible, I also relish the opportunity to walk alongside people as they step into adventures. I have seen God work powerfully through adventure ministry here at Camp Bighorn.
I received a BA in Ministry and Outdoor Leadership from Prairie Bible College, and later received an MA in Spiritual Formation from George Fox Seminary, primarily to prepare to be able to teach more classes in Bighorn's college program.
Sarah actually came to Bighorn before I did. She's been serving here sine 1999 full time. Her various positions over the years have the theme of serving behind the scenes. Currently she is our Graphics Designer, Store Manager, and Interior Decorator. If anyone wants to hang a picture or paint a wall, it gets run by her first. We serve at Camp Bighorn with our whole family. Our kids are stepping into service more and more as they grow and step into relationships with the students and staff. After 18+ years here, our family continues to cherish the opportunity see God work both through and in us at Camp Bighorn.
Journey Directors -
Adam and Sheena. Zach, Sydney.
Ever since we got married in 2004, our mission has been to equip kingdom leaders through relationships and shared experiences. Camping and adventure ministries have always been close to our hearts and we are excited that God has called us to continue pursuing this at Bighorn.
Adam and Sheena grew up in the Northwest and met the summer before attending Multnomah Bible College. From there, we have had the opportunities of working in the hospitality industry, construction, Christian camping, commercial tourism, local churches, Young Life, and Love In The Name of Christ. We have two children, Zachary and Sydney, who are home schooled and loved to be involved in ministry as a family. We have lived in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. God has used each place and the people there to grow us more and more into the image of His Son Jesus and open our eyes to His love for the world.
Adam first attended Bighorn as a high school adventure camper in 1998. He went back the following year as a camper and spent an extra week helping in the kitchen. He grew up in the country, playing in the woods and loves all things that get his adrenaline pumping. Sheena grew up in SW Washington and loves to sing, dance, and throw themed parties. Zachary loves to build with Legos, run around outside, and figure out how things work. Sydney loves to sing, dance, and make new friends everywhere she goes.
We joined the staff team in June 2017 and are excited to serve the Lord together with the staff at Bighorn as we direct the Journey Program!
After attending the Explore Program and finishing a B.A. in Youth Ministry, Caleb worked at a residential program for teens “at risk” for one year. Having a passion for the outdoors, Caleb came on Camp Bighorn staff in May of 2008 to begin Venture, a program that puts on adventure experiences with underprivileged youth, addiction recovery groups, and residential boarding schools.
In December of 2006, Jen first came to Camp Bighorn with her youth group from Lighthouse Christian Center of Puyallup, WA. Her illustrious career has spanned from dabbling in the kitchen (which led to her to becoming Kitchen Manager), a season segueing into Facilities (cleaning bathrooms, dorms and cabins, oh my!), as well as moonlighting as Summer Registrar, and Out-trip Food Coordinator. Currently, her occupation is full time mom, and works at a resort nearby as a Professional Massage Therapist.
The Sapps have an incredible little girl, Aneliese Montana, whose favorite things to do include picking and eating blueberries, swinging, finger painting, reading stories, and “White” (Polar) Bear wrestling with her daddy.
Operations Director and Registrar -
Jonny and Hannah Dirks
Our passion and desire is to see young people develop strong Christian character and leadership skills through adventure and spending time in God’s creation and His Word.
Jonny will be serving on the Operations team doing building projects and helping maintain Bighorn’s vehicles and facilities.
Hannah is a member of the Admin team - answering phones, registering campers, etc.
We both grew up outside of Montana (Minnesota and New York). Jonny attended Emmaus Bible College and graduated with a Degree in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry.
Hannah attended Prairie Bible College in Canada and was part of the Explore program which was spent partly at Bighorn. She spent a summer as an intern and decided to come on staff in January 2016.
We met each other at Camp and through serving together we got to know and appreciate each other’s passion and desire for God. We got married in June 2017 and are excited to continue serving in this ministry together.
Current Journey Directors -
Erick and Amy Ellison
We are a young, enthusiastic, and a passionate couple who are excited about what God’s up to in this world and the things that He’s choosing to do through us and in us as we
partner with him. Amy and I (Erick) grew in places far apart from each other and far away from the wild state of Montana.
Amy spent her growing up years in Newberg, Oregon and I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan (though I also claim the whole state of Minnesota as my home). In May of 2015 we got married. To us this marriage was and is as sign of our desire to partner together to reach for the mission that God has beckoned us to. That mission is one of restoring the broken hearted and bringing peace into a world full of chaos.
Summer Staff Coordinator -
Growing up in SW Colorado, the love for the outdoors and wilderness experiences has been vital to my life. After working at three different summer camps in Colorado I took a leap of faith to a different summer camp in Maryland. This camp influenced the direction of my life, as I realized God had a calling of full time ministry for my life. I dropped my pursuit of a secular degree and transferred to Montana Bible College.
I graduated in 2016, having pursued a double concentration of Outdoor Discipleship and Biblical Counseling. I joined the full-time staff that summer of 2016.
Jesus has been and will continue to be the reason I get up in the morning. His calling on my life has led to the joining of my passion of sharing the love and saving grace of Jesus, with my passion for the outdoors.
Summer Intern Coordinator -
I grew up in Lubbock Texas. I attended Texas Tech University. God has really given me the heart to encourage and build up the body of Christ.
In the summer of 2013, I came on summer staff at Bighorn, and first experienced what Bighorn was all about. The following summer I was given an opportunity to step into an internship role with Bighorn. This role gave me more insight into the inner workings of the camp and a greater appreciation for the ministry. It was around that time that God really began working on my heart and calling me to join into His work at Camp Bighorn full-time.
I met my wife Kaylin at Bighorn and we were married in 2017. She works in town and volunteers at Camp when she can.
My desire is to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ by speaking truth into their lives and being a source of encouragement through whatever trials they experience. At Bighorn I can combine my love for the outdoors and adventure with my desire to develop intentional relationships with those around me.
Program Equipment Manager -
My name is Amber Smiley. I was introduced to Camp Bighorn at the age of 4 when my family moved to Montana to join the staff. As I have grown up God has laid on my heart a desire to work at Camp Bighorn full time. In 2014 I stepped into my first summer as summer staff. Since then God has shaped me to join my Bighorn family long term. I am a home-school graduate who loves God, my family, and Christian camping. Watching my parents direct camps over the years has influenced me greatly and I am so excited to see all God has planned as I step into my new role. I enjoy reading my Bible, animals, being outside, and swing dancing.
I love the community of Bighorn. We are a family who stands by each other and works to build up the team physically and spiritually. I am excited to be in a position where I can build people up in this way. It is this unique environment that makes Bighorn special to me.
Retreat Coordinator & Bookkeeper -
Ron and Kathy Hargis
Serving at Bighorn since late 2015, Kathy and I both have a love for the beauty and adventure of the outdoors. I (Ron) grew up in Dearborn Hts. Mich., just outside of Detroit, while Kathy grew up in Santa Clara CA, south of San Francisco.
We’ve been married now for 34+ years and have tried to live life with a “go for it – risk is healthy” attitude.
Our family has been involved in local and international lay-ministries and mission teams for many years; from working with the homeless in downtown Seattle… to overseas mission projects in various countries like the Philippines, Africa, Vietnam and Thailand. We’ve always had a passion for going on “adventures with God” and have simply wanted to serve where needed.
Operations Team Member -
I grew up on a farm in eastern Alabama. I never saw myself as someone who would want or even think about going into full time ministry. All that changed when I heard about Camp Bighorn in 2012 through members of my church. That was the turning point in my life even though I didn’t know it. God really started to work in my life through work, the farm, and church. During this time He was teaching me patience, leadership, and a willingness to listen.
In 2015 I first went to Camp Bighorn to work on summer staff. While there, God was teaching me how to trust in others and how to trust in Him. It wasn’t till my second summer at Bighorn that He showed me the bigger picture. Through Bighorn I saw how God was working in other people’s lives. I asked God to lead me in the way He wanted me to go to show others His love. The first two weeks of staff training that summer, I knew God was trying to tell me something but I didn’t know what. During one of our first staff devotions our leader, Josh Vender Meer, read from Mark 10:17-22, the parable about “The Rich Young Ruler” which talks about following Jesus. After studying the parable some more and asking God what He was trying to tell me through it, I realized God was calling me to serve Him at Camp Bighorn.
In this new adventure, I asked God where at Bighorn should I serve. I have always loved working with my hands and felt like I could serve God and Bighorn through the operations team. I am excited to see how God will use me in this new adventure. My hope and prayer is that He will use me to show others His love through my time at Camp Bighorn.
East Coast Liaison -
Josh Vander Meer
I came to Bighorn in summer 2007. I went to college at Taylor University in Indiana graduating with a Bachelors Degree in International Studies. I thought the ticket to importance was serving overseas as a missionary. After graduating, however, I found myself unable to take any steps in that direction, not propelled on by any sense of vision or clarity. That began a four-year process in my life of listening, discerning, serving, and being humbled. God was at work in His silence.
I deeply desire to see God’s people live out the faith that they express with their lips. Out of this vision comes my mission to walk with people through life experiences to help them process and obey God’s truth in the midst of their circumstances.