Camp became my safe place
Every year, we meet hundreds of young people at camp. Some come to us carrying troubles no kid should have to endure. Others seem as carefree as a Norman Rockwell painting. Amber first attended Hiawatha Camp when she was nine years old and, by all outward appearances, she was happy and care free. “I really loved coming to camp,” Amber said. “The activities were so much fun, and my camp counselors were always really nice and encouraging.”
During her second summer at camp, Amber placed her faith in Jesus as her Savior and Lord. “I had never really heard about God’s love for me before I came to camp. Experiencing the love of Jesus and the care of my friends and counselors at camp really helped me come out of my shell,” Amber explained. “My life at home was very stressful during those years and camp became my safe place.”
Little did we know at the time, but Amber experienced forms of abuse throughout her childhood leading to the eventual end of her parent's marriage. Camp became a place where she could leave behind her home struggles and just be a kid again. She credits her relationship with Jesus and her summers at camp with helping her survive those difficult years. Amber came back to camp every summer until she aged out of our programs at fifteen.
Amber is now thriving as a college student and a volunteer in her local church. She still spends her summers at Hiawatha Camp – now as a camp counselor who is busy helping other kids enjoy the great experiences camp has to offer. She especially loves sharing with boys and girls the good news of God’s great love for them.