As we prepare for Summer 2018, we are reminded of all the wonderful moments that take place during summer camp. During several blog posts, we will shares the impact some of our summer staff have seen on our campers through the Camp Hope Series. Camp Hope is a series of small camps for at-risk campers. Through this often life-changing, memorable week, campers are able to tell their stories, learn lifeskills and build community with each other, all while having so much fun.
Below is the experience Brooke Cagle, our Music Director, had last summer with these truly amazing kids.
“One thing that has always made Lakeshore special to me is that it is a place where people from many different places and backgrounds who otherwise would’ve likely never met get to form bonds rooted in Christ. Some of my favorite memories from serving as the music director for the summers of 2016 and 2017 were from spending time with Oxley campers.
Some experiences that have impacted me include singing at the top of my lungs, getting temporary matching ninja turtles tattoos, and getting makeovers with the Camp Hope girls on Girls’ Night, having foosball tournaments and life discussions, making up silly nicknames with the Camp Hope boys, and getting to play and sing music at impactful worships throughout the summers. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone sing songs like “Love Came Down”, “Oceans”, or “Set a Fire” as enthusiastically as some Camp Hope campers.
In particular, there were some weeks where we even sang worship songs as the campers were getting checked out because that’s what they wanted to do! I saw God continually through Camp Hope campers, from playing gaga to hearing very tough life stories to peaceful moments in worship. It is my continual hope that the campers carried everything they learned and experienced with them.
Lakeshore offers the unique opportunity for so many pieces of God’s story that are all of our lives to come together and impact each other in a way that inspires growth. Camp Hope is no exception to this, and I am inspired not only when I think of the work put in by so many volunteers, staff, directors, Wilderness/Camp Hope counselors, and resident counselors, but also by how much the campers have impacted all of the people working or volunteering with them, just as they have impacted me.
Seeds are planted at camp. I am reminded of this when I think of the Camp Hope Series Director of 2016 and 2017, Jeremy McDuffie, reminding the campers each week to take what they’ve learned with them and use it to live their lives for God, sharing His love with other people they encounter. ‘Let what we do in here fill the streets out there.'”
All of our Camp Hope Series campers receive a full campership. If you want to support this ministry to at-risk youth, you can make a donation to the campership fund.