Camp Gilmore and Wilderness - Salvation Army Camp
Last summer I signed up to do Camp America and got placed at a camp in California, called Mt Crags, Gilmore and Wilderness. It was one of the most incredible and life-changing experiences. After enduring a lot in life and having a hectic year before camp; this was the perfect place for me to rediscover and appreciate my inner strength.
It might sound strange but in the short nine weeks I was there, I learnt so much about myself and picked up so many skills. It has made me see the world from a completely different perspective. I was blessed enough to work with children from a variety of different backgrounds; making them feel valued and trying my best to inspire them. Seeing the impact I had on the kids, even if it was the smallest of gestures; was extremely rewarding.
The young people I worked with had a huge impact and left an imprint on my heart too. One camper called Bella, will always stay with me. She had such a strong and determined persona but also had a caring side, which I
saw throughout the weeks. Just getting to know her was a real blessing.
During a long and challenging hike, that Bella had previously not had the courage to take part in and had finally agreed to do,she accidentally got hit in the face by a rock above her. She started crying hysterically, saying that she wanted to give up and go back. I kept reassuring her that she is strong, fearless and can do anything she puts her mind too. I kept repeating myself and before we knew it, Bella had stopped crying and we continued going up the mountain; eventually we made it to the top.
She pushed down all the pain and emotion she was feeling and made it back down the mountain, where I took her to the nurse. I told her she was a warrior and that I was extremely proud of her, even though she felt like giving up. This is just one of the many amazing and life changing stories that I experienced while I was at camp. I am so grateful for stories like these and the blessing these young people were in my life. Being in this environment, helping the kids conquer their fears every day and seeing them achieve their goals; has inspired me to believe in myself and believe that I can do whatever I put my mind to. It is such a safe place where everyone understands that no one’s perfect and we all make mistakes, but you aren’t judged for them. My previous feelings of being defined by other
people’s words, slowly dissipated. I realised that I was stronger than I thought, and it gave me the courage to keep striving for what I want in life.