By: Jenn Myers
Today’s world is a difficult place to grow up. The constant time spent around screens, stressful schedules, and challenges of school all pile up, and even the youngest kids start to feel the pressure. Camp is an escape from many of these stressors that provides opportunities for growth and allows kids to just be kids.
Justis is a first-year camper at Cho-Yeh. As much as she was excited to swim in the pool and make arts and crafts at Camp, Justis was also really nervous about being away from her family and jumping into a new community for a week.
“My mom surprised me and told me that I was coming four weeks before Camp. I was super scared about being away from home and having to make new friends, but I ended up having an awesome time.”
Justis was hesitant when her mom dropped her off at Cho-Yeh, but the week that would follow exceeded all her expectations. Soon, her worry turned into peace, and her fear into courage. This paved the way for her to grow in her confidence and faith.
“It doesn’t feel real here. I feel like I’m in a dream. We’re just having so much fun. All my new friends are so nice, and my counselors are really encouraging. They always cheer us on.”
As Justis got more comfortable at Camp, she began to embrace a lot of new experiences. She tried out new activities like the zipline and made lots of new friends in her cabin. The meaningful relationships that Justis built with her friends and her counselors also helped her become open to learning new things that she will carry with her for the rest of her life.
“I’ve learned a lot from my counselors. They’ve taught us a lot about God that I’ll take home with me, like how Jesus loves us all the same, no matter what we’ve done.”
All in all, Cho-Yeh gave Justis a week to break free from the stress and expectations of her daily life and just be a kid. Escaping from the chaos of the world gives kids like Justis to experience the outdoors, create meaningful relationships, and have their lives transformed by Christ in a space that is fun, welcoming, and away from the hustle and bustle. Campers leave Cho-Yeh with new friends, lessons learned, and an excitement for life that will stick with them for years to come as they become the next generation of Christian leaders.