Tiana - Humans of Camp Americ
By Camp America on 14/01/2019
Tiana spent her summer at a Salvation Army camp in California called Redwood Glen! Here is her camp story...
"I applied for Camp America because I wanted to try something new. So, I started my online application. Once I started my application I got an email about a Salvation Army (Christian) Recruitment fair taking place in London, so I did some research on the Christian camps attending the fair and went along with my sister.
When I arrived at the Recruitment Fair I was nervous, and my hands were sweaty, but the warm smiles of the Camp America staff made me feel more at ease. Once I was inside I had a look at the different camps that were at the fair. I very quickly felt drawn to on specific camp. Camp Redwood Glen. So, I got in line and had my interview with the camp director and his daughter.
The interview went really well and I felt like this was the camp I was meant to go to. During the interview the camp director’s daughter told me about some of the kids they get that come from all different backgrounds including foster homes. Being adopted from a young age and spending some time in foster care meant that this was something I could really relate to. I felt God guided me to this camp for a reason.
I tend to be a very quiet and shy person, so I felt pleased with myself after the interview, as I find it hard to talk to people that I don’t know. The icing on the cake from my recruitment fair experience was hearing to words ‘YOU’RE HIRED!’ I felt over the moon and could not stop smiling. I couldn’t wait to fly out to America and embark on one of the biggest journey of my life.
Even though I am a practising Christian, one thing I thought about a lot before going to camp, was it was a Salvation Army camp and I’m not part of the Salvation Army, so I didn’t know what to expect… when I arrived, all of the staff were so lovely and made me feel loved, comfortable and welcome straight away.
I have so many highlights from my summer at camp and I learnt so much. Camp taught me that I can live and take care of myself and I can be very responsible. Also, it has taught me that I am a very kind individual and loving to the campers and that I have a lot of patience. Overall camp taught me things that I never knew about myself.
The most favourite thing about being a camp counsellor is that I impacted the campers lives by just being there for them and letting them have fun in the cabin; just letting them be themselves and seeing them at their best and seeing the smiles that they had. Receiving letters of encouragement from them was also the best thing ever.
I would highly encourage and recommend the programme to anybody who has even the smallest inclination to do so. It will for sure challenge you in uncomfortable ways and take you out of your comfort zone, but that’s where our greatest growth and ultimate transformation blossoms from."