This past summer was one of the most memorable summers I've ever had. One of my favorite moments was JHC. JHC was a place where I could share about my day and how it went. It was where I met some of my best friends that I will always cherish for my entire life. It was a place where we played fun games and talked and had fun. When I first walked into camp, I was intimidated & afraid that I was the only one who didn't know anybody. But as time went on, I realized how much fun it was. We did so many fun things at camp -- from growth group discussions, to worship, to fun games lead by our growth group counselors. It was one of my first times being away from home but the people there made camp feel like home for me.
Junior High Camp was my first time away from home for such a long period of time. At first I was apprehensive about being away from home, but JHC was truly an amazing and life changing experience for me. I loved the spiritual fellowship, the skits, the games and most of all singing the songs! Camp Lodestar was beautiful and woodsy and everyday was filled with a new adventure. Sometimes it was fun and wacky and other times it was quiet and soul searching. I felt such an incredibly strong bond with my fellow campers, counselors and God. The week flew by, and although I was looking forward to seeing my family again, I was sad that JHC was over. I can’t wait to go back next year!!
What I love most about JHC is the friendly environment they provide. I’ve met so many of the best people in my life there which is why I enjoy it a lot. They will listen to you and how you’re feeling, and we have loads of fun. I also love how much closer I feel to God when I’m at camp. I can really feel his presence while we worship and talk to Him out in nature.
I feel like that my relationship with God has become stronger by having a week in a great environment just to learn about him. Also, it was so fun to learn new ways to worship the lord.
For me, JHC was the first step to becoming more involved with a new group of people that I have created some amazing memories with. I was scared to attend because I'm very introverted and shy and felt like I didn't know many people that were going, but having my sisters there eased my mind and the people I met were instantly accepting and welcoming and kind. For me, the best part of JHC that year was going to worship and feeling the shared sense of awe at God's presence with the people around me, and I have made friends that I know I will have the rest of my life.
Choosing to come back to camp as a counselor was the easiest decision because I knew as a camper I wanted to be just like my Growth Group counselors one day. Not only did counseling teach me how to be a leader, but really gave me a chance to see God's work in action. Bonding with the directing and counseling staff, spending time with the campers and seeing everyone grow in their faith is just amazing. Camp has always been a big part of my life and I feel so blessed to be a part of such a loving and one of a kind family.
Camp has given me everything I could have asked for, and more. It opened my eyes to the many things in my life that God has blessed me with, as well as allowed me to create some of the most amazing friendships. Being a counselor is a completely different experience from being a camper, but in the most positive way. It helped improve my confidence and leadership abilities, and overall was just such a humbling experience. To have the opportunity to extend to my campers the same love and security that I had experienced at camp, is the best feeling of all.
No matter where I'm at in life, school, or work — camp is my favorite week of the year. Counseling JHC was one of the most positive and empowering experiences ever. Not only is it SUPER FUN with quirky traditions, sharing show, and dances amongst countless others, but it also provides the most accepting setting to learn more about faith and one another. From bonding with staff, to connecting with the campers, to all around having an amazing time, JHC has showed me how powerful a church community can be.
To me, camp is a home. Besides learning more about God, I learned a lot about the value of community. When I first attended JHC, I got to experience a type of love that I have never felt anywhere else before. I was immersed within a community of people who were accepting, understanding, friendly, supportive, and welcoming; and every year I came back to experience that same comforting community that camp gave. Coming back as a counselor, I was driven to create that strong sense of community for the campers. Throughout the week, I got to grow with the campers and see them grow with each other, just like I had done before. Camp is an amazing experience, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
After 3 years as a camper at Junior High Camp, I knew that I wanted to be a counselor. I remember thinking how every counselor at camp made me feel loved, accepted, and a part of the camp family. This experience drove me to counsel so that I could give that same love those younger than me. But once I counseled, I saw that every bit of love I gave was returned to me, multiplied back by my campers, counselors, and directors. Each gave me part of God's love and light during my time at JHC.
From the outside looking in, you would never think that a one week camp could have such an impact on a person's life. From the lifelong friendships, to the spiritual transformation, Junior High Camp will always have a special place in my heart. I began attending Junior High Camp when I was an incoming sixth grader, and from that year on, I was hooked. I made so many friends and found a place where I felt I could express my love for Christ in the most comfortable way. As a young Christian child, it was difficult for me to find a core group of friends that could identify with me in through God. Camp was my home. It was my spiritual sanctuary. Even with busy summers, I always had time for that one week of JHC. For ten years, I continued to attend camp as a camper, moved my way up to counseling, and became a director for my final three years. For as much as camp gave to me - lifelong friends, confidence, spiritual comfort, and strong leadership training - I wanted to at least give that much back. Junior High Camp will always hold a special place in my heart for as long as I live, and I know for future campers, counselors, and directors, the memories they create will be cherished forever. Camp is home.