Scenic view of trees at camp

Join the (Work) Crew

by Lisa Archinal


You’ve heard it said that as Christians, we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Pine Cove Work Crews are to Pine Cove’s ministry as the hands and feet are to the body. Volunteers who selflessly serve on Work Crew provide the support and structure needed for our ministry to be effective. 

Work Crew has been one of Pine Cove’s best kept secrets, but we want to shout this opportunity from the mountaintops! There’s no better way to come to Pine Cove for free in the fall and spring!


Sure, Pine Cove has the most amazing summer camps, but that’s only part of the story. Each year, we serve about 300 retreat groups in the non-summer months. That amounts to 25,000 guests, resulting in more than 100,000 dishes needing to be washed! Work Crews are a vital part of giving our retreat guests the hospitality and service that is on par with the Pine Cove standard of excellence.


Tom Earle, Missions Coordinator and Head Cross Country & Track Coach at Woodlands Christian Academy, has been bringing his athletes to serve on Work Crew for the past several  years. Coach Earle says serving at Pine Cove allows them focused time as a team. When they have down time, they run, have team devotions, and bond through activities. When asked how the kids feel about working on the weekend he says, “At first they think they’re going to camp just to play and have fun. Then they realize they’re going to be working. They make doing dishes and cleaning tables into a game. They love hearing thank you’s from the guests and realize volunteering is pretty cool.”

Tom brings his cross-country team in the fall and his track team in the spring. It’s become a well-known tradition; so well known that Coach often has a waiting list of kids who want to go.

That’s the nuts and bolts, but here’s the heart of it: Pine Cove understands the value of weekend downtime. That’s why our volunteer Work Crews get more than dishpan hands. We build in opportunities for your group to relax together and have intentional fellowship with one another. 


One of Pine Cove’s long-standing partners is Faithbridge Church in Houston. They had this to say about the impact of bringing teams to serve on work crew: “The most impactful thing we get to enjoy out of serving at Pine Cove is seeing the difference between who our teams are when we arrive versus who they are when we leave. There is a night and day difference between the formation of relationships and spiritual identity in our teams. The context of service is what unites them.”

Serving is the call of Christ. Galatians 5:13 states, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh but through love, serve one another.” It is through service that we gain a better understanding of the heart of Christ. Volunteering may be the primary avenue through which youth and adults learn the heart of ministry and become more energetic and effective participants in ministry moving forward. 

If you are a coach, parent, or church leader, you will want your group to be part of a Pine Cove Work Crew. Enjoy God’s beautiful creation while serving and growing closer together in Christ. Work Crews are the hands and feet of our retreat season. Fusing Work Crew service with Pine Cove ministry provides an atmosphere for the Lord to move in powerful ways at camp. Join us!  


Here’s the scoop on work crews:

Who: All kinds of groups can serve – families, scout troops, church groups, sports teams. Do you have a group? You can serve on Work Crew! Volunteers must be at least 14 years of age. (families that have younger siblings can still come).

What: Volunteers have a tremendous impact on the success of Pine Cove’s ministry through weekend serving. Groups help with meals, clean up, and might complete a big project around camp. Work Crews are also given time for team-building, relaxation, and fun. Pine Cove provides food and lodging.

When: Weekends during retreat season, typically September through April.

Where: Any of our ten camp locations in Columbus and Tyler.

How: Contact our Retreats team —

For our Central Texas region, email

For our East Texas region, email 

Posted Sep 25, 2019

Lisa Archinal

Development & Marketing Executive

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