Summer Camp Saved My Life

Summer Camp Saved My Life

In my life, I have had the opportunity to be a camper and also be a counselor which has given me so many beautiful memories, friends, and life lessons.

207
views

At the age of eleven, I was introduced to the camping experience by a dear friend of mine named Emily. Little did the eleven-year-old version of myself know how much she would need camp. Prior to being a camper and later working at a summer camp, I had no idea what real Christian community looked like and Camp Glisson gave me that community.

As my parents drove under the canopy of trees and my first day of camp began my whole body trembled. Being only eleven years old I had so may thoughts of fear and excitement running through my mind. This place filled with such warm smiles from strangers who did not even know my name calmed my fears in an instant. One memory that sticks out in my mind like a neon sign is my first time participating in singing on the porch. This consists of the whole camp being led in song and singing or screaming to be more honest, to songs like Country Roads. This experience made me glow with joy for the rest of the week. This time became what I looked forward to every day. After such a heartwarming experience, I came back to camp every summer up until my final summer as a camper which was my senior year.

Working at a summer camp later as a sixteen and seventeen years old allowed me to further experience this idea of a Christian community. Glisson has a sister program called ELI which allows raising juniors and seniors to be summer camp counselors. This program shocks me to my core. I participated in it for both years and I would have to credit who I am today to that program. My fellow counselors and the people leading me made me feel so at home and taught me many life lessons.

One week during ELI summer of 2017 I was stationed at Midway UMC in Auburn Georgia and I felt like my whole world collapsing on me. My campers told me they hated me and I thought I was the worst counselor in the history of the camp. One day the pressure from it all got the best of me and I snapped. These kids who I cared for so deeply just did not show love the same way I expected. In a hallway in the church, I fell to my knees sobbing. A sweet friend of mine came to my rescue and using magic words he somehow got my campers to enjoy camp. As I sat on the floor in a puddle of my own tears, I remember thinking how blessed I was to have people who could come to my rescue. This community allowed me to lean on them in times of need and also be a safe place to go and recharge.

This community is a safe haven from the outside world. Summer camp through its collection of people showed me how loved I am, that I am worth so much more than my appearance, and that the right people either find you or you find them. When I was on a bus believe it or not is when one of these right people found me. We had the chance to talk and realized how much we had in common. We became attached at the hip the rest of the summer. Even when we were separated we channeled our inner 1980 and called each other on landlines. The distance could not break what a strong friendship we built in such a small time period. Even to this day, I love him to mars and back. Making genuine friends like that allowed me to block out the negative lies I had been told by outside forces.

The picture above forever holds a special place in my heart because that place gave me my two favorite people in this world. The girl on the far left is my best friend of fourteen years. She is my rock and without her, I would have never had the courage to be myself. The girl second to the left is me. The boy third to the left is the boy I met on a bus. While we have only been friends for a short time he has come to play a vital role in my life. I got to be in between my two best friends and that is all thanks to camp.

Summer camp saved my life. If it was those people and the friendships I have been blessed with I don't know where I would be today. Now as I leave my days as a camper behind I walk into this world trying to show others like me and different from me, the values I gained at camp.

Popular Right Now

15 Thoughts Every Girl Has In A Tanning Bed

"Haha, imagine if I got stuck."
209560
views

If you have ever been in a tanning bed, you know it is easily the most boring 10 minutes of your life, and some beds are even longer than that! Unless you have a really good playlist of songs or you can take a quick nap, you usually just lay there, staring at the lights while the bed whirs and colors your skin. Here's just a few thoughts every girl has while in a tanning bed:

1) I hope I put enough lotion on... maybe I should get out and put on more...

No matter how much you think you used, you should always use more. Somehow it's better and you get more tan.

2) Maybe if I keep the fan on I'll sweat more and burn more calories….Okay nope can't do it with the fan on.

It gets way too hot in these beds to have that fan off, no matter how many calories you could burn.

3) Maybe if I put the towel under my head, I can make a little pillow!

And when there are no towels? Well, that is just a disaster and you have to make do with your hair or shirt.

4) Haha, imagine if I got stuck.

Whenever this thought crosses my mind, I have to lift the bed a little bit to make sure it'll still open and will let me out.

5) Do you think I'm tan yet?

No, 10 minutes is not enough time to become a new shade.

6) Do you think they cleaned this bed? They have to, right?

Although it is on their list of things they have to do, you always wipe it down right before you get in anyway. Just to be sure...

7) Let me put this in my Snapchat story! Cute little emoji... perfect!

Every girl has done this picture at least once.

8) Do you think they can hear me singing? Oh well...

The employees will be getting their own personal rock show today!

9) Is it illegal to tan twice in one day?

Yes, yes it is,...though it doesn't stop you from thinking you can get away with it though.

10) If I don't move, I can't get weird tan lines.

I speak from experience that this is not a true fact though it doesn't stop me from testing it out.

11) I hope my goggles don't give me a raccoon tan.

One can only pray...

12) I've only been in here for five minutes, are you serious?

Beauty and perfection take time!

13) $80 lotion are they serious? Oh my gosh, it smells like pina coladas! Okay, yes, I'm buying a bottle.

Lotions are ridiculously overpriced, but that will not stop you from having the nicest smelling one, like Snooki's brand... because of Snooki.

14) Am I even getting tan? Is this doing anything?

Despite popular belief, it is doing something.

15) Ugh, finally I'm done. And I burnt my butt….

Always. Never fails.



A special thanks to my friend Liza who helped me think of these!

Cover Image Credit: usatoday.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Steamy Summer Date Ideas That Won't Burn Through Your Bank

Don't let date night get repetitive this summer...

249
views

With a new season, comes new opportunities for super fun date ideas to keep your love life fresh and fun. I'm sure your favorite brunch place is great, but why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and try out some new things with your significant other this summer?

1. Go to the farmers market.

There is something so refreshing about walking through a farmers market. How could you not be happy when surrounded by fresh fruit, coffee stands, and live music? This is such an easy way to get some sunshine and grab some AMAZING food. My farmers market used to have everything from freshly pressed lemonade to waffle sandwiches. If you want to take the date a step further, find a recipe before you go, and buy fresh ingredients to cook a yummy dinner together later that night.

2. Tie-dye matching T-shirts.

Tie-dye is messy, so take advantage of the beautiful weather and head outside where things can get as messy as you want! What a cute little date souvenir too!

3. Late night ice cream run.

Ice cream is cool and everything, but something about ice cream in the middle of the night seems way more adventurous than a mid-day scoop. And the only time of the year that its going to be warm enough out to get ice cream late at night is, of course, summer!

4. Draw with chalk.

Honestly, your possibilities with this are pretty endless. Drawing contests, hop-scotch, make a masterpiece together, whatever your heart desires. Bring a speaker and maybe some bubbles too while you're at it, sometimes embracing our inner child is a necessary, grounding experience.

5. Throw a barbecue.

Who says spending time together is limited to only the two of you? Cooking together for your friends can be great bonding time too. Invite the crew and spend the afternoon outside at a park or in a backyard. Bring some music and maybe some activities like frisbee or kickball and enjoy some beautiful social time.

6. Take partner dance lessons.

Salsa, tango, swing, rumba, foxtrot, your opportunities are endless. Nobody is saying you have to be good, but how fun will it be to have some new moves to show off next time you and your friends go out dancing or to a concert?

7. Float down a river.

Go with just the two of you or bring some friends, either way, this is a perfect way to spend a few hours out in the sun while staying cool in the water!

8. Take your dogs to the dog park.

Parks are already fun, but when they're full of dogs they're about a million times better! Also, who doesn't love watching their significant other play with puppies?!? It doesn't get cuter than that.

9. Go cliff jumping.

In a safe spot, of course! You know what they say, you should do something that scares you every day...

10. Go on a road trip

A road trip is perfect because it's not as huge of a commitment as going on a real vacation together, but it's still a good little getaway where you are sure to bond a ton. You will have the whole car ride to talk and jam out to each other's favorite songs, how could that not be a grand time?

11. Get artsy and do a photoshoot.

Even if you're not a photographer, its kind of fun to get creative with a camera! Pick a spot somewhere nearby with cool scenery (try golden hour for extra gorgeous photos) and be each other's models. It will be a nice simple date, plus you will get some good Insta content!

12. Go to a sports game.

Plan ahead and get some tickets to go see a sports game in your town or one nearby! Sports games have such a fun upbeat atmosphere, plus fun food, and they're a good excuse to get decked out in fun fan gear!

13. Go mini golfing.

SUCH a cute and fun date idea. Mini-golfing dates never fail to bring out peoples silly sides. Why not make it a competition? Loser buys ice cream for the two of you when you're finished.

14. Go rollerblading.

OK, this one scares me personally, but for anyone with the athletic ability to attempt this, I fully encourage (and envy) you! What cuter sight to see than the two of you holding hands gliding down the city walk together? Just please wear your pads!

15. Have a car wash.

I don't mean go to the car wash together! I mean break out the speaker, the buckets, the sponges, the hose, and get soapy and silly together in the sun. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun?!

Related Content

Facebook Comments