All posts by Olivia Staff

2015 Summer Staff

AIM Staff
Rachael Osborn – Winchester, IN
Cody Jorstad – Snellville, GA
Abby Jenks – Saline, MI
Jennifer Horton – Franklin, TN
Taylor Coats – Winchester, IN

Pines Odds

Ben Nichols – Saline, MI
Liz Egan – Nashville, TN
Chris Guerrant – Dunwoody, GA
Erika Roberts – Dublin, OH
Pines Evens
Blake Austin – Smyrna, TN
Hank Cohen – Lawrenceville, GA
Lauren Taylor – Snellville, GA
Amanda Hyssong – Franklin, TN
Baker Odds
Tyler Pearson – Mt. Zion, IL
Mallory Dorton – Livonia, MI
Alex Lister – Loganville, GA
Baker Evens
Shellee Merryman – South Lyon, MI
Allison Waters-Kutsch – Dubuque, IA
Chad Pasinger – Whites Creek, TN
Tristan Eaton – Godfrey, IL
Blair Fisher – McMinnville, TN
Tanner Lowery – Germantown, TN
Derek Steinmetz – Chana, IL

Cooper Austin – Smyrna, TN
Liz Berghoff – Saline, MI
Connor Boyce – Brentwood, TN
Emma Crandall – Oregon, IL
Nick D’Errico – Tyrone, GA
Dan Eby – Saline, MI
Lilly Finley – Danville, IN
Janelle Gernes – Rochester, MN
Ericah Johnson – Monroe, WI
Jason Jones – Snellville, GA
Noah Potts – Gallatin, TN
Austin Salinas – Snellville, GA
Ben Willans – Whippany, NJ
Jordyn Yourczek – Woodbury, MN
Savannah Brown – Nashville, TN
Hailey Conner – Cincinnati, OH
Leah Blackman – Carrollton, GA
Mary Watson – Nashville, TN

Support Staff Changes and Updates

Olivia Evans

oliviaAs of May 31st, Olivia Evans will be departing the Mountain T.O.P. Support Staff. She has served for two years as the  Program Manager of Recruiting and Public Awareness. During her tenure Olivia was instrumental in launching the new website, updating our email system, and bringing innovative ideas to recruiting. Her talents as a musician and leader enhanced worships around camp as well as gave depth to all of Mountain T.O.P.’s programs. Her energy and style will be greatly missed on the mountain. We wish Olivia and her hedgehog, Lewis, well in her upcoming adventures. After moving to Nashville for work, Olivia will be getting married in August. She will also be living out her dream of driving an ice cream truck (one that isn’t sketchy and doesn’t play sad music).

Brooke Freeman

unnamedAs of June 1st, Brooke Freeman will join the Mountain TOP Support Staff as the Program Manager of Recruiting and Public Awareness. Brooke’s job is to recruit new groups and individuals to come and serve in the different programs offered at Mountain T.O.P. throughout the year, as well as working to increase the awareness of what Mountain T.O.P. is and the outreach opportunities we are providing in our community. Prior to being on Support Staff, Brooke volunteered four years of high school as a youth camper and served three years on the Adults in Ministry summer staff, most recently as the Director. This summer she will be serving as Director of the Junior Staff program. Brooke will be graduating from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia with a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health and Human Services. During her four years in Milledgeville, she was involved in Kappa Delta Sorority where she served as the chapter Chaplain and Community Service Assistant Chair. She also was apart of the Wesley Foundation Leadership Team. Brooke comes from a close knit family in Snellville, Georgia…”where everybody is somebody”. In addition to being involved with Mountain T.O.P., Brooke also enjoys spending time crafting, painting hammocking and wearing anything monogrammed.

2015 Summer Staff Job Openings

Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project) Mountain T.O.P. Foundational Objectives

• To help meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs of the Tennessee Cumberland Mountain people.
• To actively encourage the Christian growth of the participants and staff who come to Mountain
• To develop the leadership skills of participants and staff. Serving on the Mountain T.O.P. Summer Staff is an incredible opportunity to grow and serve in a uniquely rewarding way.

Our staffers develop leadership skills while building meaningful relationships and having a great time! Please read through our website for more information about our programs or contact Julie at 931-692-3999 or We would love to discuss any of our open positions with you.

Requirements for the positions:
1) A high school graduate and at least 18 years old by May 23, 2015
2) Able to provide your own personal vehicle and auto insurance
3) Available for staff training, starting on May 23, 2015 (May 21 for directors and managers)
4) Available to serve on staff from staff training through the morning of August 9, 2015
5) Certified in First Aid and CPR by May 23, 2015
6) Committed to reading all preparation materials we send you The specific salary amounts are listed below. We do ask for our staffer to raise half of their salary and living expenses ($1,000) through partnerships. We provide them with several ideas and can offer additional support.


Adult Ministry – Program Manager Serves on the Adults in Ministry staff (5 people) as a member of the staff management team. He or she manages and leads total program operations to ensure quality of all programming events including but not limited to the following: camper registration and orientation, camper activities, and community worships. He or she assists in the development of the staff in the areas of spiritual growth, leadership, management, and job performance. – Salary $2,400 plus living expenses

Adult Ministry – Day Camp Ministry Coordinator Serves as a member of the Adults in Ministry staff (5 people). He or she plans and executes day camp programs with the help of adult campers. We run three programs throughout the summer: Kaleidoscope – an arts and music workshops (for children ages 6-11 with special needs), Summer Plus – workshops from sports to cooking (for youth ages 12-17), and Quest – adventure-style programs (for youth ages 12-17 who have been targeted as particularly at-risk). This person ensures that campers understand the philosophy of Christian helping as they strive to meet the needs of the people they serve. – Salary $2,200 plus living expenses

Youth Ministry – Service Project Ministry Coordinator This position serves as a member of a staff of 8-10 people. He or she is responsible for the following activities: acquiring projects, visiting families, managing work teams at work sites, and assisting in planning and executing nightly programming such as games and worships. He or she leads 3-6 teams of youth and adults in their daily activities during the week of mission work (minor home repair). They ensure that campers understand the philosophy of Christian helping as they strive to meet the needs of the people they serve. – Salary $2,200 plus living expenses

Mountain T.O.P. Support Staff Job Opening – Program Mgr – Recruiting & Public Awareness

Mountain T.O.P (Tennessee Outreach Project) is looking for a Program Manager – Recruiting & Public Awareness. This position is responsible for recruiting campers for all Mountain T.O.P. programs(Adults in Ministry, BreakOut, Family Weekend, Retreats and Youth Summer Ministry). They are also responsible for increasing the visibility of the ministry in the community. This position reports to then Associate Executive Director.

Mountain T.O.P. is a 40 year-old, Christian nonprofit partnership ministry located in Grundy County, TN. We seek to meet social, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the Cumberland Mountain people through two direct services: home repair and day camps for local children in the summer. These services are delivered through youth and adult participants who volunteer with our programs. Mountain T.O.P. is also a backbone community organization, collaborating on numerous community development projects.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A strong and growing Christian faith and a servant heart.
  • Solid communication skills both written and verbal.
  • A personality and character that command respect and inspire confidence.
  • Unquestioned ethics and integrity.
  • A commitment to the values and philosophy of Mountain T.O.P.
  • Professional and personal presence that sets the appropriate example for the summer staffs.
  • A proven leader that displays energy and enthusiasm.
  • Proven skills in organization, supervision, global thinking, and discretion.
  • Computer skills including knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Mountain T.O.P. Website.
  • A willingness to travel (approximately 25%).
  • Flexibility and unflappability.
  • A positive attitude.
  • Sense of Humor.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree in nonprofit management (or related field).
  • Some recruiting and fundraising experience.
  • Responsibilities will include, but will not be limited to the following:


  • Maintain contact with former staff for the purposes of recruiting
  • Develop and distribute program applications
  • Recruit campers to participate in all Mountain T.O.P. programs
  • Develop strategies to grow participation numbers
  • Maintain personal contacts with all program participants
  • Coordinate exhibiting at local and national conferences. Attend UM Annual Conferences when available.
  • Recruit children and youth for Day Camp, Summer Plus, Quest and Kaleidoscope programs
  • Develop/ distribute Prospective Staff Material for camps. Maintain database of prospective staff.
  • Coordinate recruiting from the three Tennessee Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church
  • Add new contacts to Email Manager (database). Manage new lists. Ensure contacts are up to date.
  • Arrange speaking opportunities at old and new churches.
  • Follow-up calls for BreakOut, YSM churches, Retreat groups, AIM participants, and Family Weekends

Public Awareness

  • Serve as Editor, to include production, of all printed materials including brochures, newsletters, annual ministry report, press releases and any other multimedia.
  • Manage all aspects of the ministry web site, Email campaigns and social media.
  • Ensure effective public relations throughout the all of the Mountain T.O.P. Service Area.
  • Serve as the Public Relations emergency spokesperson
  • Ensure display materials are maintained and ready to use as needed
  • Coordinate the January Gathering


  • Serve as a member of the Program Team for ministry activities (camps, retreats, special activities).
  • Work with the Program Manager – Resource Development on fundraising.
  • Sever as a liaison for the Board of Director’s Resource Committee
  • Coordinate the development of the annual program theme and worship flow.
  • Coordinate the development of graphics supporting program theme.
  • Provide primary support in conjunction with summer staff directors to summer program managers
  • Assist in the development of training sessions and participate in staff training
  • Help facilitate groups in adventure activities (caving, ropes course, backpacking, etc.)
  • Assist in the support of the summer staff via Directors or Program Managers.

Ministry provides 401K pension, health, dental, vision & life insurance at no cost.

Time Requirement
Full-time Year-round Position (Exempt classification)

Term of Employment
Minimum three year commitment requested.


Transportation allowance provided to reimburse for ministry use of personal vehicle
To apply: please send resume to

Job posting closes on 04/20/15.

The Journey to the Summit: Photos from 40 years of Mountain T.O.P.

40th Logo - 5

People usually have a lot to say about turning 40.  It’s a big milestone in the life of a person and people handle it a number of ways.  Here are a few of the more popular reactions:

  • Forty isn’t old, if you’re a tree.
  • I’m not 40, I’m eighteen with 22 years experience.
  • Just remember, once you’re over the hill you begin to pick up speed. – Charles M. Schultz
  • Life begins at 40 – but so do fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times. – Helen Rowland

Here on the Mountain as we look back over these 40 years there a lot of things we could say about turning 40. The life of MTOP has had its ups and downs. The programs have grown in number and in size. The needs of the community have changed through the years and we have done our best to adjust.  We have taken turns I don’t think anyone could have ever expected and have gotten where we are today because of those turns in the road.

I think the only thing to say is how grateful and humbled by where this ministry is today. At the George Bass Brick and Mortar Dinner at the end of February we had speakers from every decade of Mountain T.O.P’s history speak about the changes and growth in that time. Every single speaker shared about how incredible it has been to be a part of what God has done in this ministry and how no one could have imagined where we are today.

As a way to celebrate all the good work that has been done, all that God has provided, all the lives changed in and out of camp, we wanted to show a glimpse of the past 40 years in a slideshow. Not only can you see some incredible pictures of families, worships, staffs, and camps, but also some incredible ’80s hairstyles.


Keep sending in your pictures to of your time on the mountain. Be sure to include what year it is from and what program it was.  We’ll be sharing more pictures and slideshows throughout the year!

Mountain T.O.P. VISTA, Melanie Pozuc shares about her experiences

We all know Mountain TOP loves a good acronym. Over the past few months, a new acronym has become a part of the Mountain TOP Dictionary. VISTA, or Volunteers In Service to America, has become as commonly used with Mountain TOP acronyms as YRG, MPT, or even… dare I say it? F4L. Since fall of 2014, eight AmeriCorps VISTA members are serving on the plateau. Two of us are working with Mountain TOP to build capacity in the community. The VISTA program of the South Cumberland Plateau is a partnership with each site, like Mountain TOP, The University of the South, and the South Cumberland Community Fund.

If you have volunteered with us, chances are you’ve witnessed the impact Mountain TOP has on the community. However, it’s hard to prove these results. My project is to create a method to measure if Mountain TOP is meeting their goals and community needs. I’ve gotten the chance to interview other home repair nonprofits to see what the best practices are and how they could fit our programs. As we begin to re-enter the volunteer season, I can’t wait to see how new methods can show Mountain TOP’s impact on the community in a quantifiable way. This can lead to numbers and methods that can help us both internally and externally. This includes grant writing, goal setting, and even annual reports!

Like all mountain TOP programs, serving as a VISTA has been engaging, challenging, and surprisingly rewarding. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with the community as a community member, which is much different than my past volunteer and summer staff experience. The local community and the Mountain TOP community has been welcoming and supportive to all of our VISTA team members. I can’t wait to see all of the awesome things being done in the community through VISTA capacity building. If you want to learn more about the VISTA project or my specific project, feel free to contact me, or better yet, come volunteer at camp!

Getting to know the Nunleys

If I had to use just one word to describe the Nunley’s it would be, generous.Generous with their time, compassion, resources, love, and prayers.

As I got to know the Nunley family this fall I saw that there was something special and wonderful about this group of people. Every minute MTOP was their they were out there sharing stories, their good food, prayer, and helping with the projects as best they could.  There was constant fellowship.

Howard would always share with the group his belief in the power of prayer.  Each day he prays for his brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.  It doesn’t matter if they have the same values, opinions, where they live, their social status, all are being prayed for, and he prays for every single person that came out and worked on his house. After sitting with the Nunley family, I believe every word of that promise.

This family demonstrated what it means to live a Christ-like life and to spread God’s Kingdom on Earth.  At the end of our fall season I went to the house and interviewed Howard about his experience with Mountain T.O.P. and here’s what he had to say.

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

After celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, getting some good deals on Friday, shopping local on Saturday, celebrating the beginning of Advent on Sunday, and now online shopping deals today, tomorrow is your chance to give back to causes you care about for Giving Tuesday.

MTOP is participating for the first time with hopes to raise $5,000 on Giving Tuesday, to go back into our ministry on the Mountain.

With every gift given tomorrow we have the opportunity as a united community to come together and make a difference on the mountain a couple dollars at a time.


Click the picture to go to our giving page!