Camp Saved My Life

by: Tammy Briggs

Growing up as a young person I saw and experienced things no child should. On the outside we looked like the perfect family. My father was an elementary school teacher and concert pianist, my mother a Real Estate Broker. They both held Master's degrees and we had a nice home to live in. Little did people know my dad suffered with maniac depression, and often times he could only hold it together for so long after teaching school all day. Growing up in the '70s it was taboo to take any kind of medicine. If you did you were labeled as "crazy," and forget the job that would have been out the window. Verbal abuse beyond my father's control was impressed on my mom and brought our living situation to a point where is was no longer tolerable. My mom, brother and I went to live with my grandparents temporarily. It was tough.

The next summer when I was 11 years old our cousin invited us to a week long summer camp In the Catskill mountains of New York called Good Tidings. It was there I found my "second home." I loved it so much I returned every summer after that and when I reached age 14 I would stay and serve there the entire summer. I could hardly wait until school was out. Camp provided a myriad of activities like how to shoot Archery & Riflery, how to drive an ATV, Swimming, Lifeguard Training, Hiking, Outdoor Games and so much more. It was there I grew closer to God. I'd like to call it my "mountain top" experience. I met life-long friends, gained independence, learned strong work ethic, received great biblical teaching and had wonderful counselors who really cared about me.

The story doesn't end there. I met my husband at camp and we were married there. Fast forward 18 years, I now have the privilege to be working at Camp Hebron as Communications Director. Every year, nearly 15,000 guests are impacted by their time at Camp Hebron, whether it be at a week long summer camp, weekend retreat, family reunion, programmed event, or a personal retreat. Camp is a great place to retreat and get away from all the day to day distractions of the world we all live in. I am happy to say that all three of my children go to summer camp and are creating memories of their own. Emily, my youngest is nine year old and featured in the picture above taken at Camp Hebron this summer.

This is but a glimpse of what camp does for young people, and I'm sure if you were ever a camper you could testify to the impact camp has had on your life.

'Tis the season for Black Friday & Cyber Monday and Camp Hebron is participating in Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a day to give back to your favorite charity and to make a difference. If you already participated in the ExtraGive, Thank You! If you missed it, now is your opportunity to influence the life of a camper. If you value the impact of camp please consider a year end gift to Camp Hebron, or better yet register your child/grandchild for Summer Camp!