What summer camp taught me
Published 2:18 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010
By JASMINE THOMPSON
Niles Daily Star
Editor’s note: Thompson is a student at Niles High School and an intern for the Star.
I had a summer filled with a lot of activities, but I remember a particular experience that had a major impact on my life.
I went away to a Christian camp called Spring Hill, up north by Traverse City for two weeks. It was my first time away from home by myself, so I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect.
Although I begged my parents not to make me go, they did anyway, and I’m so glad they did.
I guess the thing that I was really worried about was not being accepted by the other kids, but it wasn’t like that. I made so many new friends.
Not only did camp give me the opportunity to make new friends, but it also let me improve my relationship with God. Every day, I had time to sit by myself, read my Bible, and talk to God.
I did so many things while I was at camp. I went swimming, went on the zip line, went horseback riding and other stuff.
I was surprised by how accepting the other kids were of me. Because they didn’t look at my physical disability. They just treated me like a normal person.
Camp taught me some things about myself that I didn’t already know before. I learned that I was capable of doing more things than I gave myself credit for. For instance, I discovered that I didn’t need my parents with me all the time, and that I could do the same things as the kids my age.
I had a counselor who helped me during the two weeks. Her name was Liz, and she was my age, so she was like a sister to me. Liz sort of reminded me of my aide at school. We developed a really good relationship, and I thank God for placing her in my life.
The kids didn’t look at me as “handicapped.” I became friends with everyone at camp. Everyday, they always made it a point to talk to me. The girls would sit around me and we would have “girl talk.”
We had campfires where we sang and read verses from the Bible. But on one night, a few people and I shared our testimonies. As I was hearing them, I realized how much many of them were going through, and how blessed my life is.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, all the campers would go to a thing called “Avenue.” It was kind of like a concert where different Christian bands would come in. And after the bands played, one of the counselors would get on stage, and give mini-sermons. All the counselors would also put on skits, but one particular skit stood out to me. It was about how people who are bound by sins, and Jesus giving his life to set them free.
Everyday, we had something called “Solo Time,” where we sat by ourselves for a few minutes to read the Bible, and answer questions from a booklet. Then we would get together and talk about them in small groups.
Going to camp was a great learning experience for me. It helped me grow stronger in my faith in God, and allowed me to make new friends. Camp also taught me some things about myself. I want to go back next year.