Learning by Doing

Brandon ZeekCatalina Island has a secret non-traditional school that has been in session at Gallagher’s Cove for 62 years. The majority of students—some fresh out of high school or college, others taking a break from academia—think of themselves not as students but as camp volunteers or short term employees. They are people who learn best by doing and pay their tuition with sweat. The majority spend a semester with us. Others stay on for a year or two. Their teachers are all former students who decided to make a career of their experience. Our graduates number over a thousand.

Learning Skills

This fall the Campus by the Sea school of experiential learning has twelve students/crew members. Some appreciate the skills they have learned. Jake Pearson worked in the kitchen all summer under the direction of our Executive Chef  . He reports that his cooking skills have improved immensely. Melody Board has learned to drive a boat, a tractor, and fix things. While wearing scuba gear, Brandon Zeek spent six hours a day for six week at the bottom of the ocean pumping sand for the volleyball court. In the process he discovered his calling in life. He loves the world under the surface. God speaks to him there.

The Value of Living in Christian Community

Rose MizuharaLearning to live and work harmoniously with other people is never easy but it is so important. Lessons learned early on will influence relationships with family, neighbors, and fellow employees for a lifetime. David Kullman put it this way, “My social skills have grown tremendously because I have had to learn how to adapt to a community lifestyle.” Rose Mizuhara said, “I love working at CBS. The people here are now part of my family. The community is so refreshing. Waking up every morning, walking down the fairway, I am reminded of God’s love for us through all of the beauty that he has created.”



Melody BroadServanthood is a core Biblical value that is better caught than taught and our young staff seem to demonstrate an understanding beyond their years. Martin Stanley expressed it this way: “I have learned many things over the last few months but the thing I’ve learned about the most is having a servant’s heart. Just learning that it is not about praise or someone telling me that I did a good job, but it is about serving the campers. I want to make sure they have a peaceful and safe time at camp.” Jonny Maynard said that servanthood was something he heard talked about prior to CBS but at camp it is lived out in practical ways. He added, “Some days are difficult to do this but then in those moments God’s faithfulness is clearest and his presence the sweetest.”

We are grateful for every one of our short term staff members. They are eager to learn, they work hard, and they have enriched the lives of those they serve.