The Gap Year program enables high school graduates to truly live out their faith through intense service and study in a unique environment of outdoor adventure and all-out commitment to Christ. This program is for those to who seek a different kind of classroom built on community, adventure, service, study, scripture, and intentional service.
This nine-month program enables graduates to gain a unique outlook on life by stepping out of the norm and living life with a sharper focus and vision for the future. Participants will learn what it means to be a true disciple by following God, living without compromise, and escaping the trappings of this world. The Gap Year program is not "a break" from the every day rhythm life, it's a challenging commitment that will stretch each participant and inspire courage for the future that could potentially change the course of their life forever.
Read more about what we believe.
at a glance
Time spent during the Camp Eagle Gap Year will be divided among five key areas of focus: study, service, Sabbath, time-off and vacation.
Over the nine-month period, approximately 300 hours will be spent in class-time, learning modules, training and experience-driven learning. Students will have required textbooks and reading assignments. Gap Year offers several learning modules including:
- How to study the Bible
- Basic Christian Doctrine and Theology
- Finances and the Bible
- World Views and Religions
Download tentative detailed curriculum topics.
Nine different adventure trips will take place during the gap year providing a foundation for learning and application. A central part of the Camp Eagle gap year, these trips are where life-lessons turn into memories that provide a foundation for Christ-like change. Although adventures change year-to-year, these are among out most popular adventures:
- Backpacking at Camp Eagle
- Camping at Padre Island
- Pecos River Trip
- Big Bend
- Guadalupe Mountains
- Worldview trip in Austin
- Climbing at Enchanted Rock
- Solo trip at Camp
Students serve several thousands of guests who attend Camp Eagle in the non-summer months. They provide the behind-the-scenes "backbone" for our Spring programs. This includes:
- Belaying rock climbs and rappels
- Running the zip line,
- Work projects, cleaning
Students will also serve the local community of Rocksprings, Texas by:
- Conducting a Sunday night youth group
- Serving families
The combined time in service will not exceed 40% of the gap year.
Gap Year requires times of rest to focus on a personal relationship with God. In fact, it's so important, it is a requirement because apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5). Gap Year sets aside scheduled times for focused quietness, rest, and worship.
Students will have time off throughout the nine-month period. The Walkabout Director may allow students to use this time to shop for basic necessities, take personal trips into town, and have free time.
Students will be given five days off for Thanksgiving and two weeks off for Christmas. An additional five days of vacation time are allowed during the program, upon approval by the Gap Year director. Days off will also be regularly scheduled. Parents and friends are welcome to come to Camp Eagle to visit any time. Visitations must be pre-approved by Camp Eagle at least two weeks in advance.
Competitor magazine declared Camp Eagle "Texas' best adventure destination." It's no surprise with 1400 acres of rugged Hill Country along with natural caves, a quarter mile of 150' limestone cliffs, and 1.5 miles of the crystal clear Nueces River. That's more natural resources jammed into one space than most camps across the nation can claim.
Gap Year operates out of the Wilderness campus of Camp Eagle where gear, provisions and showers are found. Newly constructed log cabins are what Gap Year students call home for the nine months at Camp Eagle. During adventure trips students may sleep under the stars and cook over an open flame, but Base Camp's Mi Casa lodge and dining hall (known for the best food on Camp Eagle grounds) offers a taste of home with a fully equipped kitchen. Mi Casa offers enough comfort and a centralized location to make it the perfect spot for hanging out.
of Gap Year
Wilderness adventure is a large part of the Gap Year experience because the combination of adventure, outdoor experiences and Christian community provide a classroom that can't be found anywhere else. It's these adventures that make lasting imprints on young minds and chart the course for a life of Christ-like change.
Valuable Life Experiences
Through the Gap Year program, life lessons are learned in a safe environment where community applauds achievement and encourages in times of struggle. Faith is strengthened Fall to Spring, as students get first-hand ministry opportunities serving in school groups, trail races, church retreats, and more. Life-skills are acquired through safety training in high-rope elements, lifeguarding and cooking. Service and servant hood are learned through behind-the-scenes work that allows Camp Eagle guests to have little distraction in experiencing God's purpose for them while at camp.
Discipleship at Camp Eagle is about exploring the foundational tools necessary for growing in Christ. Challenge the concept of what it means to truly follow God, discover, as Jesus' disciples did, that following Christ is accomplished through acts of simple obedience. The nature of Gap Year is to amplify and simplify the call to discipleship so living for Christ becomes the greatest desire.
Gap Year teaches the benefit of commitment through daily challenges and Biblically inspired training. Students take nine months to separate from old habits, routines, television, i-devices and other distractions. In return, they learn the value of deep commitment, a daily conversation with God, community interaction and serving others in love. While some of the daily 'niceties' of life are foregone, there's no comparison to the eternal benefits and wisdom gained.
Sometimes called "bridge-year programs," many colleges and universities recognize the value of a gap year to develop students into more focused, disciplined, mature and confident adults. Many schools encourage admitted students to participate in gap year programs to boost school statistics for higher graduation rates in less time.
Princeton's support for bridge year programs
For example, Princeton University values bridge year programs so much that they recently (Sept 2008) committed to underwrite the majority of the cost for 20 people to attend a bridge year program for an entire year before entering as a freshman at Princeton.
Harvard's support for bridge-year programs
The Admissions Department at Harvard College encourages bridge-year activities. "Harvard College encourages admitted students to defer enrollment for one year to travel, pursue a special project or activity, work, or spend time in another meaningful way..."
Many wonder if the cost of a gap year will add to the already high cost of education. Yet it is likely that attending Gap Year will greatly minimize the total cost of education.
Gap year programs can provide direction and clarification for study majors in those who are unsure of their study direction. Statistics show that most students take more than four years to complete a degree. Many of these students are undecided on their field of study resulting in unnecessary time and money invested in college tuition. Gap years reduce the likelihood that participating students join in that statistic. For further reading:
Only 37% of people who enter college graduate in four years, with most students graduating in five. For this see a 2004 article by CNN Money.
Gap Year values the careful study of the Bible in order to gain knowledge of the Truth and to cultivate a life of obedience to God. The Bible is sufficient and trustworthy to faithfully guide every aspect of the lives of God's people (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Gap Year values genuine community that is characterized by love and service toward others. This is based upon the great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:37-40).
Gap Year values unique experiences as a teaching tool. This includes adventures in outdoor wilderness and city settings. In fact, Jesus utilized adventure in his own ministry as a powerful teaching tool. In order to mold the twelve disciples, Jesus embarked on wilderness adventures (Mark 4:35-41) and sent his disciples on an adventure in a residential city setting (Mark 6:6-13).
Gap Year values faithful, dedicated work and sacrificial service towards others using a servant leadership model (John 13:1-17).
Because of the emphasis Camp Eagle places on modelling the behavior of Jesus Christ, Gap Year graduates leave with more Christ-like in their thinking and living than when they arrive. Christ-like change is a goal for every student in Gap Year because we believe (Rom 8:28-29; 1 Cor 11:1; Phil 2:5; 1 Pet 2:21; Heb 12:1-3).
Gap Year graduates will have a deeper grasp of their identity in Christ, a greater understanding of their unique abilities and personality, and a clarification of vocational and/or educational pursuits in alignment with God's purpose for them.
Understanding of Basic Christian Theology
Gap Year graduates will understand, and be able to express and defend the Biblical teaching on basic systematic theological topics. Graduates will also gain knowledge and experience in using tools to help in the careful interpretation and application of the Bible. Gap Year graduates will also be able to use Scripture to defend their personal stance on controversial issues.
Expansion of World View
Gap Year students have a greater understanding and heart for the poor, forgotten, and neglected. In addition, they will have a greater knowledge of other world-views, religions, and cultures.
Gap Year students have a better work ethic, a greater amount of self-discipline, basic knowledge of handling finances, and other life-skills necessary for living an impacting and effective Christian life.
Dates & Rates
August 20th, 2016 - May 13, 2017
Students must arrive no later than 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 20th.
Walkabout Program Tuition: $10,800
$1,000 non-refundable deposit is due upon acceptance into the program.
$9,800 in total is due upon arrival.
Walkabout fees include all meals, lodging, trips, education, staff shirts, a Red Cross lifeguard/CPR certification, and all program related expenses.
Do I need health insurance?
Camp Eagle does not provide health insurance for Walkabout students. However, we highly encourage every student who attends Walkabout to be covered by health insurance. Due to recent changes in health insurance laws and the nature of the Walkabout program, many students will be able to remain on their parent's health insurance policies. However, if individual health insurance is needed, Camp Eagle can help you find individually tailored policies at competitive rates.
Is it wise to ensure admission to college even though attending the Walkabout program?
Yes. Due to the competitive nature of admission to some colleges, it is smart for high school students to apply for these schools in high school when they have time and available resources (i.e. high school counselors). Then, once accepted, contact the college to inform them of your decision to attend a gap-year program and take advantage of a deferred enrollment. Many colleges will hold scholarships and other financial-aid until you attend the next year.