We’ve been talking about bullying this month, because October is National Bullying Prevention Month. One aspect of bullying prevention is giving kids and teens the self-confidence to stand up for themselves (and for others). Camp Fire works to do that with each young person in our programs. That’s part of what makes working with Camp Fire so rewarding, as the following story from Camp Fire Heartland, where Camp Director Leslie Vohs shares one of the highlights of her work:
“I tell people every day that I’m lucky enough to have the best job in the world as a camp director. The long days and sometimes tough situations are all worth it when you can witness the power of camp. My favorite moment from this past summer was with a CIT (Counselor-in-Training) who I’ll call Xavion. He was referred to us by his foster care agency, and we were able to provide Xavion with a scholarship to attend camp. I had never met Xavion before, and his mother told me during check-in that he was painfully shy. While observing the interaction between mom and Xavion, I could see that he was probably used to being torn down rather than being built up to have confidence in himself. Once Xavion settled into camp, I couldn’t believe he was the same kid that his mother called shy. There was nothing shy about him! All of the kids wanted to hang out with Xavion because he was so cool and funny, and he became team captain for the red team during color wars. At the end of the week, he even had a starring role in the counselor spoof skit put on by the CITs. On the last day of camp, Xavion, a 15-year-old boy, cried to his counselor because he didn’t want to leave camp. His exact words were ‘I can’t believe that everyone here liked me.’ I am so blessed to be able to provide an experience like that for Xavion and so many others.”

Powerful, and a wonderful testament to the difference Camp Fire makes in the lives of young people.