Today at Opportunity Camp I had a chance to visit with one of our first-time counselors. Alex is thirty-eight and is doing a great job with the kids. What many of the campers and staff may not know is that Alex first came to camp thirty years ago as a camper.
He attended Opportunity Camp for five years, missing a few years here and there. The last year he attended was when he was seventeen – and he wasn’t planning on coming. He was dropping off his nieces when the director asked him to stay. It was a decision he still is very thankful he made.
He told me of growing up in a rough part of the Bay Area, running with gangs, and dealing drugs. The years at Opportunity Camp made a difference; he didn’t want to stay like that. He knew there was something better. He had seen it and experienced it. Things he learned at camp kept coming back to him.
He wound up as a counselor this year because he went searching on the internet for Opportunity Camp, wondering if it was still around. It is. This is our forty-second year of having camp. When he found our website, he immediately inquired about coming.
And here he is sitting in the same amphitheater that he first did thirty years ago.
As only God can arrange, his forest walker is the son of a guy he used to run the streets with before he turned his life around. Now Alex has the opportunity to make a difference in his life – the same way counselors did for him.
People often ask me if one week of camp can make a lasting impact on a kid. The answer has always been a resounding Yes! Now I have Alex’s story to tell as well.
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