“Summer Camp Saves Lives!”


For years, Alana has served at-risk families.

As a teacher’s aide in the inner city. A community outreach worker. And now as a case manager helping moms and kids at the Mission’s Naomi Family Residence.

So it might surprise you that she was once at-risk herself as a kid in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. For Alana, attending Gospel Hill Camp in the 1970s gave her something to live for.

“Summer camp provided stability…”

“My parents fought a lot,” Alana explains. “Sometimes the fighting made me so upset I’d sneak out of the house. I’ve blocked out a lot of my childhood memories because of these experiences.”

When the Mission’s big purple bus roared down the street to pick up kids for Gospel Hill Camp, “I got so excited to escape my life at home,” Alana says.

At camp, Alana had a safe place to play, even at night, which meant a lot to her because her parents wouldn’t allow her to go out at night. “Summer camp provided stability,” she says. “People there looked out for me.  They were like big brothers and sisters to me.”

More than fun and games, summer camp introduced Alana to the love of our John 3:16 God. She developed a personal prayer life that’s carried her through hard times, such as a serious illness and the violent murder of her stepson right behind her house.

“The Mission’s summer program saved me as a youth,” she says. “They provided a way out of the city and the opportunity just to be a kid again.”

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