Written by Madison Larson
Going into camp, I was excited, but nervous because I hadn’t been part of Camp Encourage before. I didn’t know what would come out of it. Little did I know, those four days would change everything for me.
My nerves were definitely there when I got to camp the first day. But the moment the kiddos arrived, I couldn’t contain my excitement. They lit up the room and each of their personalities stood out which was so cool to see!
Everyday was filled with fun, laughter, and more smiles than I’ve ever seen. Camp Encourage truly is a place of magic and happiness. The relationships I made with the kids were one-of-a-kind, and they taught me so much about myself. Kind of ironic, right?! I found a version of myself that I never want to let go of. Someone who is patient, accepting, and is always smiling.
All of the kids were amazing. They told hilarious jokes, had their silly moments, and shared some great stories. Each one with a completely different background, but all coming together and having the time of their lives. They had so much fun and some of them even faced their fears! Seeing them grow was such an incredible and beautiful thing to see and I never wanted it to stop.
When I first left to go to camp, my mind was running at a speed that I couldn’t even keep up with. I had no idea where I wanted to go with my life. I had just graduated high school, and no path felt right. But after camp, there was a spark in me. I felt so connected and had a new sense of clarity; I truly did not want this to end. I knew that this was something I wanted to do forever. So, I made the decision to change my major to Education so that I can become a special education teacher!
I will forever be grateful for everyone I met at Camp Encourage for such an impactful and everlasting experience. I cannot wait to see what the future holds! 🙂
Join Madison and many other wonderful volunteers at Camp Encourage! Read about volunteer opportunities and find the form needed to join the goodness at https://campencourage.org/volunteer.