“I’d never been out of the city before and I was like, ‘Whoa, the stars look so cool,’” says Jelani, remembering his first visit to Scott Mission Camp.”
Jelani was in grade 8 when a social worker suggested that Scott Mission Camp would be a great place for him and his siblings to spend time over the summer.
Upon arrival though, his first thoughts were that camp was not for him. He kept to himself and counted the days until he could go home. “I was separated from my siblings because we were all different ages. I was in a place where I didn’t know anybody.”
But between the counsellors and the other campers, Jelani’s heart opened up. “On the last day of camp, we sang, worshipped, and everyone started crying,” he says. That’s when he realized he wasn’t quite ready to go home after all! “I was like, ‘I want to keep experiencing this.’ It was amazing.”
But all that is history. Jelani is in grade 11 now, a confident teenager who works to grow in his faith each day and to be a blessing and mentor to younger campers.
Camp Changed Everything
Although a beloved grandmother had introduced Jelani to Christ when he was very young, camp is where his faith was cemented. “I was blessed to have a spiritual connection, a click with God when I started at camp, and I’m very grateful for it,” he says.
“Camp has done so much for me—personally, emotionally, spiritually. It’s a chance to escape and be more in tune with God. I’d never been out of the city before and I was like, ‘Whoa, the stars look so cool!’”
Best Things About Camp—It’s a Long List!
Jelani has a long list of favourite things about camp—worship, swimming, baking, spending time with other campers. But the camp counsellors have made a huge impression on him and continue to serve as his mentors.
That’s why Jelani is participating in our Foundations Program, so he can develop his leadership skills and perhaps serve as a camp counsellor one day. He wants to give back to other campers the many gifts and encouragement he has received through Scott Mission Camp.
Jelani also enjoys attending an after-school youth group each week at The Scott Mission, because it’s a positive place where he can continue to grow spiritually while strengthening friendships. “It’s amazing that I have the opportunity to be here. It’s a weekly reminder of God’s love and it’s changed a lot of things for me,” he says. “If I didn’t attend, I don’t know where I’d be.”
Deeply thankful for donors who make Scott Mission Camp and other youth ministry programs possible, Jelani says, “You’re supporting a good cause and you’re changing the lives of so many kids and impacting their future.”Give the Gift of Camp!