This past week has shown me how important a camp such as Camp Gilead is important. Obviously before, I thought this was a wonderful camp but it took a situation this past week to really show how important it is to have a place where kids can learn about Christ as well as a safe place to just be a kid.
At the beginning of the week I met this little girl and right off the back I knew that she was a quiet girl with an amazing heart. She seemed fine the first day, she was having fun and hanging with the rest of the other girls in the cabin. On Day two, Tuesday, she was paying attention in chapel and seemed so interested in everything that was being spoken about. It wasn’t until later that day during one of our activities that I learned why she was at Gilead. It was later in the afternoon and some of the other girls and I were playing handball, so I hadn’t noticed that she had gone off by herself. One of the LIT’s who was a part of my cabin this week, noticed and sat with her. I noticed her and saw she was crying and ran over. Between the sobs I learned that her mother had sent her and her brother here for the week so they could have a chance to be a kid. Her father has a brain injury that requires their house to have minimal amount of noise possible and this is limiting to a kid. Here was this sweet girl just going into the fourth grade and she was crying because she was sad about her father’s injury but also crying because she was also getting the chance to be a kid. I later thought about my own childhood. I never went to a camp such as Gilead yet I always had the chance to act like a kid, as well as be loud.
Working here at Camp Gilead has also shown me why people, campers and staffers, come back. In my first week with campers, I had two girls in my cabin that came all the way from Texas and one of the LIT’s comes from Arizona. I used to wonder why one would travel the distance when there must be a camp near them that had the same type of program as Gilead. However, people develop incredible relationships here. There is something different about a friendship that is formed when Christ is at the center of the relationship. Though Christ is not always the topic of the conversation, people feel comfortable to bring Him into the conversation because they know that the people who come here genuinely love Him. That is why they come back to Gilead and that is why a camp such as Gilead is so important to have.
Counselor, Cabin 4