There is no better way to get excited about attending one of the five summer camps across the U.S. and beyond than to read the actual stories of other campers! The registration deadline is May 1—apply at: uyc.ucg.org. These stories are from summer camps in 2017.
Aaron Preston (Camp Cotubic)
Ah, camp. Just thinking about it makes me excited for the summer, and it also makes me think of last year, which was my first year at camp. If you are thinking about going to camp, I strongly suggest that you go no matter who you are. To the newcomers I want to show you three steps to having a great time at camp and three reasons you should go.
Reason one is because it’s amazing. Camp is a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You learn a lot and do a lot. Step one to having a good experience at camp is going outside your comfort zone. This year at camp I tried to get very far outside mine, and I wanted to do everything. You should go outside your comfort zone too because you want to be able to do all of the fun activities and say that camp was great. A good example of this was last year on the first night of camp. It rained and we didn’t have a campfire. It was still nice because we did activities like the Disney lip sync battle, and my friends and I sang a funny song that wasn’t the most comfortable song. But during this activity we all stepped outside our comfort zone, and it felt great afterwards.
Reason two is to be with people who think the same as you and believe the same things you do. Sometimes in the world we get made fun of or teased for what we believe, but we are meant to stand out and be a light. To see that other people are going through the same thing you are makes you feel good. Step two is to get to know and get along with your dorm. Your dorm is full of the people you will be spending your entire camp with, so it is important to get to know everyone and make friends with them. When you see those friends later on in life, it makes you happy.
Reason three is that you will make wonderful memories you will cherish for a lifetime. Last year I made lots of memories and new friends. I have memories from camp that I love and think of almost every day. Step three is to try to find things to remember. There are many things that I loved at camp, and I remember a lot of those things. I am so thankful that I have these memories.
To conclude, camp is definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am so thankful for camp and the memories I made. I hope you can gain something from camp like I did last year, and I hope this helps you to want to go to camp.
Josiah Garduño (Camp Hye Sierra)
Camp Hye Sierra, without a doubt, was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had! As a teenager with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a rare hereditary genetic condition that makes my bones break easily, I don’t usually get to go out and do much over the summer. I got to try so many things I otherwise would never have been able to do, including rock climbing, volleyball and bubble balls.
The small rural Sonoran desert town where I live leaves me little access to recreational water activities in the immediate vicinity, so you can imagine my delight when I found out about kayaking and the other water events available to campers. Accompanying all of the amazing activities were short Bible lessons matching the activity we were doing, which really made you think about how that lesson applied to the activity and life.
Another thing I really liked about Hye Sierra was how all of the counselors were always available when you needed them and all of the campers made you feel at home. The sermons and the messages given by the pastors and the speakers were truly inspiring, and whenever a message finished it left you wanting to hear more! Also, the food they served was absolutely fantastic. The view of the tall trees, mountains and lake from the camp was also breathtaking!
I enjoyed my first trip to Camp Hye Sierra, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to attend. If I am given another chance to attend this summer, I guarantee I plan on going back!
Aidan Orsargos (Camp Pinecrest)
Last year was my first time attending Camp Pinecrest. On my trip to camp I was nervous at first, but before I knew it I felt at home. Some of my favorite activities were riflery, swimming and archery.
Also, the food was amazing. I thought at first that camp would have not-so-great food like you might expect at a summer camp. But I was definitely proven wrong when I had my first meal.
Probably my very favorite part of the whole trip was the friendships I made, and Pinecrest definitely taught me a whole lot about the Word of God with the daily Bible studies. When I got home, my dad was curious to know if I had a good time. The only words that came to mind were, “Can I go again next year?”
Lily Puckett (Camp Woodmen)
This past year I went to Camp Woodmen. I had never been to a teen camp before, and I was really nervous about going. I worried so much that I made myself sick sometimes. What did they do at the teen camp? Who would I meet there? Old friends? Would I make new friends? My sister Crete had been to teen camp before, and I’ve always wanted to go and see what it is like. Plus, it wasn’t fair to hear about all the fun she had at camp when she came home!
When I found out that I could go this year I was so excited. I had always wanted to go to Camp Woodmen to try all the different activities. Plus I had heard that Christian Living classes were interesting because they taught lessons about God and His way of life. One of my favorite activities was the high ropes. When I first saw it, I wanted to start climbing on it right away. I couldn’t wait to see how far up I could go. I was shocked that I was able to climb all the way up with just a little bit of help. My dad was there cheering me on with my dorm, and that made me feel really good.
Before camp started I wasn’t sure if I was going to fit in or feel comfortable around people I didn’t know. But I was still determined to make it a great time. I knew that some of my friends would be going to camp so that helped. I also knew that the staff would be kind and supportive in whatever activity I was doing. There is also this thing called the Zone, and in it everyone is kind, works together and tries to live like God. This helped me have fun at camp.
So if you are thinking about going to camp, I recommend doing the following to get ready. Plan to study your Bible and take notes during Christian Living classes to learn even more about God. Bring a positive and can-do attitude so you and your dormmates will have fun at activities. And don’t forget about dance class and showing off your dance moves. I hope to see you at Camp Woodland this year!