Mission and History

Our Mission

Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters exists to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the exposition of Scripture and personal relationships in order to equip the Church to impact this generation.

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Snowbird aims to make known the authority and supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things, to all peoples, at all times. We strive to:

  1. Profess Christ as the One who conquered death, hell and the grave for the salvation of man to the glory of the Father.
  2. Reveal man’s need for redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ.
  3. Point students to the hope and sufficiency of the Gospel found in Jesus alone, for the salvation of the lost and sanctification of the believer.
  4. Preach the Word through spoken means, daily in Gospel-focused worship services and relevant breakout sessions.
  5. Offer creative means by which the Word is reinforced, using drama, media, and interactive prayer stations.

We believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, written by men and divinely inspired by God. It is the utmost authority by which we:

  1. Teach and preach, making the main point of the text the main point of the message.
  2. Teach staff and students to study through Scripture in its own context and to its original audience.
  3. Use Scripture as a foundation for our everyday lives, knowing it is applicable to all peoples for all times.
  4. Offer daily worship services centered on the Word of God.
  5. Equip students to pursue Jesus fervently and faithfully.
  6. Affirm biblical theology and its application, trusting the Holy Spirit to deepen godly affection by proclamation of truth.

We strive to engage students through biblical, relational ministry. We do so through:

  1. The shared experiences afforded by top-tier, high-adventure recreation.
  2. Maintaining low ratios of staff to students.
  3. Intentionally assigning staff to work with individual church groups.
  4. Daily discipleship group meetings.
  5. A staff modeling biblical community.

We are passionate about coming alongside student pastors and churches for the spread of the Gospel. We believe this happens by:

  1. Serving alongside the local church to provide tools and resources to aid in student ministry.
  2. Offering year-round retreats and conferences, tailored to impact students, men and women, marriages, families and ministry leaders.
  3. Providing teaching sessions, podcasts, session curricula, worship music, videos and one-on-one conversations that all point back to the Gospel.
  4. Partnering with local churches for long-term ministry effectiveness and discipleship.

We believe the Great Commission is non-negotiable and that to fulfill this biblical mandate, we must continually train up and empower this generation. It is essential that we:

  1. Equip students by equipping parents and leaders in the local church.
  2. Teach students the importance of daily study of the Word of God and how to do so.
  3. Challenge students to be on mission at home and abroad.
  4. Intentionally cultivate a Christian worldview that is unwavering in an increasingly hostile environment.
  5. Realize the command to “go and make disciples” encompasses the local church, our communities and the ends of the earth.
  6. Train students to become godly men, women, husbands, wives, parents, and leaders.
  7. Love people well and desire to see the Church planted among all peoples.

History of Snowbird

It was the mid-1990s when Steve “Kahuna” Coleman cast the vision for an outdoor wilderness camp. With the help of his son-in-law and daughter, Brody and Little Holloway, he purchased some 100 acres of family land near the base of the Snowbird Mountains in Andrews, N.C., and began preparations for what would become Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters. During its first year of operation in 1998, Snowbird offered a 50-person capacity in its three housing facilities and had nearly 200 junior high and high school students visit its campus.

The following year, Snowbird offered its first seven weeks of summer camp with a staff of six, in addition to six retreat weekends. Camp attendance advanced to more than 600 students that year. The next several years brought about many additional facility and recreational changes, including Snowbird’s first kitchen, bathhouses, additional housing, the 3-man Swing and a variety of other recreation.

As Snowbird developed throughout the years, the organization’s leaders saw fit to establish specific ministry programs in order to meet the ever-growing needs of its publics. Today those ministries take the form of Snowbird Wilderness Outfitters camps and retreats, the Outdoor Leadership and Discipleship School, founded in 2002, and Snowbird Missions and Outreach, founded in 2005.

Over the years, Snowbird has grown from a 50-person to a 470-person housing capacity. Its year-round discipleship weekends and 11 weeks of summer camp serve nearly 10,000 annually. Snowbird now operates with a 50-member year-round staff, more than a dozen of which serve through a year-round apprentice program created to disciple men and women in their early adult years. During the summer season, Snowbird hires an additional 100 college-age adults to serve as small group leaders and recreational staff, as well as nearly 20 high school students to train under the Servant Team program.