Scenic view of trees at camp

Alumni Sweetheart Stories

by Chelsea Connor


There are a lot of couples who originally met while working together at Pine Cove, and every once in a while we love to spotlight a few. After all, serving together while praising Jesus is a great place to meet someone!


Julia “Tweet P” & Westley “Wild Hog” Eyester

It was a cool, sunny Winterfest December day when the sparks began to fly at the Timbers. Westley and I were assigned to work free time together at the ropes course when we met. He was wrapping up his first semester in the Forge program and I came up for the weekend to work the Winterfest conference. About a month later, he gave me a call to ask me on a date, and the rest is history!

We also had a chance to work on summer staff together the following year. He was the Work Crew Director and I was a Senior Counselor. In one skit that summer, Westley’s skit character proposed to my character with a DEAD FISH. No joke. Ironic, because we got engaged that December. Probably no thanks to the fish.

My favorite thing, though, is that we decided to start off our life together right where it all began.  Westley works full-time at Pine Cove as the Fleet Manager for East Texas. We are so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to live amidst such a great community here! #ThanksPineCove


Monty “Bat Awesome” & Molly “Legends” Spurgeon

I met Monty in the summer of 2012. He was the Program Director at the Ranch and I was the Assistant Program Director at the Towers, so our paths crossed a few times over the summer. Fast forward a few months when we both began working full time at camp. Monty was at the Timbers and I was at the Ranch, separated merely by Lake Lackawanna.

We became great friends and went on the same Commission Camping trip together to Peru in January… and we’ve all experienced a good mission trip crush. Soon after, we started dating and got married in 2014. I continued working full-time at camp until our daughter Addie was born. We moved to Nashville after summer 2017 and added our son, Shepherd Tyler (after our favorite East Texas small town) to our family.

We will forever be impacted by our time at Pine Cove and will always cherish the hilarious memories, life-giving relationships, and countless life lessons we learned.


Danny “Nine Iron Frenzy” & Ali “Bananarama” Sanabria

We met at the Shores in 2005… our first summer at Pine Cove. Danny still says he totally remembers seeing me for the first time… on stage to be named. 🙂

We became friends the summer of 2005, started dating after our second summer at the Shores in 2006, and fell in love in 2007 (while Danny went through the Forge program and I was in my junior year of college). Then we worked together on the leadership team as Senior Counselors in the summer of 2007, got engaged the following fall, and got married in May of 2008.

We are overwhelmed by God’s goodness in our lives, and we are now happily settled in Dallas where Danny works for Southwest Airlines and I stay home with our four sweet kiddos. Pine Cove will ALWAYS be so close to our hearts, and we dream of being family campers one day!


Stephanie “La La Lily” & Brad “Shining Shimmering Splendid” Daughetry

Brad and I met the summer of 2010 at the Towers. My car was actually behind his as we waited for the gates to open during orientation! He was the worship leader and I was a counselor, and we both served as lifeguards that summer. We became friends and stayed in touch the following school year. I convinced him to work Winterfest, and then ultimately to come back for another summer. We were both Senior Counselors the summer of 2011, and he led worship again at the Towers.

Brad planned our first date on one of our nights off together. After that summer, we were engaged by March and married by October!

Brad is currently on staff at New Beginnings Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, and we now have a one-year-old baby boy, James, who we hope gets to experience Pine Cove one day. We will forever be thankful for how God used Pine Cove to bring our family together!


Michael “Biking Viking” & Lacey “MiFun” Dimbicki

Michael and I were students in the Forge class of 2013. I had worked at the Towers and the BGC-Camp in the City, and Michael had worked at the Timbers and Base Camps. We were good friends in the Forge, but went our separate ways afterwards and really only saw each other at Forge reunions and weddings. Two years later, I was looking for a guest speaker to teach on mentorship and discipleship at my workplace, and I kept thinking of Michael Dembicki. He worked for Pine Cove IWS, and I knew he was gifted at presenting biblical concepts to folks regardless of their backgrounds. Turns out the day I called him, he had told one of our Forge brothers that he was planning to ask me on a date. He came and spoke to my class, then asked me out on a date two weeks later at a Forge wedding on Valentine’s Day!

Michael proposed under the big oak tree at Crier Creek, and we got married in July 2016! We love marriage and life in Dallas. Michael is the Facilities Director at Fellowship Dallas Church and I get to work with prospective foster and adoptive parents with Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services.


Sydney “Lalala Drop the Wombeat” & Joel “Deaf Not” McGowan

During the summer of 2014, I came home from my first summer at the Towers telling my parents that a senior counselor I became friends with was “the funniest guy I ever met.” Also, in a weird plot twist, he was my “name dad,” so I called him Dad (yikes).

We stayed friends at Baylor that school year, and the next summer I came back as a senior counselor while Joel traveled the US in a van like all dudes do after they graduate, right? The Sunday morning right before campers came, he professed his feelings for me over the phone, and we proceeded to write letters and FaceTime on the weekends while I sweated my watermelon off at camp. The day I got back from camp, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Fast forward a year, and during the summer of 2016 we both found ourselves back at the Towers as program directors (0/10 would recommend dating your serious boyfriend while working with him at camp). While I waited every weekend for one of our rushed (but much needed) dates to end with a ring on my finger, it wasn’t until that November that he popped the question. Our April wedding was filled with a rowdy group of fellow Towers comrades, and I wouldn’t want our story to go any other way.


Do you have your own story of meeting on staff at Pine Cove? Leave a comment below to let us know!

Posted Feb 12, 2019

Chelsea Connor

Former Staff

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