Sonlight Leadership Team


Lots of things yet to accomplish at Sonlight, Winston and Mary  look forward to the next year and beyond, and all that it will bring. The routine of retreats in the fall and winter, the joy of summer camp in 2015. Winston is well suited to being an Executive Director, as he continually thinks about “next” … next week, next season, next year … and is passionate about fine tuning all that we do at Sonlight. Mary enjoys the creative side: the creativity of great hospitality, website design, blended with the details of business administration. Sara Tyler continues as registrar, and she has picked up some of the bookeeping for Sonlight as well. She is a rock when it comes to supporting ‘all things Sonlight’. We welcome Chelsea Poest to the year round team, as she finishes up her 4th summer at Sonlight. Chelsea steps in to Heather’s shoes as Program Director. A spring graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, Chelsea’s degree is in communications with a minor in youth ministry and spanish. A great team we are!


Bringing Out The Best In Us: Thanks Heather

HeatherOne Sunday this summer, staff walked a labyrinth for our worship. (Thanks Andrew.) As we walked in silence, it was dramatic how our journeys changed as we moved through the labyrinth together. Sometimes we walked in the same direction as another, and then the path would turn and we would be walking in  different directions.

On this journey we call Sonlight, we love to walk with friends and companions, yet we know that this community is fluid. People come and fill a significant role, then their journey changes and the role they fill will be filled by another. What we do know is that there is never an end, just a change.

Heather Quandt has been with us 7 years, and she is now changing direction. She has brought out the best in us, and her impact is lasting and significant on staff, campers and the heart of the ministry of Sonlight. She will be missed in the position she has filled, but it’s not an end, just a change. We wish you the best Heather, and know that your legacy at Sonlight has changed many, many people.

To Guide and Oversee The Organization

board_fall_2014The Sonlight Board of Directors holds the responsibility of establishing broad policies and objectives, preserving the direction and culture of Sonlight. The Board meets a minimum of twice a year, or as many as 8 times a year as work needs to be accomplished for the organization. The current Sonlight Board of Directors:

Rob Breshears: involved with Sonlight for 24 years as a camper and staff member. Rob is a middle school teacher at Lesher Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado. He met his wife Hannah at Sonlight, and their kids Cedar and Imogene look forward to being campers soon!

Jon Dunham: President of the Sonlight Board, Jon has a 23 year history with Sonlight. His first year was a backpack trip with his youth group from Richardson,Texas. Jon’s other job is Director of Trade Marketing with White Wave Foods in Broomfield, Colorado. Jon met his wife Nicole at Sonlight, and his kids Marshall and Lexi are long time campers.

Mary Marugg: Founding member of Sonlight in 1979, Sonlight has been home for 35 years. Her job description includes business administration, designing and managing the website, as well as all aspects of foodservice and healthcare.

Winston Marugg: Founding member of Sonlight, Winston is able to see the big picture, and focus on the where we should be heading while keeping track of the details of running the daily operation. Winston is Executive Director of Sonlight, solving a bewildering array of situations every day.

Ron McVean: With an 11 year history with Sonlight as a parent to former campers Lexi and Tres, and future camper Bella. Ron brings a rich history of business management to the Board. He is with McVean Investment Group LP in Amarillo, TX.

Tim Thayer has a 19 year history at Sonlight as a camper, then staff member for 11 years. He met his wife Gina at camp, and their 2 sons Toby and Simon will be campers as soon as they are old enough. He is ‘other’ job is Technical Lead  at CACI in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Memories Of Summer 2014


Not to be forgotten, Summer 2014 had some highlights we’ll never forget:

  • Hipster house party
  • HighSchool10day in June
  • Jack’s Shack – donated in memory of Jack Hudson, our new rec shed for ‘all things program’
  • “BTS” – the new slang for ‘behind the scenes” crew
  • Free play areas: mancala, a fort, a gold mining trough, hammock village and tennis ball swing
  • Asphalt walkway from the parking lot to EDub in memory of Donna Strong
  • Medieval times: the counselor capture, jousting and grog
  • Henry camp
  • Gaga (or octaball)
  • The Llama song
  • Messy games
  • The space CD played for banquet night



Speakin’ Into Kids Lives


Giving up a week or 10 days of their time, our speakers generously give, to speak in to kids lives. Thanks to them all:

Douglas Reed: On Sonlight staff summers 2013 and 2014, Doug spoke for Adventure June session. Doug recently finished an internship in worship, and highlights of the week were worship time with middle school kids, and a heart felt message.

Kelsey McLean and Leah Wesselman spoke for Discovery camp in June. Both former staff, Kelsey and Leah brought creativity, joy and fun to their program. Kelsey is  a recent graduate from Gonzaga University, and taking some time for travel before the next chapter of her adventure. Leah is working on a Masters in math at Trinity University.

Todd Shulda: A pastor for youth and families at CenterPoint church in Pagosa Springs, Todd is a long time Sonlight favorite. He is direct and compassionate, willing to face the hard issues that kids are facing at home. Todd spends time regularly with the Sonlight staff, and was speaker for the High School 10Day June session.

Tim Gjefle hails from Washington State, a recent graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane. Tim was on Sonlight staff in 2012, and now teaches in Washington State. Little known fact: he is relentless on a tractor.

Cassie and Kyle Littel, speakers for Adventure Camp in July. Cassie was on staff in 2010. She and Kyle are youth pastors in Wisconsin, and bring fresh perspective and wisdom to working with youth. The kids loved them.

Heidi TeBrink: An athletic trainer at Colorado Christian University, Heidi has long history with Sonlight. On staff for 7 years, she was summer staff and then program director for 2 years. Heidi spoke to High School 10Day in July, and our 10days together was so great as she walked thru the whole book of John. The lives she has impacted at Sonlight are many.

Erin Burr: Sonlight staff member 2013 and 2014, Erin was loved by the little guys at Junior Camp. Wise, funny and compassionate we are grateful for her! Erin is a student at Colorado State University studying Psychology.

Andrew Loyd headed up Service Crew, leading their behind the scenes work, leadership activities as well as the study part of their program. Andrew is in a small group of  long term staff members, logging summer #6 in 2014. In the school year Andrew works with Albuquerque Public Schools with students with disabilities, as they transition out of the APS system.

Joel Bjerkestrand: Joel begin his Sonlight time back in 1987, the first of a 25+ year run bringing youth groups to Sonlight for ski trips. Returning for his 2nd year as speaker for GrandCamp we appreciate his gentle spirit and wisdom. A pastor from the Phoenix area, Joel has a wealth of experience and life stories to share.

Mark Osborn (better known as Sarah’s Dad) is an attorney from El Paso, but has a long run as Sunday school teacher, and is a favorite of all the kids. Returning for his second year speaking to the Discovery kids, we love his wisdom, and skill at communicating his message to this age group.


Backpacking: 2014

south san juans Todd, Mary, Mary, Winston Tope and Benji

The backpack season was limited for Sonlight this summer, as we consider how to reorganize the backpack program. The dayhikes were grand, and the backpack trips we did run were great. A small but hardy group hiked the final backpack trip of the season. The South San Juans were spectacular, recent rains made the trails muddy and the wildflowers an amazing show.

The Impact Of Camp On Staff

rainbowFreeplay : the night sky : campfires : new friends

We talk much about the impact of camp on kids, but what about the impact of camp on the staff?



“Small groups have become a part of the programming most churches offer their people. For the most part, they are disappointing and short-lived – by the very admission of those who try them. There are two reasons. One, you can’t just throw a random group of people together for a twelve week study of some kind, and expect them to become intimate allies. The sort of devotion we want and need takes place within a shared life.”

John and Stasi Eldredge: Ransomed Heart

That’s it – as staff we live together, play together and do the really hard work to create camp for the kids. In the space of 12 weeks we share life together, and the friendships created can last a lifetime. Camp is a unique place in our world, impacting each one of us.

Closing Week of Summer 2014

Discovery Camp: Final week of summer. What a week! We’re full with 4th-5th and 6th graders, a wonderful group of kids. Our speaker is Mark Osborn, Sarah’s Dad, and how glad we are that he is here again this week. Thanks to Hannah R, Megan K, and Ian J, for  volunteering behind the scenes. We appreciate you guys! We said goodbye to Andrew and Joslyn this weekend, how we will miss you. Always hard at the end of summer to say goodbye to staff.

It’s Rainin’ At Camp

hail on the deck  mist in the meadow  Heather sweepin' hail  Rain and hail! We’re getting good moisture, some real down pours. So good for the meadow, the spring water and our soul. It occasionally means a change of schedule, but Heather, Chelsea and program staff have a pocket full of ideas for rainy days. So glad for GrandCampers this week, we have made some new friends, and enjoy our time with returning friends. We close out Grandcamp Saturday afternoon, and Sunday is opening day for our last week of camp for summer 2014. We have an almost-full Discovery camp, which is a great way to finish up the season.

Memories In Your Pocket

Memories in your pocket → Fund the scholarship fund → Kids get to camp → Everybody wins

memoriesinyourpocketSo great! Put the memories from camp on your mobile device, and keep them with you.

When you purchase the photo or video download, 100% of the proceeds go to the Sonlight scholarship fund. In 2014 Sonlight will distribute almost $40,000 from the scholarship fund to help kids attend Sonlight.

$10 for the Photo Download

$10 for the Video Download

Visit the Sonlight website to purchase the Photo and/or Video Download.