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A summer to remember

When I was asked to talk about my experience at Warm Beach Summer Youth Camp, I struggled at first because there is truly no accurate way to describe an experience so life-changing. Eventually, I pinned down the three best parts of my camp experience. The environment created by the staff, the time away from normal habits, and unique and amazing opportunities for personal growth. These three things made my summer incredibly fulfilling.

During my time at camp, staff came together and created a special culture of acceptance and growth. I was surrounded by amazing people. I couldn’t escape feeling welcomed and encouraged to grow in my relationship with Christ. The bonds I formed at camp were not just surface level, but deep, spiritually rooted friendships. My coworkers became friends I could count on and trust to challenge me to become better.

Camp life is different from what most people are used to. I have been involved with camp for several years but last summer, as a cabin guide, was a new experience. Being an example of Christ for the campers pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to be a better person. Through that process I created habits that were healthy and didn’t revolve around comfort. I realized God had so much more planned for me than the routine I had fallen into. Putting my wants, and cell phone, away for even 12 hours a day yielded rich rewards. These rewards weren’t simply momentary. I took those habits home with me and saw an improvement in self-worth, work ethic, and overall joy

The last, and greatest, part of camp for me was the opportunity to be a role model for the next generation of kids. To teach them the things I wish someone had taught me. Camp was my chance to become something more, something greater, and be part of a life-changing culture.

-Joseph Lauder
2018 Summer Camp Counselor (Cabin Guide)
and Current Program Intern
Warm Beach Camp

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