L.I.F.E. Guard

What is L.I.F.E. Guard?

L.I.F.E. Guard is an opportunity available for high school students looking for a service-based faith experience at Akita. The acronym L.I.F.E. means "Last Is First Eternal" and comes from Matthew 19:30, "But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first." This verse is a reminder of the spirit behind the work performed by this group.

In this program, a small group of high school students will devote seven to twelve days to serving the camp, campers, and God. By doing much of the behind-the-scenes work that enables camp to run so smoothly for the campers, the participants learn how to give of themselves without seeking any credit or praise.

The "Guard Experience" is ideal for campers looking to give back to the place they love and for campers who are looking for a unique service learning experience.

L.I.F.E. Guard is available for campers entering 10th–12th grades in the Fall of 2023 and 2023 High School graduates.

2023 L.I.F.E. Guard Dates and Prices

Age /
Camp Session
Dates *Member
2023 Graduated Seniors only
Session AMay 30 - June 11$610$665
Entering 10th–12th Grades & Graduated Seniors
Session BJune 12 – 23$520$585
Session CJune 24 – July 2$425$480
Session DJuly 6 - 12$330$385
Session EJuly 13 - 18$285$340
Session FJuly 21 - 31$520$585
Session GAugust 2 - 9$375$430
  • *  L.I.F.E. Guard sessions A, B, C, F & G consists of 2 summer camp sessions for each L.I.F.E. Guard session. Between each summer camp session, A, C, F & G campers leave camp and spend one night at home.  Session B has 2 nights at home between summer camp sessions 3 & 4.  L.I.F.E. Guard sessions D & E consist of only one summer camp session.
  • Member means the camper, parent or guardian, or grandparent is a member of First Community Church in Columbus, Ohio as described in the church's Membership brochure.
  • For dates & prices of our other summer programs, see Summer Camp or Akita Backcountry.

View a printable schedule of all Summer 2023 programs (PDF)

2023 Check-In and Return Schedule

Check-in and return for all L.I.F.E. Guard sessions is at First Community Church, North Campus, near Hilliard, Ohio (3777 Dublin Road, Columbus Ohio).

L.I.F.E. Guard campers check-in on the first day of their session, then head to camp on the bus. One time during each session, the L.I.F.E. Guard campers return to Columbus, spend a night at home, then return to the North Campus for another check-in.

C = Check-in;  R = Return

Session A
C: May 30, 5 pm
R: June 5 , 12 pm
(1 night at home)
C: June 6, 5 pm
R: June 11, 12 pm

Session B
C: June 12, 12 pm
R: June 16, 12 pm
(2 nights at home)
C: June 18, 5 pm
R: June 23, 12 pm

Session C
C: June 24, 12 pm
R: June 27, 12 pm
(1 night at home)
C: June 28, 12 pm
R: July 2, 12 pm

Session D
C: July 6, 5 pm
R: July 12, 12 pm

Session E
C: July 13, 5 pm
R: July 18, 12 pm

Session F
C: July 21, 12 pm
R: July 25, 12 pm
(1 night at home)
C: July 26, 5 pm
R: July 31, 12 pm

Session G
C: August 2, 12 pm
R: August 6, 12 pm
(1 night at home)
C: August 7, 12 pm
R: August 9, 12 pm

Registration Policies


L.I.F.E. Guards live in the Lodge, with boys in one sleeping in one wing of the Lodge and girls in another. Like our cabins, L.I.F.E. Guards are invited to register according to their gender identity. Nonbinary and other gender diverse L.I.F.E. Guards are welcome to select the side of the Lodge that fits best; accommodations such as single rooms may be available, and we welcome a conversation prior to registration with gender diverse L.I.F.E. Guards and families to help find the best fit. We do require at least 4 participants per wing of the Lodge (for example, at least 4 participants must register for the boys side) in order to foster gender diversity within the group.

Multiple L.I.F.E. Guard Session Restriction

Due to the popularity of the L.I.F.E. Guard program, campers may register for more than one L.I.F.E. Guard session, however, if both sessions have a Wait List status, the camper will be asked to choose one of the two sessions.  The camper can only be enrolled in one L.I.F.E. Guard session with a Wait List.

Note: This limit applies only to multiple L.I.F.E. Guard sessions; you are still permitted to attend a Summer Camp or Akita Backcountry session while also being signed up for a L.I.F.E. Guard session.

Late Arrivals & Early Departures

Late arrivals and early departures from L.I.F.E. Guard are strongly discouraged as they disrupt the camp community and L.I.F.E. Guard group dynamics. Please choose a L.I.F.E. Guard session that you are able to attend in its entirety. If a conflict does arise, early arrivals or late departures must be communicated to the Columbus Akita offices two weeks prior to the start of the L.I.F.E. Guard session.

Financial Assistance

We do not want cost to prevent campers from attending Camp Akita. We are pleased to offer financial assistance to families who would otherwise be unable to attend. Payment plans are also available through our Columbus administrative offices. Find more information and apply for assistance through our Scholarship Request Form link below. 

Camp Akita Scholarship Request Form

All Gender Housing Option

We strive to provide housing for campers of all genders. This year, you will see a question on your registration about which housing option is best for your camper: boys, girls, or all-gender. If you select the all-gender option, our staff may follow up regarding housing arrangements specific to your LIFE Guard session. LIFE Guards live in two wings of our Lodge: one side for boys and one side for girls. Solo rooms are available, and we look forward to a conversation with you about creating a space that works well for your LIFE Guard. Learn more about Gender Diversity & Inclusion at Camp Akita.

L.I.F.E. Guard Information Packet

For additional information about the L.I.F.E Guard experience, including the philosophy, guidelines and policies, schedule, and suggested packing list, click on the link below:  Note:  This link will be updated when the 2023 L.I.F.E. Guard Information Packet has been finalized.

L.I.F.E. Guard Information Packet (PDF) 

More Information

If you have questions about any of our summer programs, please contact the Columbus administrative offices  or (614) 488-0681 ext. 113.