By: Hannah Jackson
Relationships built at Cho-Yeh can extend even further than the meaningful bonds built in cabins between campers and their counselors. For the Samson Family, their experience with Cho-Yeh extends over three generations of campers. First year campers Ben and Molly’s Father, Ryan, went to Cho Yeh for five years as a camper. Their Grandfather was also a Cho-Yeh camper for two years. Spending time at Cho-Yeh each summer is a family tradition within the Samson family. This year, Ryan sent his children to attend Cho-Yeh for the first time and he felt like he was reliving the same experiences that he and his own Father once had at Camp.
“I had not been to Cho-Yeh in almost 26 years, but when I arrived with my kids, I felt like a kid again and all the memories came back. As parents, we find so much joy watching our own children have the same experiences that we had. I can’t wait for my kids to tell me about their week.”
Not only does Ryan understand the experiences his kids will have at camp, but he also knows that this week will strengthen their bond as siblings since his kids will share a similar experience, a week of outdoor adventures and furthering their relationship with Christ.
“I know that it is the best for kids to gain independence away from home. The Christian curriculum is balanced with camp fun.”
The lessons he learned in independence at Cho-Yeh set a strong precedent for himself and his father, one that he desires to see instilled in his own kids. However, like many kids, he too was apprehensive about spending time at camp for a whole week away from home.
“I have so many wonderful memories of Cho-Yeh as a kid. I’ll admit that when my parents first told me I was going to camp for a week, I was nervous. I was apprehensive about being away from home and being around people I didn’t know. My first year I was extremely nervous and wasn’t sure about any of it. But by the second day, I had already made new friends and was enjoying the experience. There were moments during Bible study and discussion where you just knew that the Holy Spirit was present. Camp was a guarantee that no matter what struggles I was having in the outside world, Cho-Yeh was a safe place for me to unwind and recharge.”
For years Ryan has carried fond memories made at Camp. Cho-Yeh was a refuge from the ever distracting world for him, and this unique sanctuary is one he felt necessary to share with his family, just as his Father shared with him.
Not only does his children’s time at camp allow him to relive such a big part of his childhood, it also allows him to pass on character values and experiences to his own children. Molly’s response to her time at camp shows how she already feels the same way as her father.
“I am enjoying swimming in the lake and doing the activities here, just like my Dad did growing up. Getting to stay in cabins with all these girls all week is so fun, it’s like a sleepover every night!”-Molly
Molly loves seeing how she can share the same experiences as her father, knowing that they are on similar paths of following Christ. Ben, her brother, shares similar feelings.
“It’s been a fun, exciting week. I played carpet ball and gaga ball. I also got to zipline for the first time and it made me feel brave. My dad always talked about how good the food was, and it was great, just like he said. I’ve learned a lot about creation this week.”-Ben
Despite their initial apprehensions about their first year of camp and being away from their family, Ben and Molly held closely the connection to their Father and their Grandfather in the sharing of this experience; a relationship with Christ. Since their Father and Grandfather came to camp just like them, Molly and Ben feel as if their family is with them through the shared experience of camp and growth in Christ.