By: Hannah Jackson
For six-year camper, Ben, Cho-Yeh is a second home. However, the feeling of Cho-Yeh being a second home didn’t begin with Ben’s experience; it started with his Dad’s time at Cho-Yeh. Ben and his siblings are second-generation campers at Cho-Yeh. Ben’s Dad, Scott Cummings, grew up attending as a camper for nine summers of his childhood and also served on Summer Staff.
“The people keep us coming back, the friendliness here is so welcoming” Ben said. “Hearing my Dad share stories of the changes from when he was here is so fascinating- like the old pool being where the jumping pillow is now. It is so special to share these memories with him!”
To put in perspective how long Cho-Yeh has been a part of this family’s life, Scott spent his first summer as a counselor in 1997. Camp Cho-Yeh was a part of his life many years before this point from his years as a camper, and now decades later as all three of his children, including middle-child, Ben, have grown up spending their summers at Camp Cho-Yeh.
Pastor Scott Cummings shared with us the impact that Cho-Yeh has had on his family for decades:
“We keep sending our kids back and coming for retreats because Cho-Yeh continues to be a place where the kids find unconditional acceptance and build relationships that draw them closer to God. As it was for me, our kids make friends with other kids and counselors that show them what it means to love the Lord and follow Jesus fully. These experiences at camp continue to help our kids grow in faith in a way that they could not without those experiences. Our kids have fun and are kept safe so that God can grow them emotionally and spiritually and socially like they could nowhere else.
What I most enjoy about Cho-Yeh is the environment that fosters relationships that God uses to draw people closer to him. As I said before, I might not be a Christian if it were not for the relationships I built and the experiences I had at camp. I know I would not be a pastor. It was at Cho-Yeh that I first came to really understand what it means to follow Jesus and where I made that decision for myself. It was the first place that I had an experience with God in such a way that his presence was undeniable.
I had counselors that modeled for me what a Christian man should be, and they encouraged me to explore my faith and a potential calling from God to ministry. I made friendships with other kids that have lasted a lifetime and I had the best weeks of my year at camp as a kid. In college I strayed from the path God had for me a bit and away from my calling to ministry. By working on staff at Cho-Yeh, the Lord shaped me and eventually helped me rediscover the right path. The friendships I built then influenced me in powerful ways that still affect my life and ministry today.”
The Cummings family continues to impact the world for Christ through their ministry and the relationships they continue to foster as a result of their time at Cho-Yeh.