Young Life Summer Work Experience

Get ready for a summer that will change your life forever.

The YL Summer Work Experience is a summer long experience that combines the real life elements of work, deep community, and spiritual growth.

The purpose of the program is for participants to grow in an abiding, dependent relationship with Jesus Christ. Many maturing and teachable young men and women who are seeking God’s leading have found this program to be a life-changing experience as they have established a firm foundation out of which flows ministry and service.

“It has become so much easier and desirable to trust God with absolutely everything, even when it is scary or when it doesn’t seem to make sense.”

“God really truly loves me. I’ve heard it a lot before, but it moved from head knowledge to heart knowledge.”

“I have learned a lot about God’s sovereignty and grace, His power and love. He doesn’t need me, but desires me. I have learned to find my significance in Him alone and to be totally in love with Him.”

Christian Community

You’ll experience relationships rooted in Christ as you work, live and study God’s word together.

Experiencing living together in cabins, being responsible for your own cooking, shopping, cleaning and laundry, and working various hours will require extra effort to build friendships. Both the encouragement and stress of living together under these circumstances are a very important aspect of the experience. A variety of fun and serious activities planned throughout the summer offer the opportunity to develop friendships that have the potential to last a lifetime. How God uses the community to encourage, challenge, and love one another will be a highlight of the summer.

“I liked being surrounded by people that also strive for a relationship with God.”

“My cabin was amazing, but having so many different lives coming together really made me step back and see who I am and what areas I am weak or strong in.”

“Each night I loved the planned activities and got something each time, serious or not so serious. I feel like this summer was a taste of life to the full.”

Biblical Studies

Get answers to your deepest questions about God.

Some of the questions answered during our Biblical Studies program includes:

  • Do I matter to God?
  • Is He really in control of things?
  • Does He have a purpose for my life?
  • How can I know His will?
  • How should I pray?
  • How does God view my sexuality and relationships with the opposite sex?

These and other topics important to a deepening personal relationship with the Lord will be addressed as you walk through the book Discovery: God’s Answers to Our Deepest Questions, written by Will Wyatt, former Young Life Staff, and published by Navigator’s Dawson Media. Get your questions answered and dialogue with others in a close-knit small group and one-on-one meetings with a leader who cares about what is going on in your life.

Here’s what others are saying:

  • “He (God) wants so much for me to be conformed to the image of Christ, and only He knows and understands how to transform me in this way. Every single thing I experience is because He allows it in my life in order to make me more like Jesus. “
  • “Learning to abide and trust God has changed my life and my approach to all situations.”
  • “My prayer life will be more meaningful. I will pray more about my attitude rather than trying to change the circumstance.”

If you would like to order a copy of Discovery​ click here​ or you may contact us​ directly.

Click here to read the Discovery Synopsis.

Click here to download the Discovery e-book in all versions

Housing and Transportation

At Discipleship Focus you will experience growth, work and fun together.

Participants live together in air-conditioned two-bedroom, two-bath cabins with a living room/kitchen area. A maximum of eight people will live in each cabin. Each person is responsible for their own meals.

The housing in Missouri and Tennessee are just minutes from work. Having a car may be desirable but is absolutely not necessary. ​ If you do not bring a car and depend on others for rides to work, recreation, shopping or entertainment, you must be willing to reimburse the car owner.


An important part of your experience will be working at one of the following attractive parks, allowing you to earn money for the summer.

Silver Dollar City​ is an authentic 1880’s theme park near Branson, Missouri. The lifestyle and crafts of the era are demonstrated and the merchandise displayed and sold. There are a number of 1880’s theme rides, and tours are conducted through one of the largest caves in the country located under the park. Silver Dollar City was honored with the 1999-2000 Applause Award, the theme park industry’s top award of excellence.

Dollywood, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is a one-of-a-kind family theme park. It is nestled in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. In 1986 entertainer Dolly Parton became a partner with Silver Dollar City, Inc., helping to rank this park as one of the top 50 parks in the world in terms of attendance and making it Tennessee’s number one man-made attraction.

White Water​ is a 12-acre water park in the heart of Branson, Missouri. This water park, designed for the whole family, has rides for the little ones and thrill rides and wave pool for the more adventurous. There is plenty of room to relax, eat and soak in some rays, or enjoy shopping in the gift shop.

Dollywoods’ Splash Country​ sits adjacent to Dollywood. This water adventure theme park combines the beauty of the Smoky Mountains with the excitement of water park rides, slides and attractions guaranteed to cool you off on a hot summer day!

The parks have agreed to interview those accepted into this program. A variety of jobs are available including tickets/turnstiles, parking lot/tram operators, cave guides, clerks and cashiers, ride attendants, craft assistants, food service, and lifeguards.

When you are accepted for the program, you will be sent an employment application to fill out and return. You must meet all employment and physical requirements to be hired. Your position will depend on the job openings available when you arrive.

Hourly pay for beginning employees is competitive and dependent on the position. Most participants receive 40 hours of work per week. However, this can fluctuate to be anywhere from 30 to 50 hours per week. You should prepare accordingly. ​ Although you can earn and save money during the summer, your personal Christian growth should be your primary goal. Since positions and pay may not equal your capabilities or experience, you should view your job, salary and total work experience, as part of what God wants you to experience during the summer.

  • “My encounters and conversations at work have definitely contributed to my learning this summer.”
  • “God used my work experience to help me apply His mind….”
  • “I feel like working at the parks is key for this program because there’s no other place that will always challenge me to check my attitude and learn to see others the way God sees them.”


Branson, Missouri

City of Branson​ – Known as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World,” Branson, MO, is truly a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination — and an incredible value — with more than 50 live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, 12 championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, an Historic Downtown district, shopping galore, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and conference facilities.

Silver Dollar City​ – Silver Dollar City, located in Branson, Missouri, combines the wholesome family fun of a major theme park with the timeless appeal of crafts and a dedication to preserving 1880s Ozarks culture. Over 100 craftsmen are on park demonstrating glass blowing, blacksmithing, pottery, candy making, candle making, and many other disciplines. Packed with over 30 rides and attractions, 60 unique shops and restaurants, and 40 dazzling shows a day, Silver Dollar City truly appeals to all ages. It also hosts six major festivals per year and was named one of the Top Theme Parks in The World by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

White Water – White Water is Branson’s only outdoor water park, featuring the largest selection of water rides and attractions in the Ozarks. Drift through a tropical paradise on the 800-foot-long Aloha River at Hula Hula Bay, or brave the seven-story thrill slide, Kalani Towers!Catch a wave in the half-million gallon wave pool, get doused by a 700-gallon bucket of water at Splashaway Cay and race to the bottom of the speed slides on Pipeline Plunge. It’s a wild island adventure at every turn!

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

City of Pigeon Forge​ – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a city inside Sevier County and is located about five miles north of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The city is a wonderful tourism town with plenty of opportunities for family fun in the Smokies.

Dollywood​ – Dollywood theme park is the product of a wonderful relationship between Herschend Family Entertainment and entertainment legend Dolly Parton that dates back to 1985. Herschend Family Entertainment is the operating partner for Dolly Parton in her Dollywood Company, which owns the Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country​ water park, both in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

If the Lord should lead you to join us in furthering this ministry, we will greatly appreciate it.

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