Three Generations of Camp: The Jean Heasley Family’s Story

By: Jenn Myers

Posted: 11.8.21

When we say the impact of Camp lasts far beyond the summer, we mean it. Cho-Yeh has been an important part of many families’ legacies, including three generations of Jean Heasley’s family.

Jean spent time as a camper at Cho-Yeh in the 1950s. She has fond memories of swimming, exploring, and making friends with other girls her age. Even beyond that, Camp had a profound impact on Jean’s faith.

“I remember being comfortable with the counselors and being able to share my feelings and to learn from them. Being a ‘city kid,’ I was struck by the beauty of God’s handiwork in the setting of Cho-Yeh and His presence with us always.”

Years later, Jean had two children and brought them to Camp. She remembers visiting Cho-Yeh for long weekends with other families from her church in Conroe, and still cherishes those experiences. 

“Being together in that setting and being able to share outside of the normal church activities was truly a blessing for all involved.”

Jean’s daughter Kellye first visited Cho-Yeh on those family weekends with her church. When she started middle school, Kellye began taking weekend trips to Camp with other teens from her church.

“I fondly remember how my Conroe church could sign up for a weekend when they knew that youth from Houston churches were heading there. Meeting new people the same age,  listening to their guitars around the campfire, their experiences in school, and promising to meet up again….what a rush!”

Eventually, Kellye started spending summers at Cho-Yeh. During her time as a camper, Kellye made long-term friends like she never had before and gained a lot of confidence from being in a different setting that she took back to school with her. Like her mother, Kellye still remembers the kindness of her counselors and gained a new understanding of who God is and how much He loves us.

“I remember the patience of the counselors.  In that way they mimicked our Lord, and His love showed through the counselors! The counselors made time to listen and to share the word of God with us. Plus, I was continually awed how His creation is better than anything made by man.”

When Kellye had a family of her own, it only seemed natural to send her kids Leah and Jeffrey to Camp. Now three generations continue to experience the power of Camp, and use the things that they learned at Cho-Yeh to impact the world. Jeffrey remembers Camp as a place of retreat and time with encouraging friends and counselors.

“Camp was a wonderful break to let go, and have the biggest highlight out of the summer. It showed me that there are people out there who love God like me and whom I can always fall back on in times of need.”

Leah still thinks about how her experiences at Cho-Yeh shaped her. Even after her time as a camper ended, she had a newfound sense of community and God’s presence anywhere she went.

“God is everywhere we go. He doesn’t look one way or another, he is not boxed into one definition or image. He loves us and encourages us to love everyone around us, no matter how different we might be.”

While a lot has changed at Camp over the years, Cho-Yeh is still passionate about helping campers forge character, nurture community, and cultivate faith that will last a lifetime and impact generations.

Want to learn more about how you can be involved in making a multi-generational impact? Visit our Pray, Serve, Give page to find out how you can join us in this continuing ministry!