CYF Blog – Wednesday

Impact of Camp on Everyday Life

Mairead: Seven years ago, after hearing tales of the shenanigans my sister and her cohorts had pulled at camp, the times they’d had, and the friends that they had made, it was finally my turn. As a ten year old, I was painfully shy and always had my nose in a book. I didn’t make friends easily, and was socially awkward to the extreme. However, after my mother dropped me off at my first week of camp, something came over me in the first few hours at Gonzo and everything began to change for the better. I made my first new friend (who bonded with me because of our mutual pale as milk skin), and I began to actually enjoy my first extended trip away from my family. If you fast forward to the present day, I am now serving on the Youth Leadership Team, a job that makes being anything less than outgoing impossible, and I have grown both spiritually and socially based upon my experiences here. This camp has offered me an escape from the typical pressures of a soon-to-be high school junior and has given me opportunities to make new friends, new bonds, and has afforded me the chance to grow as a leader. I have been blessed to meet two of my best friends (Jaclyn and Hayley, this is you, FYI) and the pale one mentioned earlier, that was Hayley, for all of you back at home, wherever that may be. –M

Hayley: From singing only singing in worship, to breaking out into random Broadway tunes in the dorm room with one of my best friends, you can definitely say Gonzo has had a major impact on my life. I started coming to Gonzo eight years ago as a second year beginner camper. When I first came to Gonzo I did not know anyone, I was so shy and I was not very social. However when I actually started talking to people I realized that these people had a lot in common with me and I slowly began to open up. Fast forward to present day I am also on Youth Leadership Team, like Mairead said. I also have gotten my best friend of thirteen years, Jenny, to come to camp. By coming to Gonzo, I have made friends that I will have for life, and I have also grown more social and spiritual by coming. Gonzo is definitely my home away from home.-H

Jenny: Gonzo, the camp where  we can be ourselves, release all of the emotions we are bottling up, and while having fun.  This is my sixth year coming to this camp and  help me build my relationship with god and be able to become the person and  friend  I am today.  The people here  have impacted my life even more, most people see these people as just friends,but the friends I have made here are friends that I know who can accept me for who I am and give me a place to vent to during the school year.  Those people are like Payton, Mairead, and my best friend Hayley. I know  when i ever have the classic “drama” , I know my Gonzo friends will always be there for me.  I have no idea what my life would be like with out this camp.-

Payton: Gonzo for me is a place to get away, a place to reflect over the year, a place to renew and build my relationship with God. It is a place that I have always felt very protective over. Here is where I have laughed, cried, and made lasting friends. The memories that I have made have stayed with me and are ones that I hope will continue to stay with me as I get older. I have been taught many lessons over the years with have helped me and made me a better person. In my worst years, when I have gone through the most and really needed to have faith, this camp taught me how to deal with the trials I faced and how God was always there for me. I would like to thank the people that have made this camp possible and have impacted others and myself. This camp is something that I hold close to heart and I can’t wait to do my part in contributing to it when I am on the YLT. I hope everyone has had as great of a time here and I can’t wait to see what else this camp has in store for us. –P