Written by Jill Sparkes: Camper Mom and member at Covenant UMC,
These are my two boys Camden (6) and Braiden (8) on their first day of their first experience at Twinlow camp……… that was eight years ago. They have attended Twinlow Camp every year since. As I look back on these pictures, which seem like yesterday, I am amazed at the changes and growth that has occurred over the years.
As I dropped my boys off that first year, I only hoped they would have a wonderful experience and want to go back the next year. I hoped Twinlow would earn a special place in their hearts as it had mine when I attended many years ago as a camper and change them as it had me. Over the years, each one has grown in their own ways, initially they attended the same session of camp together. They didn’t know anyone else and they hadn’t been to overnight camp before.
As the years passed it became important to each of them that they attend their own week of camp. As I think the younger sibling usually is, Camden was the shadow of his brother with the great competition always on. On his own, Camden could develop his own identity and use his own goofy, carefree personality to entertain, laugh and form relationships with others.
Braiden has learned many leadership skills. He learned new skills in watersports and developed a desire to want to help others to learn those same new skills too. Braiden always wants to have fun in what he is doing and wants to make sure those around him are having the same fun. I see this from him away from camp as well….. at school, sports teams, and at home. I can always count on him to lighten up a situation.
Those first years, the important memories for both were the fun camp games and songs. As the years have passed I hear more about their friends they see every year, the counselors they hope are returning, and the cool new counselors they met. Rather than going in with no expectations like those first few year they look forward to seeing people and activities they remember from the years before. Those same people and memories have been the ones who have provided my boys with strong examples of people living Christian lives and loving Jesus.
My kids have become more confident. They are always willing to ask questions and seek answers. I know Twinlow has influenced my sons growth in their own beliefs and faith. Twinlow has been a large part of them knowing Gods love and having a Christian foundation as they move forward in their life and continue to grow.
How have you seen growth in your campers?