Thomas Groves, a music teacher at Norwest Christian College, has just finished the two year Summit Fellow program with CRU®. Many Summit Fellows begin with CRU because they have been volunteer leaders on Holiday Camps, and want to continue the work they have been doing on those camps, while also getting trained. Though Thomas did have a history with camping ministries, he came to Summit through a different path to most…
CRUview: Tell us about your history with camping ministries.
Thomas Groves: I started doing camps from a very early age, with different organisations. I ran a lot of youth camps with my church. Then when I started teaching, I did seven camps in my first year. I was only working part-time and the staff at the school were like, "Oh. You're young blood. You can go on all the camps." So I got to see a number of different organisations run camps and do camps. My life revolved around doing camps!
CV: What was your first connection with CRU?
TG: My first connection was on a Summit Camp, back in 2014. I was teaching music at the Australian Christian College, which is a distance education school. We got all the kids together for camp at the Crusaders Galston campsite. The teachers ran sessions throughout the day, then the Summit leaders took over and did all the fun stuff! That was the first time I'd ever seen the organisation – I hadn't done any camps with CRU or anything when I was a student.
CV: What did you think of the Summit Camp?
TG: I just loved it. I saw what CRU was doing and thought, wow. These guys are awesome. They are sharing the gospel, they work so hard to see the kids grow in their faith, and they give so much of themselves to every camper. I was blown away by the leadership qualities shown by these young Summit leaders. They were totally showing better teaching qualities than me as a fully qualified teacher! I thought that CRU must be doing something right, producing such outstanding leaders.
CV: So what did you do next?
TG: Well, I thought, I have to go and do this. I took a leap of faith. I was in a great job and I loved my school and I loved my colleagues. I was being paid pretty good money. But the Lord lit a fire in me and I had to follow. I just couldn't extinguish this fire that He had given me for camping ministry. So I decided to become a Summit Fellow.
“I just couldn’t extinguish this fire that God had given me for camping ministry. So I decided to become a Summit Fellow.”
CV: Did it live up to your expectations?
TG: Being a Summit Fellow went above and beyond what I could have ever imagined. It was fantastic. I cannot recommend Crusaders more highly. I grew so much in my relationship with God, and I learned that when I have the opportunity when teaching to share the gospel, I should make the most of that. It was such a good opportunity to learn a bunch of skills that set me up for what was next. I was part of the Summit family. It was a little slice of heaven!
CV: What's next for you?
TG: Now that I've completed the two-year Summit Fellow program, I've accepted a fulltime position teaching music at Norwest Christian College. I would have liked to stay in Crusaders forever but I think that for now, God wants me teaching. You never know, though – I might be back!