Our Story

In 1946 Jack Wyrtzen received a visit from a real estate agent who said, “Jack, I know you work with young people; you ought to open a camp. I have a beautiful piece of property up in the Adirondack Mountains on Schroon Lake.” Jack was uncertain about expanding into the camping ministry, but after visiting the property and praying, he decided to move forward.

In a miraculous way, God moved upon the hearts of various people—forty-seven in all—who gave generously to meet the purchase price of this property, which is now the Word of Life Island Youth Camp. The first camping season opened in 1947. From that simple beginning, God blessed and continued to bless by adding to the Word of Life camping ministry in a remarkable way.
The Word of Life Inn—formerly the Brown Swan Hotel and Cottages—was purchased in 1953. Now Word of Life not only had an Island for teenagers, but also the Word of Life Inn for adults. However, what about a camp for younger boys and girls?

Between 1955 and 1973, two more pieces of property were purchased, which became the Word of Life Ranch & Ranger Camp. Then in 1975, the Word of Life Family Campground was purchased, completing the Word of Life camping experience in the state of New York.

A new miracle camp property came into existence in Hudson, Florida, and construction began on the World Bible Conference and Resort Center and Youth Camp in 1988. The Word of Life Florida Youth Camp runs a Junior Camp (ages 6-12) and a Teen Camp (ages 7-12).

Today, Word of Life has camping ministries in the United States and in 67 additional countries around the world. Every year new families experience Word of Life, discovering a place of physical and spiritual refreshment. Whether young or young-at-heart, you will find a friendly welcome at Word of Life Camps, plus dynamic programs, challenging Bible teachers, life-changing ministry focus, and relationships that will leave you feeling refreshed!


Who We Are

Meet the Staff

Word of Life Island – New York
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Tom Phillips

Camp Director

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Tommy Sewall

Assistant Camp Director

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Phil Armstrong

Assistant Camp Director of Operations

Florida Youth Camp
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Rich Andrews

Director of Florida Ministries

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Jay Sanders

Assistant Camp Director

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Joel Corrales

Assistant Camp Director of Operations

Word of Life Ranch and Ranger Camp – New York
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Jonathan Nazigian (“Marshal Jon”)

Camp Director

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Mark Bodlien (“Buffalo Bodie”)

Assistant Camp Director

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Matt Layton (“Maverick Matt”)

Counseling Coordinator

Word of Life Family Campground – New York
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Jason Perkins

Camp Director

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Eric Messer

Assistant Camp Director

Word of Life Snow Camp – New York
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Tom Phillips

Camp Director

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Tommy Sewell

Assistant Camp Director

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Jason Headlee

Assistant Camp Director

Word of Life Inn and Family Lodge – New York
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Lyle Hartwell

Managing Director

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Jeffrey Haines

Guest Service Coordinator

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Tim Hunt

Business and Operations Manager

Additional Staff
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Roger Peace

Vice President, Youth and Family Camps