By: Joy Lester
I didn’t grow up going to camp, so when my 6-year-old daughter was asking for a sleep-away experience, I did a lot of research. I found some of my friends were already going to Camp Cho-Yeh and it seemed like the right price and at place not too far away from home to give me the peace of mind I needed.
Cia loved it so much and knew after her first Core that she wanted to grow up to be a camp counselor. In fact, she wanted to know why she couldn’t stay any longer, and every year since then she went for 2-week Epic sessions.
Plato’s first year was also the summer after his 2nd grade year. Just a few days before camp, his bunkmate got sick and I was worried that Plato wouldn’t adjust well without his friend. But Garret and Jenn reassured me that they would check on him daily.
I knew once again I didn’t have anything to worry about.
My husband died in 2011, and it was a hard year for all of us. My kids couldn’t wait to get back to camp the next summer because it was a constant in their lives. It represented “normal” to them and they were excited to see all of their friends. More than anything it helped Cia really grow because she was starting to question her faith. The counselors were so understanding and patient with her and helped her search out answers. That year she really made her faith her own and understood that there is more to God that getting dressed and driving to church and listening to readings. Now she loves reading the bible by herself and praying and singing praises.
I see firsthand the lifelong meaningful relationships my kids have formed.
My kids have always been comfortable talking with the staff, and even texting with them long after summer is over. The friendships they make with other campers are so different than their friendships at school.
Now my kids both work at Camp and have an opportunity to give back. It’s easy for me to give volunteer hours and financial support to Cho-Yeh when I consider all that this place has done for my family.
I am a widowed mom raising 2 teenage kids and I know what this experience could do for others.
It’s all about Christ and friendship. I donate to the Camper Scholarship Fund so that children who can’t afford this experience will have the opportunity to come. –Monique Pappas
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