"One week at camp can change a life."
We at UGM often use this phrase to describe the UGM Camp experience. We have the privilege of hearing about how kids really are impacted throughout the summer, and we believe camp really can have long-lasting effect on at-risk youth.
But don’t take our word for it. Recently, Charlee, a Youth for Christ student who’s been in similar shoes to and served as a leader for campers, shared the following about a week at camp.
“At middle school camp I was a leader for the kids, and I kinda saw a mirror reflection, like how I used to be, in these kids…The vulnerability, the hurt that a lot of these kids have gone through, and some of the depression, too.
“One of the girls in my cabin, [they] had to pick up rocks that represented sin in their lives and toss it in the river, and she decides she’s gonna pick the biggest one…Looking back, at the moment I was like, you’re picking the biggest rock?! So, I get this rock and I’m carrying it, cause she can’t lift it, and I feel bad, so I’m picking up the rock for her. We get down there, and tears are flowing…it’s so bittersweet to see God move in her right then and there as she threw the rock, barely over her shoulders. And I’m just like, she’s giving it up. That’s all I could think of...
“If it wasn’t for God, [the campers] wouldn’t be here...I see a lot of kids not come and not be able to experience camp. And like, with the girl that had the rock…for God to open her eyes, it was just kinda cool to see God move in her life, even through just that one week. Now, I see her every once and a while (at YFC), and she’s a totally different person compared to before that week. She seems to have a spirituality about her that’s different. I know something clicked.”
When kids experience the love of Jesus, encounter trustworthy people, and feel they can let go of whatever burden they're carrying - sin, shame, fear - their lives really can change.
The impact UGM Camp has on kids is only possible because of this community. The churches and individuals who send kids to camp truly make a lasting impact on lives – above is simply one of many examples. If you’d like to read more, try these:
Thanks to the community for making it possible to reach at-risk youth.
Partner with us in changing kids’ lives, one week at a time.