Lakeshore became a place of fun, rest, and community for me the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade. I was so proud to go somewhere that meant so much to my mom, Nita Crump Murry, and grandfather, Sam Crump. I immediately felt like the ground was Holy and so very special. I went to Lakeshore year after year and would occasionally convince my parents to let me go multiple times a summer.
When I got older and tried different types of camps at Lakeshore, there was something that remained the same: community. I’ve been apart of a lot of different communities in my life: the town I grew up in, college, my work place, my current hometown and others. But the thing that still remains at Lakeshore is the community. While summer staffs have changed, buildings have been renovated and technology has changed the way we live, the community at Lakeshore hasn’t changed. I can walk into the conference room today and immediately feel welcomed and accepted. I may know some people and I may not. But no matter when I walk on the ground, I feel at home, like I belong there.
My husband Justin Reed and I met at Lakeshore during the summer of 2009 and married in the fall of 2013. We have two boys, Aiden and Mills. When I think about the process of adopting my Aiden, I immediately think of Lakeshore. When I was in the 4th grade, I attended Lakeshore’s Music and Drama Camp. This camp occurred during the same week as Camp Joy, formerly DD Camp. As a 4th grader, I got to interact with children and adults with special needs for one of the first times. I immediately fell in love with these special children of God. It wasn’t long after that week that I began thinking about how I wanted to one day parent a child with special needs. I wanted to help these children reach their full potential and show them the love of Christ in the same way Lakeshore did.Left to Right: Aiden Reed, Houston “Hootie” Murry, Hannah Reed, Hayden Murry, Haley Murry, Mills Reed
Two years ago, we got the call to adopt Aiden. It was an immediate “yes”. I owe Lakeshore many thanks for way they taught me and showed me acceptance and love towards these precious people. Aiden has spent several weeks at Lakeshore while I’ve led camps and visited over the last 2 years. The love he has for Lakeshore already is just as I imagined it would be! He is loved! I can’t wait to see how he continues to receive love, grace, acceptance, and teachings of the word from this special place in the future.
As for my Mills, my prayer is that he comes to love this place as much as Justin and I do. I want him to find the same community. I want him to meet his best friends at camp, dig deep into the word, and explore the nature around him while unplugging from the rest of the world. He currently finds the most joy in the basketball goals on the blacktop that he’s not near tall enough to make a basket in (but always able to find someone to lift him), but I know his joy in Lakeshore will continue to change and evolve as he spends many days and weeks in this place we all love.