Kyle had been coming to camp for years and had often been a magnet for conflict. He wasn’t mean-spirited, but he often seemed to get on the nerves of others. This year, things had gone relatively smoothly until the last night of camp.
His cabin group was scheduled for night swim after chapel, but when chapel was over, Kyle asked his cabin director to pray with him. He knew that some of the other boys in his cabin were getting short-tempered with him, and he was afraid that, at night swim, things might escalate into a fight. Kyle and his cabin director prayed together.
Then Kyle asked if he could be excused from night swim to participate in the giant swing with some of the other cabin groups. Once it was cleared through the leaders, everything was arranged.
During the giant swing activity, a younger camper named Harry tried his turn on the swing, but backed out at the last second because he was scared. Ten minutes later, he had built up his nerve for a second try, but once again fear took control, and he backed out again. Harry took off his harness, exited the gym, and burst into tears. He desperately wanted to go on the swing, but couldn’t conquer his anxiety.
Moments later, Kyle came by. When he saw Harry crying, his heart melted. Flooded with the compassion of Jesus, Kyle talked to Harry to find out what was wrong, prayed with him, and convinced him to give it one more try.
Harry dried his tears, put his harness back on, and asked me if he could try again. I hooked him up to the giant swing with some hesitation, unaware of what had transpired moments earlier.
This time, Harry didn’t back down. His new friends pulled him up to the top of the swing; then Harry yanked the quick release and rode the swing with a huge smile on his face while everyone cheered.
These are the encounters that have a lasting impact on young lives, and they are happening every day at camp. Harry learned that he can do all things through Christ, and Kyle learned that he can have a positive impact on others. Neither of them will forget this experience, and it was only possible through the support of people just like you.
You see, Harry and Kyle both came to camp on scholarship. They would never have been able to afford their camp fees, but someone donated $180 for each of them to be able to attend. That's a great investment. Two lives, dramatically impacted through a summer camp experience, all because someone wanted to make a difference.