Summer camp provides a safe haven for kids when life is tough at home

Robert’s resume is stellar.

He served in the military. Completed college. Did a stint as a teacher. And now he’s the postmaster in Lake Benton, Minnesota.

So it might surprise you that his wife describes him as a “dumb punk” when he was growing up.

“Yep, I was,” Robert admits. “Me and my buddies would go around breaking windows, throwing rocks at cars…”

So what turned his life around?

“Gospel Hill Camp,” he says without hesitation.

“My family wasn’t very loving…they were very abusive when I was growing up. So the people at summer camp became my family,” he says. “Camp was a haven where I could get away from them, and the bullies in my neighborhood. It was a place where I knew nothing was going to happen to me.”

“My family wasn’t very loving…So the people at summer camp became my family.”

Robert was a camper for only one year, in 1977. But the love and encouragement he received that one summer made a powerful impact on his life. For the next 10 years, he went back every year to work — as a junior counselor, as kitchen staff, and later as camp director. Today he says,

“Camp was the tool that God used to change my life!”

Robert says he is the husband, father, and church leader he is today because of what he learned at camp.

“I know a lot of kids who go to summer camp are coming out of bad situations at home,” Robert says, drawing from his own experiences. “Camp is the chance for children to see that even though they may not feel much love at home, they will always be loved at camp — more than they could ever know.”

Summer camp begins in 27 days. Won’t you send a gift today and offer hope to other kids going through tough times? Just $25 provides a day of camp for a hurting child. Who knows? Your gift could be the one that gives a young boy or girl a whole new direction in life.


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