Camp Asbury was always going to be part of the picture for Grace. Her mother, Amy, attended Asbury as early as 3rd grade, and went on to become a junior high school counselor, and eventually served on staff for 2 years. Amy loved her experiences at camp and knew that she wanted Grace to have her own relationship with the place she grew to love so much. As soon as Grace was old enough, she started her camp journey with a half-week of Discovery Mini and has been coming back ever since.
Grace was a poster-child for camp. She was never homesick, she loved all of the activities, and she always ran to meet her counselors with barely a backwards glance to her family. But over the years, camp started to work in Grace in a new way. “In school, I’m a lot quieter and I tend to stay in my friend group, but at camp I learned to become more confident and began to step up as a leader.” The routine of coming into camp each summer, not knowing anyone, but then jumping into a small group with name games and low ropes and a full schedule of activities really helped to bring Grace out of her shell and truly open up. Amy said she noticed that Grace became a more responsible and independent person because of her experiences at camp, to the point where Grace even saved up her own money over the year to pay for a second week of camp one summer.
But there was no bigger change in Grace than in that of her faith. “Before I came to camp, I was confused. Camp gave me an introduction to the basics of my faith that I was able to take home and learn more about in my daily life, and now I have a personal relationship with Jesus that I understand.” Grace loves sharing Communion at camp, and singing worship songs, but she says that faith is sprinkled into everything we do at camp. “Even something like high ropes allowed me to learn about my strength and that God is helping me through challenges in my life.”
Grace is looking forward to another summer of growth at camp– this year preparing to follow in her mom’s footsteps by joining the high school Counselor in Training Program. Grace said that she wants to be part of the magic of Camp Asbury- to become a leader and make connections with kids, in the same way that her past counselors have done with her. Grace knows that Camp Asbury played an important part in her faith journey, and she wants to be able to light that spark in others and share her story.